We’ve got good news and bad news for the Greater Minnesota Parks & Trails-sponsored legislation seeking additional funds for two important local parks and trails grant programs: the Outdoor Recreation Grant Program and the Local Trails Connection Program.
The bill passed by the House and Senate, H.F. 888, included $1 million ($500,000 each, spread over two years) to these programs. However, Governor Dayton vetoed the bill for unrelated reasons. Now we need your help! Email or call the conference committee members as soon as possible and ask them to include the appropriation of funding for these grant programs in the final environmental finance bill.
Conference Committee members are:
- Rep. Dan Fabian (R-Roseau): firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-296-9635 or 888-727-0979
- Rep. Josh Heintzeman (R-Nisswa): email@example.com, 651-296-4333
- Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R-Ghent): firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-296-5374 or 888-234-1242
- Rep. Mark Uglem (R-Champlin): email@example.com, 651-296-5513
- Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL-International Falls): firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-296-2190
- Sen. Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria): email@example.com, 651-297-8063
- Sen. Carrie Ruud (R-Breezy Point): firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-296-4913
- Sen. Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake): email@example.com, 651-296-3826
- Sen. Andrew Mathews (R-Milaca): firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-296-8075
- Sen. David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm): email@example.com, 651-296-8017
To email all 10 committee members at once, click here.
Here are some points to convey:
- Thank you for including $1 million ($500,000 each) in funding for the Outdoor Recreation Grant Program and Local Trails Connection Program in the recently-vetoed environmental bill. Please included this amount in the final bill.
- The Outdoor Recreation and Local Trail Connection grant programs provide matching funds to cities and counties across the state that aren’t covered by Legacy funding. It is the only state grant program available for many Greater Minnesota projects.
- Funding for these grant programs is running low and demand is high.
- [Provide specific examples of how these programs have benefited or could benefit your community by mentioning past funding you have received or a project you’d like to propose]
If you have any questions, please contact Greater Minnesota Parks and Trails lobbyist Elizabeth Wefel at firstname.lastname@example.org.