Don't get me wrong, the park is a great idea and very worthy of private donations as the park will serve all children, including those with disabilities. The people who manage the fund raising are close to the cause and have never advertised that they wanted the park funded with tax dollars by sharing the funding bill is active in the legislature.
we emailed Representative Fenton and her administrative aid with this impressive update. weasked if she would congratulate the fund raisers and kill the $189,000 bill she authored to fund the park. Fenton has not responded, nor have the other co-signers of the bill that is dormant as "recessed" in the legislature until they reconvene in 2016 according to https://legiscan.com/MN/drafts/HF2183/2015
This leads us to the second point. we confirmed with House and Senate finance committee staff that bills such as this are completely legal even if they are requesting money for a project like this that could be fully funded privately. The funds can be used by the group that receives the funds for whatever else. YES, it is legal in Minnesota to lie to the public and the rest of the legislature to write an unethical bill requesting money to fund something not described in the language of the bill, just as long as the organization named gets the tax dollars.
As of December 2015 the Madison place playground raised over $100,000 in seven months, with just $25,000 left to go. Yet the Bill still exists to fund it. That's a staggering $14,000 a month average and at this rate the park could easily be fully funded before the legislature reopens!