MRAA and the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable are working to establish outdoor recreation offices in state capitols around the country, and they are close to crossing the finish line in Minnesota. Legislation to create a state level government office in charge of promoting and advancing outdoor recreation has been introduced by Representative Jim Davnie (HF 2220) and Senator Carrie Ruud (SF 2237). MRAA has worked closely with the legislature and the MN Department of Natural Resources on this endeavor.
Outdoor recreation is a vital part of the economy, generating 2.2 percent of total U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). In Minnesota, outdoor recreation is an economic powerhouse, that generates nearly $16.7 billion in consumer spending, contributes $1.4 billion in state and local tax revenue and supports 140,000 Minnesota jobs. An Outdoor Recreation Office in Minnesota would provide a focal point for all stakeholders to engage a new and diverse generation of Minnesotans with the outdoors while focusing on growing local economies and communities through recreation.
In the House, the bill passed through its respective committees and was included in the House Environment and Natural Resources omnibus bill (HF 2209) put forth by Chairman Hansen. Last week, the omnibus bill passed through appropriate finance committees and is ready to be brought to the House floor. In late April, the omnibus package will be brought before the House and is expected to pass, sending the bill to be conferenced with the Senate. The conference process is expected to begin late April or early May.
If you have questions, please contact MRAA Public Policy Manager, Will Higgins.