Gov. Mark Dayton signed a $496 million bonding bill Friday that will result in thousands of construction jobs in Minnesota and includes a long list of public works projects, the DFL governor said. Projects include college campus buildings, flood mitigation, roads and bridges and a $44 million start on the renovation of the State Capitol building.
House lawmakers agreed to the changes made in the Senate Monday night and sent the measure to Gov. Mark Dayton. The borrowing proposal includes money for colleges and universities, infrastructure projects, flood prevention and renovations to the Capitol building.
The borrowing plan, approved by a 45-22 vote Monday night, would use $496 million for public works projects, higher education and state Capitol renovations. It also calls to spend an additional $50 million on unnamed Department of Employment and Economic Development projects. House lawmakers approved a similar measure early Monday afternoon. They can either accept the Senate version or the differences will be negotiated in a conference committee.
Before taking up the stadium bill, the Minnesota House authorized half a billion dollars for state-funded construction projects. It includes money for repairs at the University of Minnesota and at state colleges and universities; roads, bridges, and transit; and a downpayment on renovations of the state Capitol building. A minor league ballpark for the St. Paul Saints is among the projects that did not make it into the bill.
Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Brad Jones said without bonding money to remodel the Mayo Civic Center, his city will lose convention business. There's no indication money for the Rochester project will be put back into the bonding bill, MPR says.
Right now, the Vikings stadium bill is dominating the attention in St. Paul. However, lawmakers are also hoping to pass a public works bonding bill, a tax bill and legislation to change teacher tenure rules. Republicans want to wrap up the session by Monday, but they're not required to adjourn until May 21.
The House Ways and Means Committee has sent a $434 million borrowing bill to the House floor. It includes an amendment to spend more than $220 million to restore the state Capitol building. A separate restoration proposal failed by a single vote Thursday.
Capital Investment Chairman Larry Howes says he can't get drum up enough Republican support to pass the $500 million Senate plan and he can't get the Democratic votes to pass the House's $280 million plan. And the majority Republicans can't do it alone.