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 $1.0 billion has been appropriated to more than 2,300 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 $700 million to approximately 1,700 projects around the state.
As of July 17, 2019, the Legislative‐Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) has tentatively selected through simple majority 77 projects totaling $61,387,000 to recommend to the 2020 Minnesota Legislature for funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF). A final decision on recommendations is pending. In response to LCCMR's 2020 Request for Proposal (RFP), 290 proposals requesting a total of approximately $203 million were received and considered through a competitive, multi‐stage evaluation. The following tentative recommendations range from funding the full proposal and dollar amount requested to partial funding for specific proposal elements.
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.