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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Funding for the environment

A bunch of DFLers have gotten together to try to put more money into the state's environment, especially water. According to the article, funding for the environment has dropped from 2.2% of the state's budget to 1.2%. It is far easier to cut mostly invisible environmental programs than to make high-profile cuts to education and health care.

The DFL plan is to use money from the lottery to fund programs to clean up lakes and rivers. Since the lottery is supposed to be for improving the environment, this isn't a terrible idea. The Senate plan is to use general fund money and maybe a constitutional amendment, which I assume is a dedication of part of the sales tax or something. I tend not to like dedicated funds. Republicans apparently debated last year a fee structure but didn't pass anything.

Protecting our water needs to be a high priority, so I hope something is found to do this.

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