The Minnesota Senate is set to raid our Clean Water Fund by taking $22 million away from drinking water protections, agriculture initiatives that clean water, and watershed restoration (SF-566). Our senators plan to spend those $22 million instead on administrative payments to local governments. Those payments should come from Minnesota’s general fund, as provided in Governor Dayton’s budget.

Already the House of Representatives has passed HF-586, which raids the Outdoor Heritage Fund to make Payments in Lieu of Taxes to local governments – again, payments that should come from the general fund. In addition, HF-586 contains a poison pill that would prohibit the Outdoor Heritage Fund from acquiring further lands to protect habitat, wildlife and water if courts find using Legacy Funds to provide property tax revenue to local governments unconstitutional.

In 2008 we Minnesotans voted to tax ourselves in order to supplement State funding for our water, land, habitat, parks and trails, and arts and cultural heritage.

This shell game of raiding Legacy Funds to pay for general fund items sets a rotten precedent that moves us backward and breaks faith with voters.

Let Sen. Jeremy Miller know that the Legacy Amendment raid needs to be stopped by calling 651-296-5649.

Bonita A. Underbakke,