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Clean Water Amendment?

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Have not seen much discussion (or completely missed it) on the proposed constitutional amendment coming up for vote on election day - clean water, environmental, and arts I believe. Anyone know much about it - what's the thinking on it?

If I understand it correctly I have a couple of issues - why is the "arts" always lumped with the outdoors? and while the goals are admirable, why do we need an amendment? Seems to take the power of the vote out of our hands to vote about individual proposals in favor of a blanket tax (ie. permanent levy if you will). Finally - once in it will never go away...

Have I missed the boat completely on this one? What's everyone thinking on this one?

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When you see arts mentioned in the bill it is actually refering to cultural/historical heritage as well. Meaning landmarks and historical sites like fort snelling and places like it will be getting funding through the arts portion of this bill. Perhaps a few actual arts programs or venues may be given some money but the majority is for the environemnt and cultural/historical causes.

I think alot of people are scared off by the arts getting money but the bill is not designed to be used to fund the Guthrie, Art Institute or Interpretive Dance classes.

I believe 80% is going to the outdoors/environment and 20% is going to the cultural/historical heritage/arts stuff.

I don't mind historic sites getting funding as these are parts of our past and should be protected. I know in St. Paul a lot of historic sites have had to close or reduce operating hours becuase they can't afford to stay open. I'm sure its the same all over the state. I'll agree that I don't want alot of money going to interprative dance or a mime school but you have to give a little to get a lot sometimes.

I'll be voting yes as the financial impacts to myself will be to small to notice. Hopefully it passes but I worry it came to a vote at a very bad time. I fear most will not vote to increase sales tax at a time like this.

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nofish -

I guess I am going to vote "No" on this one, not because I don't agree with the idea of funding for clean water/environment but because I don't like the vehicle it is using to be enacted. This feels too much like "here's a ton of money, do whatever you think is best" without the slightest idea of what programs/initiatives/actions are planned or will be planned to fix the problem. I would rather vote on funding for a specific agenda/plan than sign my name to a check without knowing much more but that is just me.

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Although I support the aims of the bill I'm not a fan of using the ballot initiative/consitutional ammendment process to dedicate funding for this. The normal budget process is the place for these activities to be funded. They need to fight it out with all of the other good activities looking to be funded.

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I think your sentiment is shared by many including me. I wish we could vote on each issue individually (clean water, habitat protection, historic site preservation, etc.) however I don't think that is realistic to expect. Its never happened before so I don't expect it to ever happen on any issue.

I do worry about accountability when spending the money. I have put thought into that but I still feel like this is about as good as we are going to get so its either a take it or leave it kind of a deal. If it doesn't pass this time around I doubt it will come back anytime soon with any significant changes.

I'm not thrilled by it entirely but sooner or later we have to decide if this is the best deal we are going to get. Its baiscally like barganing for a new car. You want the car but you have to common to agreement on price, its never as low as you want, and its never has high as the seller wants but a deal can still be struck.

Like I said I will vote yes and I will hope they money is spent as wisely as possible.

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Quote:
Although I support the aims of the bill I'm not a fan of using the ballot initiative/consitutional ammendment process to dedicate funding for this. The normal budget process is the place for these activities to be funded. They need to fight it out with all of the other good activities looking to be funded.

Precisely.

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I'm with nofish! the DNR always gets the short end of money,its too often used elsewhere through a gen fund.More public lands,help cleaning our waters,and hopefully some initiative to improve shore (private) management.

I use hopefully,but I am willing to invest a small amount through tax to procede!

I probably give more to helpful causes,which in turn most likly just supports the staffs payroll.

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I think your sentiment is shared by many including me. I wish we could vote on each issue individually (clean water, habitat protection, historic site preservation, etc.) however I don't think that is realistic to expect. Its never happened before so I don't expect it to ever happen on any issue.

I do worry about accountability when spending the money. I have put thought into that but I still feel like this is about as good as we are going to get so its either a take it or leave it kind of a deal. If it doesn't pass this time around I doubt it will come back anytime soon with any significant changes.

I'm not thrilled by it entirely but sooner or later we have to decide if this is the best deal we are going to get. Its baiscally like barganing for a new car. You want the car but you have to common to agreement on price, its never as low as you want, and its never has high as the seller wants but a deal can still be struck.

Like I said I will vote yes and I will hope they money is spent as wisely as possible.

If we keep voting it down there will be no choice but to come up with a better solution. Don't just give up and vote for a bad deal just because it is the only deal offered AT THIS TIME.

Just like you said about buying the used car only you have to be able to walk away from a bad deal. There will always be another car to buy, don't just buy the first one that comes along.

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This one took 10 years and lots of outdoors people showing up on the capitol steps! It would'nt be in front of us if not for the proding!

It'll take years to see it again if voted down,The legislators we're FORCED By the Orange cap groups,Now they cant be forced again if it fails! They will just quote the voting results if it fails.Then its GONE

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"If we keep voting it down there will be no choice but to come up with a better solution."

Your kidding right?

Sure the third option is NO solution ever.

A vote against hunting & fishing will benefit hunting & fishing I love it. They have been voting against hunters & anglers for a decade. And there is NO other solution.

Maybe if they take our guns, plow all the habitat for ethanol, stock lakes with asian carp then increasingly non-hunting & non-fishing politicans will help us.

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The best solution is the one we already have. Have arts/heritage/outdoor funding be apart of the normal legislative process. If you have a project that the DNR should do then seek support from your representatives to press for it and then be prepared to fight for it in the legislature, just like every other project. If your project is worth it then you should be able to convince others to support it, if not then your project is not worthy enough. It’s not pretty and yes there is a bit (a lot) of horse-trading that goes on but the legislative process is the best one we’ve come up with yet. Water quality, fish stocking, hunting habitats, etc have to fight it out with employee salaries, welfare payments, tax increment financing, bonding bills, road construction, and the rest of the activities of the state. Be prepared to answer the question of what we should give up to fund your project? What road do you want to close to pay for your Bog Walk? The solution is to get involved with your elected representatives. You can’t just sit on your butt for 2 years and then drag it to the polling place and pretend that you’re involved. When was the last time you met with any of your representatives? When was the last time you attended one of your representatives’ town hall meetings? When was the last time your representatives had a town hall meeting for you to attend (hint: if they don’t have them then maybe you should vote the scoundrel out)? When was the last time you were involved with a campaign. When did you go out and ask the candidates for a candid response to your questions? When was the last time you stopped by one of your representatives offices and talk (my state house representative walks by my house once and awhile and I go out and talk)? It can be hard to contact your Federal representatives but state house and senate members are accessible and surprisingly responsive to voters. At the state level politics is very local, get involved.

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If only we had had such a group -- let's call them "elected representatives" -- they could have proposed said alternative legislation over the last 10 years!

“My state house representative walks by my house once and awhile and I go out and talk?”

Sounds like your politically involved. What’s legislation has her/she authored for hunting & fishing?

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Do we not have a Soil and Water Conservation District that is in charge of this exact thing????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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Quote:
I'm not convinced that another deal will ever come by.

What makes you think that? There will always be more deals. Some good some not so good. Be patient. Soon there will be a lot of new faces in the house and senate. That means new ideas. Don't let the scare tactics and commercials scare you into voting for something even you don't fully believe in.

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“Soon there will be a lot of new faces in the house and senate.”

Soon?

Minnesota Senators are not even up for election for 2 years. The Senate has a overwhelming majority dfl – gop 45 – 22.

Republicans NEVER controlled the Minnesota Senate in the 20th Century. And they lost seats in the last election some of the better ones are quitting.

The republicans lost control of the House last election by a huge margin. It will take at least 2-3 more election cycles for them get control back.

You need 34 votes in the Senate & what 68 votes in the House.

Since you have to the Senate concur if not lead, its simply not “politically feasible” to ever have a another version let alone a better version.

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I said "new" faces, not republican faces. This hopefully means new "ideas"

All this means nothing because by your own admission Republicans do not hold a majority in either legislative branch in this state, yet we have a constitutional amendment to vote for now. Why do you think there could not be another clean water bill to vote on next year, or the year after that? All I am saying is we don't need to rush into this. We have time to wait for GOOD legislation to be proposed.

“Soon there will be a lot of new faces in the house and senate.”

Soon?

Minnesota Senators are not even up for election for 2 years. The Senate has a overwhelming majority dfl – gop 45 – 22.

Republicans NEVER controlled the Minnesota Senate in the 20th Century. And they lost seats in the last election some of the better ones are quitting.

The republicans lost control of the House last election by a huge margin. It will take at least 2-3 more election cycles for them get control back.

You need 34 votes in the Senate & what 68 votes in the House.

Since you have to the Senate concur if not lead, its simply not “politically feasible” to ever have a another version let alone a better version.

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Sounds like your politically involved. What’s legislation has her/she authored for hunting & fishing?

Nothing as far as I can tell. He also doesn't like to hold meetings in his district, or represent us, or do anything to engage with the voters in his district. He does however enjoy being a parot for his party . You know party first, Americans be darned. That's why I'm actively working for his opponent. Our Senator on the other hand is actively involved in the district and solicites input from everyone in the district without regard to party affiliation. Exactly what a representative should do.

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It might take 10 more years. You willing to wait that long?

Just wondering:

Why would it take that long? The feds came up with a bailout package in less than 2 weeks and after that one failed they came up with another one and passed it less than a week later

And, What about our outdoors is in such a dire need right at this moment that we need to hurry-up and take the first thing that comes down the pike? If anything, most things look better than they did 20 years ago. What am I missing?

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well the current deal took 10 years to come around, what makes you think something will come around quicker.

What would it take for you to vote yes? You aren't going to get 50 seperate bills for each cause stated in the bill that you can vote on. You aren't going to get someone to give you an itemized list of exactly where the money will be spent before its even collected.

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"If we keep voting it down there will be no choice but to come up with a better solution."

Your kidding right?

Sure the third option is NO solution ever.

A vote against hunting & fishing will benefit hunting & fishing I love it. They have been voting against hunters & anglers for a decade. And there is NO other solution.

Maybe if they take our guns, plow all the habitat for ethanol, stock lakes with asian carp then increasingly non-hunting & non-fishing politicans will help us.

A NO vote is NOT a vote AGAINST hunting and fishing! It IS a vote AGAINST unnecessary tax increases.

Bob

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Exactly Bob.

I was very surprised to see the Star Tribune as well as the Pioneer Press endorse the NO vote on this one. Good for them. The see the slippery slope this would create if passed. If we're lucky a majority of the voting public feel the same way and vote NO Nov 4th.

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