Skip to main content

What's in the MN governor's $1.4 billion jobs bill?

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Mark Dayton unveiled a proposed $1.4 billion bonding bill to pay for infrastructure projects he says would create 39,000 jobs in Minnesota.

In a news release Friday morning the governor released details of what projects he wants approved in the upcoming legislative session – with reports noting he has put an emphasis on public safety.

Within it is the money Dayton said Thursday he wanted for upgrading Minnesota's aging water supply infrastructure and improving the quality of its lakes, rivers and streams. More than $200 million is earmarked for that initiative.

You can take a look at a snapshot of the projects by county here. Meanwhile we've picked out some of the big ones:

The Minnesota Sex Offender Program

Following a judge's ruling that the state's controversial sex offender treatment program is "unconstitutional," Dayton wants to spend $12.4 million building two lower-security facilities for some MSOP patients. Another $14.5 million would expand the St. Peter Community Preparation Services program that helps those nearing the end of their treatment.

Upgrade for Minnesota Security Hospital

Another controversial issue after several cases of staff at the mental health facility being attacked by inmates in recent years. Dayton wants to spend $70.3 million for a complete renovation of the hospital in St. Peter.

Investment for college buildings

The jobs bill proposes a $135 million designed to "ensure Minnesotans have access to high-quality education facilities," by replacing, upgrading or preserving Minnesota State College and University buildings, and University of Minnesota campus facilities.

Lake Mille Lacs walleye solution?

After a strict catch limit saw walleye season end early on the popular lake this past summer – causing uproar among lakeside businesses – Dayton wants to invest $3.5 million to "develop a fisheries management station on the lake" to address its declining population.

'Main Street Minnesota' investments

There are several projects designed to improve cities outside the Twin Cities metro area, including:

  • $16 million investment in the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System project in southwest Minnesota, which would deliver "safe, reliable drinking water" from a new supply, the Missouri River, to 20,000 homes in the area around Worthington.
  • $21 million to convert Duluth's steam energy system to a hot water system.
  • Access between Red Wing's dock and downtown area would be improved with a $4 million investment that would also renovate the city's performing arts center.
  • $3 million to build an airline terminal at International Falls-Koochiching County Airport.
  • Creation of a new, larger facility for the Northern Dental Access Center in Bemidji – costing $6 million.
  • $5 million to improve Customs and Border Patrol at Rochester International Airport.

State parks and cultural attractions

Some $34.4 million has been earmarked to create a new visitor center at Fort Snelling State Park, while $6.1 million would go toward renovation at Itasca State Park. Almost $50 million would go toward refurbishment at the Science Museum of Minnesota, Minnesota Zoo and Como Zoo.

Rail, port, bridge projects

Given the concern over the potential impact of oil trains derailing as they pass through Minnesota, Dayton wants to use $3.5 million to build an "oil train derailment and pipeline safety training venue" at Camp Ripley.

A further $42.9 million is earmarked to rebuild the "structurally deficient" Kellogg Boulevard Bridge in St. Paul, while just shy of $32 million would restore the "deteriorating" 10th Avenue bridge in Minneapolis.

There's also plans to "promote regional economic development" in St Paul, Winona, Red Wing and Duluth by making "navigation improvements and other enhancements" at their ports.


$90 million will go towards affordable housing projects, preserving federally subsidized rental housing and existing public housing, as well as money being set aside to buy and refurbish foreclosed buildings. A further $12 million will be used for the discussed expansion of the Dorothy Day Center for the homeless in St. Paul.

So, will Dayton get what he wants?

Given the GOP is in control of the Minnesota House and Dayton didn't even see eye-to-eye with DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk last year, the governor isn't confident he'll be getting everything he asks for.

Already he's been met with pushback from GOP lawmakers.

Last year he proposed a bonding bill of almost $850 million, but that had been whittled down to just $373 million after it was put before lawmakers in last year's legislative session, as reported by the Pioneer Press.

Nonetheless he is adamant the borrowing bill (which is funded by the issuing state bonds that pays interest to purchasers) would be of huge benefit to Minnesotans by creating jobs and providing long-awaited improvements to crucial infrastructure.

“My proposals would put thousands of Minnesotans to work throughout our state," he said. "This bill will help deliver clean, affordable water to Minnesota communities, and prioritizes projects that have been delayed for many years.

"These projects are essential to improving our state’s infrastructure. I ask the Legislature to join me in working to pass a capital investment bill this session that will support our local economies and create jobs."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 10.38.41 PM

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem dead at 68

His office announced he had passed away 'unexpectedly' Friday.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Chris Finch

Suns get hot, Timberwolves fall in Phoenix

A scorching performance in the fourth quarter sent the Wolves to a loss in the desert.

Mats Zuccarello

Zuccarello helps Wild spoil Lundqvist's retirement party

After Henrik Lundqvist's jersey was hung to the rafters, Zuccarello led a 3-2 win.

Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 5.04.00 PM

David Arquette gives shoutout to MN's F1rst Wrestling on James Corden show

The Hollywood actor wrestled at at a F1rst Wrestling show at First Avenue in early 2019.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

6 charged in Black Friday mass thefts at Twin Cities Best Buys

The group stole from three Best Buy stores that afternoon, the charges say.

Nicollet County Bell Jan 2022 4

Thieves steal large bell from rural MN church, don't get far with it

The bell was found in a ditch with tow ropes around it.


COVID: More help coming to Minnesota hospitals, Walz says

More than 200 medical professionals are coming to help at short-staffed hospitals.

Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 9.04.12 AM

Suspect arrested after falling asleep in vehicle at rest stop

The man was sleeping in a stolen vehicle in the parking lot of an I-94 rest area.

DOminos pizza flickr mr blue maumau

Charges: Edina man threatened to shoot up Domino's Pizza

He claimed a delivery driver had flipped him off, the charges say.

carvana vending machine

Carvana seeking to build vehicle vending machine in Twin Cities

The online car dealership submitted a letter of intent to buy land in the metro to build a fulfillment center.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Coller: New Vikings GM Adofo-Mensah needs to be ruthless

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah needs to make some big, difficult decisions, writes Matthew Coller.

Patrick Graham

Report: Vikings to interview Giants' Patrick Graham for head coach

Graham coached with the Patriots under Bill Belichick for six years.