Describing the hundreds of projects funded annually by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) summarized, “Your lottery dollars work for Minnesotans.”
Hansen sponsors HF3377, approved by the House Ways and Means Committee Monday and sent to the House Floor. It would appropriate $79.6 million from the fund for projects recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.
Coming from state lottery proceeds, the money would go to a variety of projects and institutions such as the Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Zoo and the Bell Museum. Examples of research projects that would receive funding are grants to study the status of bats after white nose disease, model trumpeter swan populations and assessing prairie health regarding pollinator conservation.
Hansen noted one of the larger appropriations would be $7 million to University of Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center, which he said is recognized worldwide. He added the bill would also fund projects related to microplastics, PFAS, pollinators, bison, and state parks.