The Senate Finance Committee hewed to the recommendations of the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, which earlier winnowed the original 192 proposals down to 71 projects.
The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) agreed on Wednesday to recommend $28.9 million worth of environmental projects to the state Legislature. The projects range from addressing the decline of bee colonies in the state to investigating the damage to Minnesota loons caused by the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
In all, the LCCMR received 192 proposals that totaled approximately $111.5 million. The LCCMR, which will have a total of $29.6 million at its disposal from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, is scheduled to make its funding recommendations to the 2014 Legislature at its meetings next Tuesday and Wednesday.
Minnesota Republicans started the 2011 session having conquered titans. In the Legislature, GOP lawmakers had made a historic 54-seat gain in the House and Senate that fall, a swing that handed them majorities in both chambers for the first time in 38 years.
Republican legislative leaders’ aborted move to fire the veteran lead staffer on an environmental funding commission is still mired in mystery and fueling controversy.
Susan Thornton has reportedly been fired as director of the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. A House GOP spokesman says she is still employed at the Legislature. Thornton's attorney questions if she can be fired without a vote from the LCCMR members.
Environmental and conservation groups harbor growing doubts about the constitutional soundness of state lawmakers’ use of so-called Legacy dedicated funds for outdoors and cultural projects.
Amid the flurry of big-ticket budget bills and spreadsheets that have overtaken the Capitol in the past week, the comparatively puny environmental budget bills moving through the Legislature have attracted little attention in most quarters.
Rep. Denny McNamara plans to take an axe to a swath of proposed environmental projects that are paid for with Minnesota Lottery money.
Sen. Ellen Anderson is disappointed about being passed over in her bid to be reappointed to the Minnesota Legislative-Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources.
A House and Senate conference committee this evening reconciled their differences over funding for land acquisition paid for by proceeds from the Minnesota Lottery.
Two conference committees that are debating bills that spend dedicated funding on environmental projects are at loggerheads.
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