Every year, we hear the same cry from the spending crowd about our terrible water conditions and every year the duped citizens jump on board for another sack full of money to fix the problem. I’m guessing that a lot of states have the same situation as Minnesota does. Here are some facts to consider the next time Minnesota politicians post pictures of dead fish and water bottles floating in the water and holding their hands out for more money. (Insert picture of Native American with a tear running down his face.)
Since 1972, after having had $850,200,000 to fix our water problems, we get this from our Governor:
“Last year the condition of Minnesota’s fresh water was laid bare after pollution experts revealed the toll intensive farming was having on Minnesota’s lakes, rivers and groundwater.
And the high-profile contamination of water supplies that led to lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan, this month thrust the issue of water safety into the national conversation.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton presented a plan to tackle these problems in 2016.
The governor wants to spend $220 million from his upcoming jobs bonding bill on upgrading and protecting Minnesota’s freshwater supplies, according to a press release.”
History of Clean Water funding in Minnesota
2008 Lessard Clean Water, Land and Legacy Act ammended to Minnesota Constitution
The Post-Bulletin March 14, 2009
The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment adds more than $300 million per year in revenue by increasing our state sales tax 3/8 of 1 percent.
The proceeds of this additional sales tax are to be divided among the following areas:
- 33 percent for water quality
- 33 percent for wildlife
- 19.75 percent for arts funding
- 14.25 percent for parks.
From 2008 – 2016 Clean Water Projects received approx. $800,000,000 from this program alone.
Clean Water Legacy Act of 2006
Governor Pawlenty signed the Clean Water Legacy Act into law on June 2nd, 2006. The CWLA provides a new operational framework, tools and first-year start-up funding that will help ensure Minnesota’s famed legacy of clean water passes intact to future generations. Enactment of this law places Minnesota in a position of national leadership in developing a collaborative and innovative approach towards implementing the Clean Water Act. $24.5 million was appropriated
Federal Clean Water Act 1972 Appropriations to the States.
SEC. 106 [33 U.S.C. 1256] Grants for Pollution Control Programs
(a) There are hereby authorized to be appropriated the following sums, to remain available until expended, to carry out the purposes of this section–
(1) $60,000,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1973; and
(2) $75,000,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1974, and the fiscal year ending June 30, 1975
$100,000,000 per fiscal year for the fiscal years 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980 $75,000,000 per fiscal year for the final years 1981 and 1982
Such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 1983 through 1985 (What?)
$75,000,000 per fiscal year for each of the fiscal years 1986 through 1990; for grants to States and to interstate agencies to assist them in administering programs for the prevention, reduction, and elimination of pollution, including enforcement directly or through appropriate State law enforcement officers or agencies.
[106(a)(2) amended by PL 96-483; PL 100-4]
That comes to 1.285 billion dollars nationally or 25.7 million dollars for each state to be used in the course of 17 years.
$850 million dollars to fix one problem and our Governor wants $220 million more added onto the annual $300 million we get every year from the Lessard Act to tackle the same issue. Just a wild guess on my part, but if you or I were that inept at correcting problems in our workplace while draining the revenue stream so we could keep trying, we would probably be holding a cardboard sign on the street corner sooner than later.