The Minnesota legislative session started last week.

The Minnesota Monitor reports on the Great Outdoors & Heritage Amendment, which would dedicate sales tax funding for environmental, arts and cultural programs.  The bill was discussed in the 2007 session, but not voted on.

On Valentine’s Day, the House and Senate both passed this bill, which asks voters to decide in November on a constitutional amendment to create a new 3/8 percent sales tax to protect drinking water sources, restore wildlife habitat, pay for parks and trails, and support arts and cultural programs around the state. The governor doesn’t need to sign the bill, so the decision is now in our hands instead of an elected official’s. In the coming months expect to start seeing advertising from arts, outdoors and environmental groups asking you to vote yes.

Let me be the first to tell you:  Vote Yes on 2285!

The percentage of the dedicated funding to be dedicated to arts and culture is 19.75, which will probably amount to $54.5 million a year.

Check on other bills pending related to Minnesota history museums at MAHLM’s legislative update page or the MHS’s page, or go straight to the source at the Minnesota House’s Heritage Finance Committee.