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Rep. Green bill to stop abuse of state arts funding heard in House

Monday, March 19, 2018

ST. PAUL – A bill Rep. Steve Green, R-Fosston, authored to stop state funds from being used for nefarious activities received its first House committee hearing Monday and remains in the legislative mix.

The bill (HF 3269) is in response to last fall’s news that Minnesota Legacy Amendment dollars were allocated to a woman to create a video game that Green said could encourage violence. His bill aims to clarify Minnesota’s arts funding laws.

“I realize art is up to interpretation, but this video game holds absolutely no benefit to the taxpayers of Minnesota who paid for it,” Green said. “It is a disgrace that someone would work the system this way, using tax dollars to produce violent messages.”

This all traces back to a $3,290 fellowship grant issued through the 2016 Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund to create a video game which Green said promotes domestic terrorism. Questions also arose regarding whether the grant recipient was a Minnesota resident throughout the project.

Green’s legislation would increase oversight of the Minnesota State Arts Board, including requiring projects to be completed in Minnesota and to be consistent with constitutionally dictated purposes.

The bill was set aside for possible consideration later this session.


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