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Legislative Citizens Commision Mn. Nat. Resources - - - 8 messages. Showing 1 through 8.
CrappieKeith
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Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 10:22 AM 06/06/06 (CST)
New strategy and a new name: LCCMR

Thursday, June 1, 2006 1:39 PM EDT




By Joe Albert Staff Writer

St. Paul — Change is afoot for the way conservation projects in the state are funded.

In one of their final orders of business, lawmakers passed legislation to retool and rename the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources.

“I think it’s history-making,” said Dave Zentner, who co-chaired the task force charged by last year’s Legislature with recommending items for reform. “We’ve got a strategic plan, we are going to make it clear that we are going to reduce the politics and the pork barreling.”




The new Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources will include seven citizens and 10 legislators. The LCMR was made up of 20 legislators, and spent about $37 million a biennium from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty in October of 2004 proposed the dismantling of the LCMR and sought to have its spending and policy decisions given to a citizens panel.

The Legislature in 2005 balked at the proposal, instead calling for a task force to study the idea.

While legislators still will be part of the LCCMR, Pawlenty is pleased with the outcome, said Bob Schroeder, Pawlenty’s deputy chief of staff.

“This is a very workable compromise that I think will serve citizens and the process very well,” he said.

Legislators largely accepted the LCCMR model the task force proposed, Zentner said.

Details of the LCCMR include:


17 members: five legislators from the House, five from the Senate, and seven citizen experts. The governor will appoint five of the citizens, while the House and Senate each will appoint one.


Each year, the commission will recommend a funding bill for various projects. Approval of the bill requires affirmative votes from at least 12 members.

That ensures legislators can’t vote together and pass a bill the citizens don’t agree with.

“There’s a lot of citizen power,” Zentner said.


The commission will adopt a strategic plan for making trust fund expenditures, including identifying priority areas for funding for the next six years. The plan must be reviewed every two years.

“There is going to be more discipline, more focus,” Zentner said.

Pawlenty’s office also is proposing that an outside firm be hired to help with the strategic plan, he said.


While the grant proposal period was reduced from two years to one, another pot of money also will be available to respond to opportunities and threats that come up, Zentner said.


Former LCMR staff, including John Velin, director, and Susan Thornton, assistant director, will remain on the LCCMR administrative staff.

Zentner also sought term limits for members of the LCCMR, and to have the legislators on the commission, like the citizens, be experts in natural resources.

“The bar is now held higher for citizens,” he said.

Qualified citizens currently are being sought to serve on the LCCMR. Applications are being accepted through the Secretary of State’s office, and will be taken through the end of June. The governor’s office will screen the applicants and make a decision by about mid-July, Schroeder said.


Do you think this will make it better for us??????????????







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sportsnut218
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Daily Subscription Msg 2 Posted: 02:57 PM 06/06/06 (CST)
I don't think **ANY** members of the legislature should be part of the group. There should at least be more regular citizens than state congressmen. If they're going to have 10 congressmen/women on the board then it should be split 5 democrat 5 republicans, considering 12 votes are needed for something to be approved by the group.

While I don't think this should be a partisan issue, obviously it will be because of the 10 congresspersons(ok.. which word is right?) The one thing I'd be wary of, is how the citizens are selected. How many tree huggers get to be on the board??? laugh smiley



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CrappieKeith
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Joined 03/27/2006
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Daily Subscription Msg 3 Posted: 08:54 AM 06/07/06 (CST)
I think anytime you get us humans envolved it turns into F.U.B.A.R.!
As long as the $ gets spent on what they are intended for then great.It's too bad most of the folk will be from the metro.What about outstate concerns.
It would be great if they had an online forum to let us chime in on a regular basis. They could keep the pulse of Minnesotans in their cognitive thinking.
I guess we will see.
I think we sportman need to get some backbone.I know all of us have an opinon here,but where is it?
If you can not post your opinon here than how will you go the proper person whom is in charge of these issues & explain your concerns.
I do not want to point fingers,but it's not whinning to talk about an issue.




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CrappieKeith
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Joined 03/27/2006
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Daily Subscription Msg 4 Posted: 10:34 AM 06/19/06 (CST)
Citizens to be tapped for councils, input http://www.lccweb.commissions.leg.state.mn.us/lcmr/LCMRInputForm06.asp

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 12:31 PM EDT




By Joe Albert Staff Writer

St. Paul - The commission responsible for spending money for environment and conservation projects wants to know what you think.

The Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources on its website is seeking input about how the $22 million per year from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund should be spent.

At the same time, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and legislative leaders are in the process of appointing lawmakers and citizens to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, a 17-member board that will take the place of the current LCMR.




Pawlenty also is in the process of looking for members to serve on the Clean Water Council, created to oversee money spent on the Clean Water Legacy Act.

'We're just in the early stages of getting organized,' said Laura Bordelon, of Pawlenty's office.

While citizen participation on the councils will necessarily be limited, the LCMR is seeking as much input as possible, said John Velin, LCMR director.

The public input form was posted on the LCMR website in May, and already about 475 people have responded with their views of how trust fund money should be spent.

'We've done this a couple of times in the past and have really received a large number of responses, and very thoughtful responses, from a wide range of people all across the state,' Velin said.

The web input form is in addition to townhall-type meetings the LCMR holds from time to time. However, those often aren't well attended - some have had eight or 10 people in attendance to speak on one topic, others have one or two total, Velin said.

He stressed the input form is neither a survey nor a decision-making tool, but is used to better inform commission members and broaden their knowledge, or make them aware of, various issues around the state.

'(By having a broad range of input) You make it harder for people; they have to work hard at making these decisions,' Velin said. 'The better they are informed, the better their decisions will be made.'

The input form is available at www.lcmr.leg.mn/lcmr.htm.

LCCMR appointments

The application period has opened for citizens who want to be a part of the LCCMR.

The Secretary of State's office is collecting applications until June 27. Meanwhile, Pawlenty's office is setting up a citizen selection committee to create a pool of potential LCCMR citizen members.

Pawlenty will appoint five citizens to the commission; the House and Senate each will appoint one. Pawlenty's office has said it plans to make its citizen appointments by the middle of July.

Legislators will have 10 seats on the LCCMR, and those appointments also will be made this summer.

The 17-member commission will be made up of seven citizens and 10 legislators - five from the House and five from the Senate. There also will be a split between majority and minority party members.

'That's going to force people to take the partisan hat off,' Velin said.

Clean Water Council

Pawlenty also is responsible for appointing 19 members to the council that will advise on spending related to the Clean Water Legacy Act.

Heads of the Department of Agriculture, Pollution Control Agency, DNR, and Board of Water and Soil Resources also will appoint one non-voting member from their respective agency.

The application period for the Clean Water Council will start in the near future.

Pawlenty's appointments will include representatives from, or interests representing: two from farm organizations; two from business organizations; two from environmental organizations; one from soil and water conservation districts; one from nonprofit organizations focused on improvement of lakes or streams; two from county governments (one urban, one rural); two from organizations of city governments; one from the Met Council; one from tribal governments; one from hunting organizations; one from the University of Minnesota or another state colleges; and one from a fishing organization.



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CrappieKeith
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Daily Subscription Msg 5 Posted: 01:20 PM 06/21/06 (CST)
bump



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CrappieKeith
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Joined 03/27/2006
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Daily Subscription Msg 6 Posted: 11:56 AM 06/23/06 (CST)
I just did a google search & this thread came up #4 on the 1st page.
Another free link yahoo,ooops google.



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PierBridge
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Daily Subscription Msg 7 Posted: 05:19 PM 06/28/06 (CST)
Thanks for keeping us posted CK.


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CrappieKeith
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Joined 03/27/2006
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Daily Subscription Msg 8 Posted: 11:06 AM 06/30/06 (CST)

Hopes for dedicated funding for environment are not extinct
Monday, June 19, 2006





Pioneer Press by Chris Niskanen

When politics and conservation have a head-on collision, conservation usually will lose, especially in an election year.

It doesn't always have to happen that way, and someday, a proposal to dedicate a portion of the state's sales tax probably will pass the Legislature on the worthy merits of improving our state's natural resources. Eventually, something will be done to clean our waters and protect our remaining wetlands.

But Minnesota conservationists are still smarting after Senate leaders refused to offer a compromise to a House proposal to a ballot measure asking voters to dedicate a portion of the state's sales tax for natural resources.

Talks collapsed June 8 after Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson, DFL-Willmar, refused to offer a counterproprosal to the House's offer to increase the sales tax for natural resources, a significant offer from Republicans who, until then, had refused to budge on the issue.

Johnson offered several explanations for balking. He said the Senate didn't have the stomach for a special session, and the House's version wouldn't have raised enough money for clean water and natural resources. He also blamed the House for not including parks, trails and arts and culture in its proposal.

But in recent interviews, Johnson has revealed he also worried about additional "mischief" that would have come from a special session, alluding to the possibility gay marriage and other untenable issues for Democrats would have been raised during the special session.

So, politics trumped conservation — again.

Conservation leaders have scheduled a July 7 meeting among themselves not only to vent their frustration but also to discuss the future of dedicated funding and their future strategy.

"We will be back. This issue will not go away,'' said Lance Ness of the Fish and Wildlife Legislative Alliance, who helped spearhead the effort in the Legislature.

Rather than buckling, the conservation community is — and should be — ready for the next effort to get dedicated funding passed.

There's talk about asking Gov. Tim Pawlenty to appoint a special commission to study the entire concept of dedicated funding for natural resources. It's a good idea. Lawmakers and conservation leaders and business leaders should be appointed to this task force to examine what's needed financially to patch the holes in our environmental funding.

Such discussions should reveal the truth about parks, trails and arts funding — that their needs are not as great as the needs of our disappearing wetlands, grasslands and forests. Honestly, nobody is discussing paving over Minnesota Public Radio or plowing up our state parks and turning them into cornfields for ethanol plants or turning Como Zoo into a housing development.

A dedicated-funding task force should address the narrow concerns of our disappearing natural resources and come up with a funding formula that would pass muster with the Legislature.

The arts, parks and trails funding needs to be dropped from dedicated funding, and the real needs of our environment addressed.

Moreover, many lawmakers who support dedicated funding, who to this point have sat on the sidelines of the debate, need to step forward and help carry the ball. Conservation leaders are aiming to increase their number of supporters in the Legislature and, privately, some lawmakers are ready to help dedicated funding where other lawmakers have failed.

And what about a campaign to "throw the bums out"? Yes, hunters, anglers and anyone with a conservation bent should look their candidates squarely in the eye this fall and ask, "Do you support dedicated funding?"

That said, any campaign by conservation groups to lobby against individual candidates would be unwise. We need more friends, not more enemies. After the election, conservationists should consider gathering a bipartisan group of lawmakers who support dedicated funding.

The conservation community has learned the bitter lesson of politics — promises are made to be broken. Two consecutive Ducks, Wetlands and Clean Water rallies have taught conservationists to eye political speeches with wariness and suspicion. But those same rallies have brought together hunters, anglers and conservation folks from all corners of the state to listen and discuss their desires for wildlife habitat, clean water and wetlands.

This new conservation movement is still young in Minnesota, but it's being tested. It won't go away, nor do its leaders plan to give up.

"I think the coalition is still strong, and we're talking about making it even stronger," Ness said.

I agree & here is a good place to become involved. C/K






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Legislative Citizens Commision Mn. Nat. Resources - - - 8 messages. Showing 1 through 8.
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