We are in the final days of the 2012 session and will be back at the Capitol Saturday working to wrap up more legislation. I will let you know what unfolds but, for now, here is a news release pertaining to a bill I authored which is on its way to the governor.
Legacy funding bill passes Legislature, headed to governor
ST. PAUL – A bill Rep. Dean Urdahl authored to appropriate funds from the Legacy Amendment passed the Legislature late Thursday and is headed to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk for his action.
Urdahl, R-Acton Township, chairs the Legacy Division and his bill appropriates approximately $100 million in Legacy Amendment revenue. The blueprint follows recommendations by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council and includes additional money because revenue the sales tax generated exceeded projections.
“We went to great lengths to ensure the Legacy money is being used as intended,” Urdahl said. “Taxpayers deserve to have the money they provide put to the best-possible use and the transparency measures we now have in place will help people track our appropriations. I am pleased with our final product.”
One of the most important components of the bill combats aquatic invasive species, namely silver and bighead carp. Provisions include $3.8 million for a University of Minnesota research study and $7.5 million in 2012 to fund carp barriers.
A key compromise in conference committee negotiations pertained to a disparity in funding provided for the Mississippi Northwoods Habitat Complex. The two bodies met in the middle, making up to $11 million available for a land purchase near Brainerd. Urdahl said the land’s appraised value will serve as the purchase price.
The total Legacy funding split includes: $24.6 million, prairies; $15.3 million, forests; $31.1 million, wetlands; $28.6 million, habitat; $220,000, administration.
Legacy revenue is derived from a sales-tax increase voters approved in 2008 to fund projects pertaining to the outdoors, water, parks and trails, and arts and cultural heritage. More information is available at www.legacy.leg.mn.
Dean Urdahl represents District 18B in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The district includes most of Meeker County and a portion of Wright County. This is Urdahl’s fifth term in the Legislature after being elected in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010.