With broad bipartisan support, the Minnesota Senate on Tuesday, May 17, passed the annual Legacy Bill authored by Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, which funds the recommendations of the Lessard-Sams project.
This bill allocates $159 million to the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Fund to fund 42 high-priority conservation projects across the state.
An amendment has been added to the bill in the Senate that creates an extension for projects that have been delayed during the coronavirus pandemic. As amended, this legislation will give funded projects an extended time in which to use money previously allocated to them, a press release from the Senate Department of Republican Communications reported.
“The Legislature has faithfully adhered to the recommendations of the Outdoor Heritage Fund, and this bill continues that centuries-old tradition by focusing resources on preserving 80,000 acres of land and 129 miles of shoreline across our state,” Ruud said. in the press release. “I’m proud of our commitment to preserving our state’s incredible beauty, culture and resources for generations to come.”
In 2008, Minnesotans voted to amend the state Constitution to include the Clean Water, Land, and Inheritance Amendment (informally referred to as the Inheritance Amendment). This amendment allocated three-eighths of 1% of the sales tax to contribute to four funds that aim to protect sources of drinking water, restore and improve habitats throughout the state, preserve the arts and cultural heritage, support parks and trails, and protect and enhance lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater.