Dayton seeks construction bill of nearly $1 billion

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Just in time for Christmas, Gov. Mark Dayton created his wish list of projects to be included in next year's construction bill, nearly $1 billion worth.

Dayton said Wednesday the recent budget projection showing a more than $1 billion surplus allows for a $975 bonding bill, the Associated Press reports.

Although the surplus creates some wiggle room for additional spending, Dayton said this summer that he anticipated bonding legislation to be in the $1 billion ballpark in 2014.

Of the $2.4 billion worth of requests that have come in so far, Dayton's list includes $125 million for the ongoing renovation at the Capitol and improvements to the state's prison and sex offender treatment facilities, which the Associated Press says have "steep needs."

Dayton will make his formal proposal in January.

Last session, lawmakers in the House failed to pass a bill that would have authorized about $800 million worth of spending for improvements to colleges, sewer plants, roads, parks and museums among other projects.

A slimmed-down version containing $156 million in spending – most of it for state Capitol repairs – was approved.

The bonding bill requires a three-fifths majority to pass. Lawmakers traditionally take them up in even-numbered years when they are not writing a budget for the biennium.

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