Today was the formative meeting of the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). This group is the current compromise rising out of the last legislative session charged with spending money from the Environmental Trust Fund (which I believe currently only receives money from lottery sales). Some folks think only citizens should by the ones allocating this money; legislators, who have final say over the spending, have never been to keen to that idea though. So now we have the LCCMR consisting of seven citizens, five State Representatives, and five State Senators. There is approximately $22 million to be spent in the next 8 months.
Some might say that an Executive Order issued by Governor Pawlenty a couple of weeks ago is yet another attempt to create a process that relies solely on citizens and excludes legislators from allocating Environmental Trust Fund dollars, but whether or not that is true is perhaps better left to a future discussion.
Using a trained facilitator, today’s meeting began with efforts to introduce everyone to each other; laying out individuals’ goals for the commission (and for deliverable results); working on the organization of the commission; and conducting a bit of business.
During the meeting, the commission broke into three subgroups to work on the issues of:
- Organization and procedures of the LCCMR – they proposed having three co-chairs (one House, one Senate, one Citizen) and three co-chairs (who would be of the opposite political persuasion as their respective corresponding chair), all of whom would comprise an executive committee. They will elect these positions at the next meeting.
- Fall 2006 activities to accomplish – timelines, strategic plans, and RFPs are in the works. An RFP will be released somewhere in the neighborhood of October 15.
- Creating a Request for Proposals (RFP) to spend the $300,000 allocated during the last legislative session to create a “Statewide Conservation and Preservation Plan” (as an aside, some people during the last session were assuming that this money would likely go to the Campaign for Conservation – I think these people are pretty smart people, though there was a good discussion during today’s meeting about how to encourage an open process). A draft RFP was distributed and a new version will be presented to the group at the next meeting.
There will be a posting coming in the nearer future that provides more information about who comprises the members of the LCCMR – particularly the citizens. In the mean time, the names of these folks are:
- Lyndon Carlson (DFL, Crystal)
- Pete Nelson (R, Chisago County)
- Dennis Ozment (R, Rosemont)
- Kathy Tinglestad (R, Andover)
- Jean Wagenius (DFL, Minneapolis)
- Ellen Anderson (DFL, St. Paul)
- Satveer Chaudhary (DFL, Brooklyn Park)
- Dennis Frederickson (R, New Ulm)
- Pat Pariseau (R, Farmington)
- Dallas Sams (DFL, Staples)
- Al Berner (Good Thunder)
- Jeff Broberg (St. Charles)
- Nancy Gibson (St. Louis Park)
- David Hartwell (Minneapolis)
- John Herman (Scandia)
- John Hunt (Big Lake)
- Mary Mueller (Winthrop)
The next LCCMR meeting will be September 6. Subgroup discussions will start at 12:30 and the group as a whole will meet at 2 p.m.