The LCCMR is made up of 17 members: 5 Senators, 5 Representatives, 5 citizens appointed by the governor, 1 citizen appointed by the Senate, and 1 citizen appointed by the House. The function of the LCCMR is to make funding recommendations to the legislature for special environment and natural resource projects, primarily from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF). These projects help maintain and enhance Minnesota's environment and natural resources. The LCCMR developed from a program initiated in 1963. Since 1963, approximately $999 million has been appropriated to more than 2,200 projects recommended to the legislature by the Commission to protect and enhance Minnesota's environment and natural resources.
In 1988, 77% of Minnesota voters approved a constitutional amendment establishing the ENRTF (Article XI, Sec. 14) - a constitutionally dedicated fund that originates from a combination of Minnesota State Lottery proceeds and investment income. The purpose of the ENRTF is to provide a long-term, consistent, and stable source of funding for activities that protect, conserve, preserve, and enhance Minnesota's "air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources" for the benefit of current citizens and future generations. Since 1991, the ENRTF has provided approximately $630 million to approximately 1,600 projects around the state.
The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) has issued its 2020 Request for Proposals (RFP) for funding from Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Approximately $61 million is available for projects that will provide multiple ecological and other public benefits. Again this year the RFP includes a category for projects under $200,000, especially from local units of government and non- profits, that aim to quickly and efficiently provide environment and natural resource benefits in Minnesota.
On May 24, 2019, the legislature adopted 65 LCCMR recommendations as recommended, provided additional funds to two recommendations and modified one other. They also added 14 additional appropriations, primarily using funds freed up ($2.94 million FY19; $7.84 million FY20) following the repeal of M.L. 2018, Chapter 214, Article 6, Section 4 appropriation bonds. On May 31, 2019, 82 appropriations were signed into law by the Governor as M.L. 2019, First Special Session, Chapter 4, Article 2, for $64,476,000 total appropriations ($149,000 FY16, $2,940,000 FY19, and $61,387,000 FY20).
The LCCMR biennial report as required in M.S. 116P.09, Subd. 7 from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) due January 15, 2019 is available. The report covers LCCMR actions from Jan. 15, 2017 (date of the previous biennial report) to January 15, 2019, including summaries of past funding accomplishments and new recommendations for funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.
The 2018 Legislature appropriated $439,000 into the LCCMR's Emerging Issues Account authorized under M.S. 116P.08, Subd. 4. These funds can be allocated to efforts addressing an unexpected and urgent need in an expedited manner.