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LCCMR projects pass, except one

Published (6/1/2010)
By Sue Hegarty
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Environmental projects totaling approximately $22.5 million will begin thanks to the appropriation of state lottery proceeds in a new law.

However, a proposed $143,000 appropriation to the University of Minnesota for a life cycle analysis of available low carbon energy technologies was line-item vetoed again by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, even though the proposal was reworked after he vetoed it last year.

“This project has a similar objective to the project vetoed last year and although the study focus has been amended, it remains vague and focused largely on existing research,” he wrote in his veto letter.

The remaining projects are the recommendations of the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. The Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund account was approved by voters in 1988 and must be spent for the purpose of “protection, conservation, preservation and enhancement of the state’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife and other natural resources.”

Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Ellen Anderson (DFL-St. Paul) sponsor the law, which will pay for several state park improvements, in addition to acquiring land purchased on behalf of the Department of Natural Resources.

The law also will provide for new scientific and natural areas; combating aquatic and terrestrial invasive species; and for renewable energy research, development and education projects, including several environmental learning centers.

A combination of projects to train teachers and educate students about the environment will also be funded, such as Project Get Outdoors operated by the DNR and Get Outside-Urban Woodland for Kids outdoor classroom at Como Regional Park in St. Paul.

The new law has various effective dates.

HF2624*/ SF2462/CH362

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