Legislation & Advocacy
MRPA has advocated for local, state, and federal funding for parks and recreation for the past 60 years. MRPA feels this advocacy is vital to ensure quality public parks, protection of natural resources, and equal access to outdoor recreation for all citizens. MRPA also hires a lobbyist to monitor parks and recreation issues at the state legislature.
The MRPA Legislative Committee tracks state legislation impacting the parks and recreation industry during the session. Click here for the most current tracking list.
MRPA Legislative Platform 2023
Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Fund
MRPA wants to ensure this legislation is to supplement, not to supplant, traditional and current funding sources. MRPA supports parks, trails, and natural areas as recipients of this funding source. MRPA also supports parks and recreation agencies’ eligibility for funding in all four funding areas: arts and culture; clean water; outdoor heritage; and parks and trails.
Parks and Governance
MRPA supports operations and maintenance, acquisition, and infrastructure funding for parks, recreation, trails and open space statewide. MRPA also supports the concept of a governance structure that would provide parks and recreation agencies the ability to secure funding independently.
Active Living and Healthy Communities
MRPA supports increased public access to recreation opportunities throughout Minnesota. Parks and recreation provides five leading strategies to engage the public in active lifestyles: access, opportunities, affordability, inclusive nature, and connections to nature. MRPA will identify potential partners to assist the Association with this cause. MRPA supports the Minnesota Statewide Health Improvement Plan and encourages additional funding for public health agencies in partnership with parks and recreation departments.
MRPA recognizes the state budget’s limitations in the current economy. MRPA recognizes reductions in the state budget can impact local units of government and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Programs such as local government aid and the market value homestead credit have a tremendous impact upon communities and the services they provide for all Minnesotans.
Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR)
MRPA supports parks and recreation as a deserving recipient of LCCMR funds, the reinstatement of the Future Resources Fund, and parks and recreation representation on the LCCMR. MRPA also supports the inter-agency sharing of best practices throughout the state.
MRPA recognizes that parks, habitat and open space, and clean water provide critical elements of natural resource protection. Parks not only preserves these resources, they often provide outdoor recreation opportunities. MRPA supports the protection of natural resources and the use of the appropriate control methods to protect them. Funding provided by the state will assist in the management of these important resources.
MRPA expresses a desire and willingness to partner with agencies with that share a similar mission and/or goals. This sharing of resources may help both/all agencies achieve a greater outcome.
Other Monitoring Items
MRPA will also monitor the following legislation during the 2023 session: 21st century grants, eminent domain, local government aid, staffing and employment, out-of-school time programs, No Child Left Inside, property taxes, levy limits, recreation liability, ice arenas’ R22 transition, park dedication, land use management, other funding sources, and transportation in relation to bike and pedestrian trails as alternate modes of transportation. Additionally, MRPA supports National Recreation and Park Association’s federal legislative platform.