SAINT PAUL, MN – Last legislative session, the Republican-controlled legislature raided constitutionally dedicated lottery funds that protect our clean air and water, through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, and used them for other projects across Minnesota. As a result, Minnesota was recently sued by numerous Minnesota organizations questioning the constitutionality of the Republican last minute end of session antics.
Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL – South St. Paul), the DFL-Lead on the Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee, has drafted legislation that will undo changes Republicans made that threaten the mission of the trust fund to protect, conserve, preserve, and enhance Minnesota's air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources for future generations.
“When Minnesotans voted to create a state lottery, they did so knowing a big chunk of the money earned would go toward our cherished outdoors,” remarked Hansen. “Republicans made the choice to abandon the will of Minnesota voters. They’re simply unwilling to fix our state’s infrastructure without stealing the money from elsewhere. It’s not right and that’s why I’m committed to making sure we fix this. We must act like adults and pay to fix our infrastructure while continuing to protect our public lands, waters and air.”
Legislation has been drafted and will be introduced in the next legislative session. A link to the draft bill can be found here. More information on the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund can be found here.