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State Representative Bob Gunther

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Posted: 2017-05-21
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Press Release

RELEASE: HOUSE PASSES LEGACY BILL


ST. PAUL – On Sunday, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved the Legacy Funding Conference Committee Report, HF707, on a bipartisan 106-28 vote. Legacy funding comes from proceeds of a constitutionally dedicated sales tax passed by Minnesota voters in 2008 for clean water, arts, and cultural heritage projects.

In total, the bill invests $527 million in clean water, the arts, and maintaining cultural heritage throughout the state. Over $100 million of the bill goes directly to restore and protect Minnesota’s water and more than $30 million will go toward protecting drinking water.

“This bill represents a true compromise between the House, Senate and governor’s office,” said bill author Representative Bob Gunther, R-Fairmont. “This year, our main focus was coming together to create a bill that prioritizes clean water initiatives, funds important regional projects, and improves our state's parks and trails.”

Along with the funding, the legislation includes reforms to legacy funding. First, the bill creates a 5% reserve within each fund, protecting the health and integrity of the funds if the forecast changes. Furthermore, HF707 directs the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council to consider recommending $15 million for Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) in next year’s recommendation.

“In an effort to find common ground, we had to make certain policy concessions, but were still able to deliver a bill that provides more oversight and transparency with how Legacy funds are spent,” said Gunther. “I’m proud of this bill, and looking forward to Governor Dayton signing it into law.”

The bill is expected to be passed by the Senate and sent to the Governor.

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