Groups Target Legacy Amendment

Some conservative groups want to remove the legacy amendment from the Minnesota Constitution.

Voters passed the amendment in 2008 to slightly increase the state sales tax, providing funding for outdoors, clean water, arts, heritage and cultural programs. It is to last 25 years and give funding not otherwise provided by the Legislature.

“This amendment should be repealed because it violates principles of government, is a political slush fund and unfairly targets our poorest citizens who need their money more than they need the elite uses to which the $250 million per year raised by the tax are put,” said Andy Cilek, president of the Minnesota Voters Alliance, which is working with North Star Tea Party Patriots and the Northern Liberty Alliance of Duluth.

A new constitutional amendment must be adopted to get rid of the old one. The soonest it could go in front of voters is November of 2012, and then only if the House and Senate approve it next year.

Legacy funding is controversial, so much so that time ran out in this year’s legislative session before a bill appropriating legacy money could be approved.