Senate Floor Vote / May 11, 2017

SF550: Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund money appropriated (LCCMR)

In 1988, 77% of voters across Minnesota passed a constitutional amendment to use proceeds from the Minnesota State Lottery to establish the Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund. The Trust Fund is appropriated, “for the public purpose of protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife and other natural resources.” The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (“LCCMR”) makes final recommendations on how to spend the Trust Fund.

The LCCMR selected 69 projects totaling $59.1 million to recommend as the “LCCMR bill” to the 2017 Minnesota legislature.

A Senate committee deleted one recommended project entitled, “Analyzing Climate Data to Aid Local Planning Implementation Efforts” and inserted pollinator research funding for the University of Minnesota. In addition, two significant future spending recommendations not recommended by the LCCMR were inserted into the LCCMR bill. First, the committee recommended committing $20 million in future Trust Fund dollars to pay for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), and second, the committee recommended using the Trust Fund to loan small municipalities money (up to 25% of the Trust Fund balance) to build or repair wastewater treatment facilities. When the LCCMR bill reached the Senate floor the $20 million for CREP was amended to $10 million in future funding for CREP.

The Senate passed the LCCMR bill, as amended, with 42 “Yes” votes and 21 “No” votes meaning the Senate deletes the local planning related to climate data project, supported using $10 million of future Trust Fund spending for CREP, and using up to 25% of the Trust Fund balance to loan small municipalities money for wastewater treatment plants. The Senate’s LCCMR bill differed from the House’s LCCMR bill so the two bills went to Conference Committee to be reconciled.

What Would Happen?

A “Yes” vote means that the Senate deletes the local planning related to climate data project, considers $10 million in future Trust Fund spending for CREP, and using up to 25% of the Trust Fund balance to loan small municipalities money for wastewater treatment plants.

A “No” vote means the Senate does not pass the LCCMR as amended in committee, and on the Senate floor, and can then reconsider the deleted project and the newly amended spending commitments - $10 million for CREP and 25% for wastewater treatment plants.

How The Senate Voted

A “Yes” vote means that the Senate deletes the local planning related to climate data project, considers $10 million in future Trust Fund spending for CREP, and using up to 25% of the Trust Fund balance to loan small municipalities money for wastewater treatment plants.

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How The Senate Voted On This Issue

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