The legislature has voted to put $20 million into the state’s “Resource Enhancement And Protection” fund. It’s only the second time since the REAP fund was established that it has reached the 20 million dollar level backers had envisioned when it was created 25 years ago.
“Getting it to $20 million is a great, great win for everybody in the state because REAP’s a popular program. It helps a lot of different entities — small and large, rural and urban — so that’s probably one of the reasons the bill got as many votes as it did,” says Representative Dan Huseman, a Republican from Aurelia.
An extra $4 million for REAP was included in a bill that outlined how $86 million in state gambling taxes are to be spent on infrastructure projects. The other $16 million for the REAP program was included in a different budget bill. Some legislators hope to vote later tonight to send another $5 million to the program, so the REAP budget would reach $25 million in its 25th year of existence. REAP money is spent on things like parks and open spaces as well as projects that improve water quality and reduce soil erosion.