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House repasses $540 million omnibus legacy bill, Senate does not

By Jonathan Mohr
House floor session - part 3

With minutes remaining in the 2015 legislative session, House lawmakers approved the plan to distribute Minnesota’s legacy funds during the next biennium, voting 123-11 late Monday evening to pass HF303*/ SF202, the legacy omnibus bill.

Rep. Dean Urdahl

However, the $540 million bill — sponsored by Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City) —  was not passed by the Senate before the session came to an end. Sen. Richard Cohen (DFL-St. Paul) is the Senate sponsor. 

Dozens of programs and institutions depend on legacy money to one degree or another to operate.

From the Minnesota Zoo and Minnesota State Arts Board, to the millions meant to fund new buffer policy in the omnibus environment, natural resources and agriculture policy and finance bill passed earlier in the evening, the legacy bill provisions could be addressed in a special session or action may have to wait until the 2016 session.

The $540 million appropriated by HF303*/ SF202 would have been distributed in the following manner:

  • Clean Water Fund:                           $228.3 million
  • Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund:        $124.8 million
  • Outdoor Heritage Fund:                   $97.8 million
  • Parks & Trails Fund:                         $89.3 million

The funds were created by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008 to benefit the environment, arts, parks, trails and other state resources.

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