About the Natural Resources Veto

To the editor

Last week Governor Dayton vetoed most of the GOP budget bills.  They all came to his desk with similar flaws;  they failed to use the budget surplus to invest in the future of Minnesota and they contained policy provisions that did not belong in budget bills, violating a provision of the state constitution that prohibits multiple bills being bundled into one larger package of bills.  It is instructive to read the governor’s veto letter, a portion of which is quoted below:
“Our environment and natural resources are central to our economy culture, and wellbeing.  House File 888 puts at risk core values that define our state’s identity of practical and common sense protections supported by efficient government programs that  guarantee a clean healthy environment where all Minnesotans can thrive.
In a time of surplus, and after years of implementing improvements to our permitting  and environmental review systems, this bill leaves a significant funding gap and makes unwarranted policy changes that would thwart the progress we have make together.  Ultimately this bill would lead to a significant reduction of environmental services and layoffs of public servants.
Without [the needed] funds services and facilities will be reduced.  Some state park campgrounds will be closed or their seasons shortened.  Fewer lakes will be stocked with fish.  DNR’s ability to coordinate and collaborate with lake associations and conservation clubs will be reduced.  The refusal to invest in Minnesota’s outdoor heritage is an affront to all who hunt, fish boatman use ATV’s and snowmobile.”
The Governor’s letter continues to detail additional cuts to environmental programs including an unwarranted raid on the Legacy Fund to pay for County Soil and Water administration expenses.  The Governor’s veto is not an obstructionist ploy as the Republicans have claimed, but an attempt to salvage the environmental and cultural legacy of Minnesota from the ravages of a slash and burn Republican budget.
John King
15125 County 38
Long Prairie, MN

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