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Letter: Misuse of the legacy fund

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I applaud the West Central Tribune in its recent editorial on the misuse of legacy funds by the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton. I first learned about this tragic abuse of power by our elected officials in an article written by Doug Smith in the Star Tribune. His information was taken from Conservation Minnesota.org. Please take time to read the full report. In regard to dedicated funds, the Minnesota Legislature has broken the people's trust.

I emailed Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, Sen. Joe Gimse and Rep. Bruce Vogel about the legacy fund. Ingebrigtsen flatly denied shifting legacy funds to backfill programs and general funds cut during the last legislative session. Gimse did not even answer my direct question but provided a mere smokescreen. Vogel has yet to answer two emails sent directly to him.

After reading a glowing letter to the editor in the West Central Tribune about Vogel's wonderful email updates to constituents, I am somewhat skeptical he even reads his constituents' email. It has been a month since my two emails were sent to him.

The Legacy Fund Amendment was established in 2008 to enhance, not replace, general funding for Minnesota programs and departments. The past decade has been one of funding cuts for all conservation programs and departments by the Legislature. It seems our elected officials misinterpret the way the amendment was written. Any way you read it, it is a dedicated fund not to be used to replace general funds.

There has been rumor that the present Legislature would like to dissolve the citizen advisory board to the legacy fund and assume total control of it. Wouldn't that be like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse?

If you support the legacy amendment as it is written, not how the politicians are interpreting it, hold them accountable and say it at the polls this November, no matter what your political persuasion.

Mike Botzek

Willmar

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