Dayton signs Legacy bill, vetoes controversial items

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After several groups voiced opposition, Gov. Mark Dayton used his line-item veto power to keep two provisions out of the Legacy bill that weren't approved by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.

MPR reports Dayton removed a $6.3 million allocation for metropolitan regional parks and $3 million to stop aquatic invasive species, according to a statement released by his office Thursday morning.

Two dozen Minnesota habitat and sportsmen’s groups requested that Dayton reject the projects after the governor made a campaign promise to veto any attempt to usurp the authority of the 12-member council.

"This decision is extremely difficult for me. I attach great importance to keeping my word," Dayton said in the letter. "I have decided that I must honor my promise to those citizens."

David Hartwell, chairman of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, said this week that the council took issue with funding for metro parks, a project that they previously gave low marks, and grants in the bill to help fight aquatic invasive species, which was never presented to the board.

Dayton recommended that the leadership of the House Legacy Committee repair its relations with the Lessard-Sams council and outdoors groups.

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