Gov. Mark Dayton has unveiled a $750 million bonding bill that he says will create 21,000 jobs on various construction and capital improvement projects around the state.
The biggest-ticket item in the governor's proposed list of projects is the ongoing renovation of the state Capitol building in St. Paul. Dayton sets aside $109 million for that project.
“It’s not going to be easy, it’s not going to be pleasant,” Dayton said of the Capitol restoration, Politics in Minnesota reported. “But it needs to be done.”
Also in the governor's proposal:
$63 million for civic center expansions in Rochester, Mankato and St. Cloud
$46.8 million to remodel residential, programming, and activity space at the Minnesota Security Hospital at St. Peter
$25 million to improve the roads around the former ammunition plant that Arden Hills
$20 million Nicollet Avenue reconstruction in downtown Minneapolis
$14 million to double the size of St. Paul's Children's Museum
$10 million for the Minnesota Zoo's Discovery Bay and snow monkey exhibits
$5.2 million for security fencing at the Shakopee women's prison
$200,000 for Duluth to work on planning and development for its minor league ballpark
Dayton said 43 percent of the projects benefit the Metro area, but that figure is skewed by the big-ticket price of renovating the Capitol, the Star Tribune reports.
The bonding bill would require Republican help for passage in the DFL-controlled Legislature because it takes a three-fifths vote to approve a bonding bill, and Democrats are short of that margin, the Associated Press noted.
Typically, lawmakers pursue large construction borrowing bills in even years, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reported. But the governor and others have said this is a year to act given low interest rates and a backlog of projects, the newspaper noted.