The legislative auditor on Wednesday released the first in-depth review of the state's voter-approved Legacy Amendment, which bumped up a sales tax to help fund arts and outdoors projects across the state. The auditor's report says oversight is "generally adequate" but also made some specific recommendations for improvement.
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Legacy Amendment spending unaccounted for on public website
More than $100 million in Legacy Amendment funds are missing from state spending reports available to the public. The state is required to list where and how Legacy money is being spent. MPR News says the state leaves out specific details on its web site about which groups and projects received funding.
Twin Cities, outstate rift forms over Legacy amendment parks money
The Legacy Amendment created a fund for improvement of Minnesota parks but the state has reached no consensus on how the money should be divided. The formula was recently changed to direct more money away from the Twin Cities area. Now the Twin Cities think the formula is unfair, while some outstate communities think the changes did not go far enough.
U of M: Doctor violated conflict of interest policy, didn't disclose Medtronic work
The University of Minnesota Medical School sent a "cautionary letter" but did not recommend any formal punishment after a review found Dr. David Polly received but did not adequately disclose $1.2 million in consulting fees from Medtronic. Polly tells the Star Tribune in an interview that he agrees with the committee's findings.
Metro counties want more of the Legacy Amendment outdoors money pie
Metro counties contribute almost two-thirds of the money going into the the Legacy Fund set up by a constitutional amendment. But parks in those counties get far less than half of the Legacy grants. Debates to make the distribution more 'equitable' are contentious.
New citizens committee to help oversee Legacy Amendment spending
The committee will field concerns about how Legacy money is being spent. Parks and trails receive 14.25 percent of Legacy money generated from the three-eighths-cent sales tax increase approved by voters last election.
Legacy Amendment money gives rise to dozens of far-ranging projects
Projects ranging from documenting the history of psychiatry in Minnesota to telling the story of the Cold War-era missile base in St. Bonifacius are getting thousands of dollars from the Legacy Amendment fund.
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