Bill Tracker

During each session of the Minnesota Legislature we track key bills affecting parks and trails.
Updates on these key bills are posted here.

Cartoon of "I'm Just a Bill"

2018 Legislative Session

Omnibus state bonding bill funding capital projects across Minnesota, including many park and trail projects:

  • $30 million for DNR asset preservation projects, plus $6 million for betterment of buildings, a portion of which would be available for restoring park and trail infrastructure.
  • $10 million for Metropolitan Regional Parks and Trails.
  • $4 million for Lake Vermilion/Soudan Underground State Park.
  • $2.5 million for Chester Woods State Trail.
  • $2.5 million for the Wagon Wheel State Trail in the City of La Crescent.
  • $1.5 million for extending the Harmony-Preston State Trail to Niagara Cave and the Iowa border.
  • $750,000 for construction of a new visitor center in Glendalough State Park.
  • $500,000 for Mill Towns State Trail.
  • $500,000 for improving ADA accessibility in state park and recreation areas.
  • $250,000 for extending the Shooting Star State Trail into Austin.
  • $13.8 million in local park and trail grants to cities and counties, including Carver County, Babbit, Cohasset, Jackson, St. Paul, Stillwater, White Bear Lake, and the Mesabi Regional Trail.

Bill Numbers: HF 4425

Update: Bill was passed on 5/20/18 by the House (113-17 vote) and Senate (42-25 vote). Signed into law by Gov. Dayton on 5/30/18.

Appropriates proceeds from the State Lottery deposited into the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Park and trail projects include:

  • $2,500,000 for development and enhancement of Minnesota state trails
  • $2,500,000 for Minnesota State Parks and Trails land acquisition
  • $250,000 for forest restoration in Minnesota State Parks
  • $2,000,000 for local park, trail, and natural area grants
  • $600,000 for development of the Mesabi Regional Trail
  • $235,000 for land acquisition for the Harmony-Preston State Trail extension
  • $550,000 for development of the Mississippi Blufflands State Trail along the Red Wing riverfront
  • $100,000 for the Superior Hiking Trail
  • $2,254,000 for development of the Swedish Immigrant Trail extension through Interstate State Park

Bill Numbers: HF 4425

Update: Bill was passed on 5/20/18 by the House (113-17 vote) and Senate (42-25 vote). Signed into law by Gov. Dayton on 5/30/18.

Appropriates $2.25 million to complete construction and paving of phase one of the Chester Woods State Trail from the city of Rochester to Chester Woods Park in Olmsted County.

Bill Numbers: HF 1494 & SF 1176

House Authors: Pierson; Davids
Senate Authors: NelsonSenjem

Update: Senate File included in the Senate Bonding Bill. Please refer to “Bonding Bill” above for latest information.

Adjusts the boundary of Frontenac State Park to include an additional 160 acres of restored blufflands.

Bill Numbers: HF 3130 & SF 2776

House Authors: Haley

Senate Authors: Goggin

Update: Both House and Senate files are included in omnibus land-provision bills (SF 3168). Bill pass unanimously on the House and Senate floors, and is now on the governor’s desk.

Appropriates $750,000 for the construction of a Visitor and Trail Center in Glendalough State Park.

Bill Numbers: HF 2910 & SF 3074

House Authors: Nornes
Senate Authors: Ingebrigtsen

Update: Both the House and Senate File are included in Omnibus Bonding Bills. Please refer to “Bonding Bill” above for latest information.

Appropriates $1.5 million to extend the Harmony-Preston State Trail to the Iowa border, including a connection to Niagara Cave. This project is included in Parks & Trails Council’s 2017 Legislative Agenda.

Bill Numbers: HF 161 & SF 67

House Authors: Davids; Pierson
Senate Authors: Miller; Nelson

Update: Both the House and Senate File are included in Omnibus Bonding Bills. Please refer to “Bonding Bill” above for latest information.

Appropriates $15,000,000 for improvements and betterment of the Metropolitan Regional Park and Trail System in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.

Bill Numbers: HF 3187 & SF 3308

House Authors: Lillie, Hanson, Wegenius, et al.

Senate Authors: PappasPrattBighamOsmekHall

Update: Both the House and Senate File are included in Omnibus Bonding Bills. Please refer to “Bonding Bill” above for latest information.

Appropriates $1 millionf or acquisition, development, and rehabilitation of the Mill Towns State Trail between the cities of Faribault and Waterford.

Bill Numbers: HF 2803 & SF 3947

House Authors: Bly; Lillie
Senate Authors: Draheim; Jasinski; Little

Update: Senate File is included in the Senate Bonding Bill. Please refer to “Bonding Bill” above for latest information.

Appropriates $2,500,000 for a grant to the city of La Crescent for a trail bridge and safety improvements, connecting downtown La Crescent to the Mississippi River.

Bill Numbers: HF 3102 & SF 2923

House Authors: Davids

Senate Authors: Miller

Update: Senate File is included in the Senate Bonding Bill. Please refer to “Bonding Bill” above for latest information.

Allows the operation of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in Hayes Lake State Park Campground, and directs the commissioner of natural resources to provide ATV access routes to said campgrounds. Allowing ATVs in state parks would be unprecedented, is opposed by state park visitors and park management, and would create safety and noise concerns.

Bill Numbers: HF 3142 & HF 4211; SF 3063

House Authors: Fabian; Heintzeman; Poston; Ecklund
Senate Authors: Ingebrigtsen; Johnson

Update: The Hayes Lake State Park ATV provision was included in the House Omnibus Budget Bill (HF 4099) but not the Senate Omnibus Budget Bill (SF 3656).

The conference committee (SF 3656) report removed the ATV provision but included a compromise that requires the DNR to study and recommend ways to expand access to, and recreational opportunities within, Hayes Lake State Park. The bill passed the House (76-49) and Senate (35-32) on 5/19/18.

Gov. Dayton vetoed the entirety of the Omnibus Budget Bill on 5/23/18.

Appropriates $800,000 for construction of a bridge over Albert Lea Lake, connecting Hayward to Albert Lea via the Blazing Star State Trail.

Bill Numbers: HF 1296SF 276

House Authors: Bennett
Senate Authors: Sparks

Update: House File introduced 2/16/17 and referred to Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance. Senate File introduced on 1/23/17 and referred to Capital Investment.

Appropriates $2,843,000 for a grant to the Cannon Valley Trail Joint Powers Board to construct the renovation of and improvements to trail access facilities and storm water infrastructure along the Cannon Valley Trail.

Bill Numbers: HF 3228 & SF 2916

House Authors: HaleyLillie

Senate Authors: Goggin

Update: House File introduced on 3/1/18 and referred to Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance. Senate File introduced 3/5/18 and referred to Capital Investment.

Appropriates $710,000 for a grant to the city of Faribault for development of the Northern Links Trail, creating a connection between downtown Faribault and the Sakatah Singing Hills State Triail.

Bill Numbers: HF 4089 & SF 3699

House Authors: Daniels

Senate Authors: Jasinski

Update: House File introduced on 3/21/18 and referred to Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance. Senate File introduced 3/21/18 and referred to Capital Investment.

Appropriates $3 million for acquisition and development of the Gitchi Gami Trail, including engineering and design of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail priority segments: to Lutsen from Ski Hill Road, at Silver Creek, Silver Bay to Tettegouche State Park, and Cutface Creek  Wayside to Cascade State Park.

Bill Numbers: HF 2850 & SF 2718

House Authors: Ecklund; Lillie; Lueck
Senate Authors: Bakk; Senjem; Tomassoni; Wiger

Update: House File introduced on 2/20/18 and referred to Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance. Senate File introduced on 2/26/28 and referred to Capital Investment.

Appropriates $1,300,000 for acquisition and development of the Goodhue Pioneer State Trail from Zumbrota to Red Wing

Bill Numbers: HF 2978 & SF 2502

House Authors: HaleyLueckEcklundLilliePoston

Senate Authors: Goggin

Update: House File introduced on 2/22/18 and referred to Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance. Senate File introduced on 2/20/18 and referred to Capital Investment.

Appropriates $500,000 for predesign, design, and construction of an extension of the Heartland Trail from Itasca State Park
to Park Rapids.

Bill Numbers: HF 2730 & SF 2543

House Authors: Hausman; Lillie

Senate Authors: Utke; Eichorn

Update: House File introduced on 2/20/18 and referred to Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance. Senate File introduced on 2/22/18 and referred to Capital Investment.

Appropriates $5 million for matching local park and trail grants.

Bill Numbers: HF 1270 & SF 689

House Authors: PostonHoweJohnson, C.Murphy, E.LienNornes

Senate Authors: RuudIngebrigtsenEkenNelson

Update: House File introduced on 2/15/17 and referred to Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance. Senate File introduce on 2/6/17 and referred to Capital Investment.

Appropriates $350,000 for predesign and design of the Mississippi Blufflands Trail between Red Wing and Lake City.

Bill Numbers: HF 3748 & SF 3501

House Authors: Haley; Lillie
Senate Authors: Goggin

Update: House File introduced on 3/14/18 and referred to Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance. Senate File introduced on 3/15/18 and referred to Capital Investment.

 

Additionally, HF 2823 & SF 2504 would appropriate $9,490,000 is appropriated from the bond proceeds fund  to the commissioner of natural resources for a grant to the city of Red Wing to design and construct segments 2 and 3 of the Mississippi Blufflands State Trail/Red Wing Riverfront Trail project, along the western bank of the Mississippi River.

Appropriates $5 million to extend the Blufflands State Trail System to connect Preston, MN with Forestville State Park.

Bill Numbers: HF 162 & SF 66

House Authors: Davids
Senate Authors: Miller

Update: House File introduced on 1/11/17 and referred to Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance. Senate File was heard on 4/17/18 in Capital Investment and laid over for possible inclusion in the bonding bill.

Appropriates $3 million to renovate Minnesota’s State Trails, following the recommendations outlined in Parks & Trails Council’s State of the Trails Report.

Bill Numbers: HF 2582 & SF 2266

House Authors: Lueck; Lillie; Urdahl; Hausman
Senate Authors: Senjem; Dziedzic

Update: House File introduced on 4/5/17 and referred to Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance. Senate File introduce on 3/28/17 and referred to Capital Investment.

Past Years' Bills Below

2017

There were a few disappointments in the 2017 session, but overall parks and trails fared better than had been feared a few weeks before the end of session. A big thank you to everyone who reached out to their legislators and gave parks and trails a voice.

Summary of bills introduced

The following bills were passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Dayton during the 2017 session.

 

Bonding Bill

Passed:

Bonding Bill

The final piece of the 2017 budget agreement was a $988 million bonding bill (HF 5), which passed in the wee hours on the last day of session. The bonding bill funds building and infrastructure projects, including park and trail projects. Specifically, the bill includes: ...

Legacy Funds Appropriation Bill

Passed:

Legacy Funds Appropriation Bill

Legacy Funds The Legacy Bill (HF 707) appropriates revenues from the Legacy Amendment. The bill appropriates $88 million from the Parks and Trails Fund over the next two years, of which 40% is available for state parks and trails, 40% is available for regional parks ...

Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund

Passed:

Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund

The Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund bill (SF 550) appropriates revenues from the Minnesota Lottery dedicated to protect, conserve…

Omnibus Budget Bill

Passed:

Omnibus Budget Bill

The Omnibus Environment Budget (SF 844) sets the two year budget for state park and trail operations. The good news is the budget should provide sufficient funding to avoid staffing and service cutbacks in state parks and trails, thanks to a key last-minute concession won by Gov. Dayton that ...

Trail Fee Requirement

Last Action:
Bill would make it a misdemeanor to hike or bike on state-sponsored trails without paying a fee. Bill Numbers: HF 929 House Authors: Gruenhagen Senate Authors: NA Update: House File introduced on 2/9/17 and referred to Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance. Back to Bill Tracker

2016

Summary of bills introduced

The following bills were passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Dayton during the 2016 session.

 

Supplemental Budget Bill

Passed:

Supplemental Budget Bill

This bill increases state park and trail funding in FY 2017 by $5.1 million. It includes $2.8 million general funds and $2.3 million from the State Parks Account. Reserves $1.2 million for state park acquisition. Bill Numbers: HF 2749 & SF 2356 (side-by-side comparison) Official Bill Title: Omnibus supplemental budget bills. House ...

Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (LCCMR)

Passed:

Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (LCCMR)

Appropriated funds from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund for projects that benefit Minnesota’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources. The following portion of the appropriated funds benefitted parks and trails: $1,200,000 for continued development of the Mesabi Regional Trail $679,000 for a ...

The following bills were drafted and introduced into the legislature, but for various reasons they were either not passed by the Minnesota Legislature or not signed into law by the Governor. They could attempt to be revived in subsequent years.

 

Bonding Bill

Last Action:
No bonding bill was passed during the 2016 session. Progress was made in crafting the bill but did not make it through final approval. The stalled bill (HF 622) would have been a mixed bag for parks and trails. On the positive side, the bill would ...

Trail Fee Requirement

Last Action:
This would have made it a misdemeanor to bike, skate, walk, or jog on a state-supported trail without first purchasing a pass. Bill Number(s): HF 2947 & SF 2312 House Author(s): Gruenhagen; Urdahl Senate Authors(s): Newman; Chamberlain Description: House Update: Introduced on 3/10/16 and referred to Mining & Outdoor Recreation Senate Update: Introduced on 3/8/16 and referred to Environment ...

2015

Summary of bills introduced

The following bills were passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Dayton during the 2015 session.

 

New Trail Authorized: Mississippi Blufflands

Passed:

New Trail Authorized: Mississippi Blufflands

This bill authorizes the establishment of a new state trail originating at the Cannon Valley Trail in Red Wing, MN and extending southeasterly along the Mississippi River through Frontenac State Park and ending in Lake City, MN. Additionally, the bill appropriates $50,000 to develop a …

Legacy Funds Appropriated

Passed:

Legacy Funds Appropriated

This bill appropriates revenues from the Legacy Amendment that voters approved in 2008. The bill appropriates $89 million for parks and trails for FY 2016 -17. Of this amount, 40% is allocated to Minnesota State Parks and Trails, 40% is allocated to Metropolitan Regional Parks …

Budget Bill

Passed:

Budget Bill

This omnibus appropriations bill allocated $48.6 million in general funds for operations and maintenance of Minnesota State Parks and Trails. This is a 23% increase from FY 2014-15. Additionally, the omnibus bill includes many policy/technical provisions affecting Minnesota’s parks and trails. Full title: Omnibus agriculture, environment ...

Trail Extension for Harmony-Preston Valley

Passed:

Trail Extension for Harmony-Preston Valley

This bill authorizes the DNR to extend the Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail to the Iowa border, with a connection to Niagara Cave. Official Bill Title: Fillmore, Olmsted, Winona, and Houston Counties; Blufflands Trail system modified Bill Number: HF 49 / SF 57 House Author: Davids Senate …

Lottery Proceeds Allocated

Passed:

Lottery Proceeds Allocated

This bill appropriated $46 million from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund for projects across Minnesota. The following portion of this bill was appropriated to parks and trails projects: $1.5 million for land acquisition for State Parks and Trails $1 million for land acquisition …

The following bills were drafted and introduced into the legislature, but for various reasons they were either not passed by the Minnesota Legislature or not signed into law by the Governor. They could attempt to be revived in subsequent years.

 

Eminent Domain Prohibition

Last Action:

Two separate efforts were made to introduce bills that would have prohibited the Parks and Trails Legacy Fund to be spent to acquire property by eminent domain or to acquire property that has previously been acquired by eminent domain. Full title: Parks and trails fund usage …

Trail Fee Requirement

Last Action:

Would have required all adults to purchase a pass to bike or roller blade on a state trail in Minnesota. The bill proposed the rates of the pass at $4 per day or $20 per year. Full Title: Bicycle and roller blade pass requirement established, …

Require Approval to Add Parkland

Last Action:

This bill would have required that the DNR, prior to acquiring lands for a park or trail outside the seven-county metropolitan area, receive written approval of every city and organized township where the park or trail is located or through which it passes. Bill Title: Local …

Funding for Casey Jones State Trail

Last Action:

This bill would have appropriated $846,000 in bond proceeds for the continued development of the Casey Jones State Trail in southwestern Minnesota. Bill title: Casey Jones Trail funding provided, bonds issued, and money appropriated Bill Number: HF 641 & SF 581 House Authors: Schomacker; Hamilton; Swedzinski Senate …