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 2,400 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 $875 million to nearly 1,800 projects around the state.
For the FY 2024 and FY 2025 biennium (July 1, 2023 ‐June 30, 2025), approximately $79 million is available each year for funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and approximately $189,000 is available from the Great Lakes Protection Account. As of May 26, 2021, the Legislative‐Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) received 174 proposals requesting a total of approximately $164 million. This RFP process is for funding beginning July 1, 2023.
LCCMR reviews and evaluates all proposals against their 10 adopted evaluation criteria. On July 25, members selected 85 proposals requesting a total of approximately $86 million to invite in for a presentation before the LCCMR on August 8, 9, 10, 16 and 17 in order to receive further consideration. On August 30, the LCCMR will meet to make final selection and funding allocation decisions. These selected projects will be presented to the 2023 Minnesota Legislature as the official LCCMR recommendations for spending from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and Great Lakes Protection Account.
Proposals Selected for Presentations
On May 22, 2022, the Legislature approved 80 projects for funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Twelve of the approved projects did not go through the LCCMR proposal review process, and the scope of two projects that did go through the process was modified by the Legislature. Twenty-five LCCMR-reviewed projects that were originally included in the House or Senate version of the bill were not included in the final bill. On June 3, 2022, the 80 appropriations were signed into law by the Governor as M.L. 2022, Chapter 94, with $70,881,000 FY23 and $2,463,000 recaptured from prior fiscal years, for $73,344,000 in total appropriations.2022 ENRTF Appropriations 2022 Proposal & Funding Process
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, 2021 is available. The report covers LCCMR actions from Jan. 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020, including summaries of past funding accomplishments and new recommendations for funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.
The 2021 Legislature made 3 appropriations for the LCCMR's Emerging Issues Account: (1) M.L. 2021, First Special Session, Chapter 6, Article 5, 10 for $1,095,000 (for renewable energy demonstration projects at wastewater treatment facilities); (2) M.L. 2021, First Special Session, Chapter 6, Article 5, 20c for $298,000; and (3) M.L. 2021, First Special Session, Chapter 6, Article 6, 10c for $233,000. These appropriations are authorized under M.S. 116P.08, Subd. 4 and can be allocated to efforts addressing an unexpected and urgent need in an expedited manner.