Vote Yes. Let me remind all of you to please vote in favor of
the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment that will be on the
ballot next Tuesday.
All in all, this is a good idea and something our state needs
desperately. Yes, it will increase the sales tax rate by 3/8 of 1
percent, and yes, it will be an amendment to the state
constitution. You can disagree philosophically with those things –
heck, I pretty much do – but sometimes you have to do something
that makes you a little uncomfortable to gain the rewards.
Critics of this amendment often point out that the Legislature
should be responsible for spending taxpayer dollars. A few
€ The Legislature still will be in charge of this money and have
ultimate say over where it goes. But take the nearly $100 million a
year for fish and wildlife habitat – a group of citizen experts and
legislators will make recommendations on how that money will be
spent via a competitive process. DNR and groups like Pheasants
Forever and DU will vie for that money.
€ Many of the opponents are legislators or ex-legislators who
themselves have failed to provide adequate funding for natural
resources while they were in office. For the most part, that’s not
because they hate natural resources, but that issues like
education, healthcare, and transportation take precedence.
€ This money WILL NOT go directly to the DNR. That’s a patently
false rumor that some people are spreading, and other people
believe. The DNR, like everyone else, will have to compete for
€ A lot of people have come out of the woodwork to say they
oppose the amendment for this reason or that reason. They say we
should go back to the Legislature to get a “clean” bill. That’s a
nice idea, in theory, but wholly unrealistic. This thing took 10
years to get on the ballot. I believe this is the only shot. I have
a hard time believing the sportsmen who have worked so hard on this
already can stomach going back to the Legislature to fight for it
again. And I have a harder time believing those naysayers who
didn’t help get this passed the first time would do so in the
€ Remember to check Yes on the ballot. Ballots left blank will
be counted as votes against the amendment.