Bud Grant, other outdoors advocates push for amendment's passage

'Vote Yes' campaign
Campaign manager Ken Martin stands outside the Vote Yes Minnesota office in St. Paul.
MPR Photo/Tim Pugmire

Minnesota hunting and fishing advocates are traveling throughout the state this week trying to convince voters to support a constitutional amendment.

Voters will decide next week whether to amend the state Constitution with a 3/8 of 1 percent sales tax increase. The money would be dedicated to wildlife habitat, water quality, parks and trails and the arts.

During a state Capitol news conference, former Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant said the amendment is needed because state lawmakers have failed to provide needed funding.

"We've tried for 10 years to get some kind of a resolution to the lack of funding that we've had for our natural resources. We've been unable to do that. That's why we've taken this step," said Grant.

Phil Krinkie of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota opposes the amendment. Krinkie says supporters should have a different goal in mind.

"If these gentlemen up here truly believe this is a priority then what they should be doing is spending money, time and effort trying to convince people to vote for legislators who are going to support more funding for natural habitat and outdoor recreation," Krinkie said. "Instead they're spending their money trying to convince people that this should be fixed in the Constitution for 25 years."

The amendment will pass only if it gains a majority of support from all voters who go to the polls. If a voter leaves the item blank, it counts as a "no" vote.

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