Citizens throughout the state, including locally, are frustrated after receiving word the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is scaling back a competitive grant program designed to control curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil and flowering lush. Here is a quick overview: The decision to reduce funding for the grant program was an internal DNR decision in order to fill a $400,000 shortfall. This is not a matter of the DNR compensating for a funding reduction in the new state budget, rather a problem the DNR created for itself in two ways.
Minnesota is projected to enjoy a $1.1 billion surplus. That sounds good, but that legendary radio guy — rest his soul — and the rest of us know there is a “rest of the story.” It goes like this: Gov. Mark Dayton and Democrats increased General Fund spending by around $3 billion and drove up our state’s All Funds spending by 10 percent, to more than $69 billion. At the same time, they raised our taxes and fees by almost $2.5 billion. Now, officials say we will have a $1.1 billion surplus in 2014-15.