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Legislators find it hard to give away all that Legacy money

If only the rest of the state budget was like this.
Some legislators are saying it’s hard work giving away all the Legacy funds that accumulate each year thanks to the 3/8ths of a cent sales tax that voters approved in 2008.
The constitutional ame

If only the rest of the state budget was like this.

Some legislators are saying it’s hard work giving away all the Legacy funds that accumulate each year thanks to the 3/8ths of a cent sales tax that voters approved in 2008.

The constitutional amendment distributes the tax money to four funds:

  • 33 percent to the clean water fund;
  • 33 percent to the outdoor heritage fund;
  • 19.75 percent to the arts and cultural heritage fund;
  • 14.25 percent to the parks and trails fund.

At a Tuesday meeting of the House Legacy Funding Division, the chairman, Rep. Dean Urdahl, a Republican from Grove City, said it’s not easy parceling out the funds.

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“I suppose it’s easier than cutting money,” he said, reports the House Public Information Services.

The arts and cultural heritage fund has $50 million available, $2 million more than last year, but there are $90 million in requests. Urdahl said he hopes to maintain or to slightly increase funding for ongoing projects and to add a few new ones, the story said.

Even trickier is distributing the parks and trail fund between state parks, metro parks and state trails.

Urdahl would like to increase the amount allocated to regional parks.

“The people in Greater Minnesota think they should have more, and the people in the metropolitan area think they should have more. Both have their good reasons, but I’m trying to strike a middle ground,” he said. “And if no one’s happy, maybe I’m doing my job.”

Gov. Dayton has recommended a smaller amount for regional parks.