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Veto of Omnibus Spending Bill felt in Rochester

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's veto means no funding for Project Legacy.

Posted: May. 25, 2018 1:54 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - On Wednesday, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the Republican Omnibus Spending Bill, an almost one thousand paged bill that covered funding for a mix of topics including school safety and addressing the state's opioid crisis. 

The veto is having an immediate impact on Project Legacy, the non-profit organization that helps Rochester's youth in need. If the bill was passed, the organization would've recieved $200,00. This money would have paid for a number of expenses, including the space the organization rents in the Empowerment Center to hold its programs.  

"Right now we are scrambling to find funding to pay for our space here," Karen Edmonds, the co-founder of Project Legacy, said. 

The money would've also helped pay for needs such as a member's college tuition, rent, and possibly transportation to a treatment center. 

Edmonds said the lack of funding also leaves a hole in the organization's staff. The group was hoping to use the funding to hire a social worker as a permanent member of Project Legacy's staff. 

"If we have a volunteer for a short period of time and they decided they're too busy, this affects our kids in a very negative way...It reinforces feelings of abandonment," she said. "Social workers are going to bring a skill set that we need to work with our kids."

Edmonds said the organization is handling the financial stress by asking donors to increase donations and applying to different grants. 

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