skip to Main Content

Legislative Update

A month into session, the activity is gaining speed. This session, GMPT has several priorities:

  • Funding for local parks and trails grants — There are several grant programs that provide funding to parks and trails that are not eligible for Legacy funds. We have made securing funding for these programs a top priority.

The LCCMR recommended $4.791 million for these programs as well as funding for several GMPT member projects. This legislation (SF 3507/HF 3377) is working its way through the Legislature and should be on the floor of both bodies soon. The GMPT submitted letters of support and is actively monitoring progress.

We have also introduced legislation that would fund these same programs out of bonding proceeds (SF 3941/HF 4112). Senators Liz Boldon (DFL-Rochester) and Grant Hauschild (DFL-Hermantown) are taking the lead in the Senate, and Representatives Jeff Brand (DFL-St. Peter), Luke Frederick (DFL-Mankato), Kim Hicks (DFL-Rochester), and Kristi Pursell (DFL-Northfield) are lead authors in the House. If these are your legislators, please thank them. If your legislators are not on this list, please ask them to support the bill and add their names as a co-authors.

  • Legacy funds and extensions — We are also working with the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) on legislation regarding Legacy funding. The bills (SF 3911/HF 4434) will do two things. First, with the state budget forecast showing that the state will be taking in more tax revenue than anticipated, this legislation would divide up and appropriate the additional Legacy money under the current formula. Second, it will also extend the availability of Legacy funding on a number of member projects.
  • Problematic legislation — There are a number of bills we are monitoring for their impact on parks and trails, including legislation (HF 3900/SF 3949) that would create a preferential list for where high-voltage transmission lines will be sited, with underneath recreational trails at the top of that list. We have been working with the author in an effort to remove the language about trails from the bill.

Stay tuned throughout the session for more updates and information on how you can participate! And don’t forget to join us for our Legislative Action Day on March 14. Click here to register.