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Library Legacy Legislation

In November of 2008, Minnesotans passed the clean water, land and legacy amendment to the Minnesota Constitution. As a result, over the next twenty-five years, funds raised from an increase in state sales tax from 6.5% to 6.875% will be allocated as follows:

  • 33% to a clean water fund

  • 33% to an outdoor heritage fund

  • 14.25% to a parks and trails fund

  • 19.75% to an arts and cultural heritage fund

The statutory language passed by the 2009 Minnesota State Legislature allowed that a portion of the arts and cultural heritage fund be distributed to regional public library systems.

Laws of Minnesota 2023, Regular Session

Chapter 4, Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 5


$2,750,000 each year is appropriated to the commissioner of education for grants to the 12 Minnesota regional library systems to provide educational opportunities in the arts, history, literary arts, and cultural heritage of Minnesota. When possible, funding under this subdivision should be used to promote and share the work of Minnesota authors, including authors from diverse backgrounds. This money must be allocated using the formulas in Minnesota Statutes, section 134.355, subdivisions 3 to 5, with the remaining 25 percent to be distributed to all qualifying systems in an amount proportionate to the number of qualifying system entities in each system. For purposed of this subdivision, “qualifying system entity” means a public library, a regional library system, a regional library system headquarters, a county, or an outreach service program. This money may be used to sponsor programs provided by regional libraries or to provide grants to local arts and cultural heritage programs for programs in partnership with regional libraries. This money must be distributed in ten equal payments per year. Notwithstanding Minnesota Statures, section 16A.28, the appropriations encumbered on or before June 30, 2025, as grants or contracts in this subdivision are available until June 30, 2026.

Of the $103,024,000 appropriated for Arts and Cultural Heritage for FY 2024, 3.4% ($2.75 million) has been allocated to the twelve regional public library systems in the state. With its appropriation, Viking Library System will provide arts, history, and cultural programming through regional and local projects in conjunction with its eleven member libraries and community partners.

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