Let the negotiations begin!

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The House and Senate each passed budget resolutions last week that support the priorities of President’s Obama’s budget, but it is important that the final resolution to come out of Congress look more like the House version, which will make it easier to invest in our Great Outdoors.

While both House and Senate budgets will improve Minnesota’s Great Outdoors, the House budget offers more opportunity to make significant investments in our lakes, rivers and streams and in renewable clean energy.  Hopefully, the negotiations for the final budget resolution will result in a budget that, like the House budget, recognizes the need for protecting our lakes, rivers, streams and Great Outdoors in order to build a prosperous and healthy future for all of us.

The House version allows for modest but important increases in domestic spending, which would permit expanded investments in cleaning up our lakes, rivers and streams and investing in renewable energy, as requested by the President. The Senate version would allow domestic spending to rise only 1 percent over inflation. Given a number of one-time spending costs, such as the 2010 decennial census, the Senate funding would allow little or no new investments in Minnesota’s Great Outdoors.

When Congress returns to Washington on April 20th, it will begin to negotiate the final budget resolution which will be a compromise between House and Senate versions. Hopefully, our delegation will fight to make the Great Outdoors a priority as Congress develops its budget.  In particular, our federal delegation can let the negotiators know that it is important for the final version of the budget resolution to include adequate funding for new investments in renewable energy and clean water.

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