Every year, GMPT reviews its legislative policies and adopts its agenda for the upcoming year. The legislative policies are a set of principles that guide our legislative efforts and help us respond to unanticipated challenges and opportunities. It remains largely static. The agenda defines what we hope to focus on each year. Our membership reviewed and voted on the agenda at the membership meeting earlier this month. You can see the 2022 legislative policies and agenda here.
GMPT made a minor amendment to the legislative policies to clarify that the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission will take steps to promote equitable geographic distribution of designation and grants. The previous language suggested the commission could “ensure” there would be wide geographic distribution. The new language recognizes that the commission will continue to engage in creative strategies to promote designations throughout the state, but it cannot ensure that applications will come forward from all areas. Here is the revised and adopted language:
The GMPT urges the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission to take steps to promote applications for designation of regional parks and trails and grant proposals to achieve an equitable statewide distribution. Such distribution may take more than one legislative cycle to occur.
GMPT also adopted three items for the agenda:
- GMPT supports general fund money to pay for operating costs of the commission. Although 2022 is not a budget year, we believe it is important to begin laying the groundwork on this issue for the next budget cycle.
- GMPT supports passage of a Legislative-Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) bill that includes funding for local parks and trails grants programs, as well as selected local and regional park and trail projects. Unfortunately, it appears that as in 2021, the LCCMR may be heading into the legislative session without an approved package of recommendations. We want to lend the GMPT’s voice to the effort to pass a bill that includes support for parks and trails.
- GMPT supports passage of a bonding bill with funding for the DNR’s grant programs as well as funding for specific projects.
During the discussion about the legislative agenda, a question was raised about whether GMPT could do more to help address the growing spread of invasive plants that are threatening native plantings in our parks and natural areas throughout the state. Because this is not an area that the GMPT has worked on before, the topic was deferred to the GMPT board to further consider whether and how the GMPT could make its voice heard on this topic.
If you have any questions on the legislative policies or agenda, please contact our lobbyist Elizabeth Wefel at email@example.com.