Tracking the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment

We Minnesotans do things a little differently, and the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment is no exception. For ye non-Minnesotans among EBG’s gentle readers, it’s an amendment to the Minnesota state constitution (insert vaguely muffled/strangled noises of protest about WTF popular votes are doing with their sticky hands in the Constitution, panicky exclamations about asinine propositions royally confusing matters in California, etc.) that raises sales tax 3/8 of one percent to dedicate funding to environmental and arts groups.

It passed by popular vote in November, and the resulting finance bill passed the House and Senate this month after much deliberation about how to spend the money. On May 18, T-Paw (that’d be the governor McCain probably wishes he’d picked as his running mate) signed the Omnibus Cultural and Outdoor Resources Finance Bill, which implements the amendment. The sales tax increase goes into effect in July, and $300 million in projects has already been approved by a state Senate committee.

Casey Selix of MinnPost has been tracking the amendment:

5/23 Pawlenty uses line-item veto sparingly on finance bill for cultural and outdoor resources

5/20 Water, land and legacy funding gives Minnesota new bragging rights

5/18 As money flows from Legacy Amendment, Minnesotans will see new jobs

5/7 What qualifies as Minnesota’s ‘cultural heritage’?

 

As have Stephanie Hemphill and Tim Nelson of MPR:

5/18 House, Senate approve outdoors and arts program

5/15 Lawmakers at standstill over outdoors, arts money

4/29 $300 million in environmental projects closer to reality

I promise – no political rants – but I think it’s important to watch how this one pans out, for better or for worse.

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