HF4269, sponsored by Torkelson, would appropriate $26.44 million from the Clean Water Fund in Fiscal Years 2018-19, including $22 million that was added back into the fund thanks to the state’s projected budget surplus.
The House Legacy Funding Finance Committee held the bill, as amended, over Monday for possible omnibus bill inclusion. It has no Senate companion.
The House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee approved the original version of the bill two weeks ago, which included the Clean Water Council’s recommendations. However, the delete-all amendment adopted Monday makes “tweaks” to fund some things that ended up getting cut from last year’s bill, Torkelson said.
The committee was given a spreadsheet showing the differences between the amended bill and the Clean Water Council’s recommendations.
Here are the proposed appropriations from the Clean Water Fund in the amended bill. Appropriations are for Fiscal Year 2018, unless noted:
Shannon Lotthammer, PCA assistant commissioner, testified on behalf of all the state agencies that receive funding from the Clean Water Fund. She said they were in support of the initial bill, but they haven’t had the chance to go over the changes made in the amendment adopted Monday.
Meanwhile, Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Mpls) said she hopes Torkelson will think about additional “tweaks” to the bill, saying it focuses on Greater Minnesota and doesn’t fairly address some of the needs in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, such as drinking water studies for the Mississippi River and groundwater studies.
The Clean Water Fund
The Clean Water Fund is funded through the Legacy Amendment, which increased the state sales tax by three-eighths of 1 percent through 2034. The tax revenue is distributed into four funds, including 33 percent going to the Clean Water Fund.
Since 2010, the Clean Water Fund has appropriated more than $759 million for projects across the state that protect and improve water quality in the state’s lakes, rivers and streams, and protect groundwater from degradation.
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