Walz Asks Lawmakers to Back Record $2.7 Billion Bonding Bill
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz asked the Legislature on Tuesday to back a $2.7 billion “local jobs and projects” plan that’s considerably larger than the record package that lawmakers passed two years ago.
The Democratic governor unveiled his wish list at a news conference outside the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development, which is getting a major rebuild thanks to money from the $1.9 billion package approved by the 2020 Legislature.
Walz used the construction site as a backdrop to highlight how 38% of his proposal, or more than $1 billion, is for asset preservation to maintain and upgrade properties that taxpayers already own.
Another 21% — more than $560 million — would go to various new infrastructure projects, including $120 million for local bridge replacements, $90 million for local road improvements projects, and $200 million for local water infrastructure.
Sixteen percent would go toward housing, including projects to combat homelessness. And 10% would go toward protecting the environment.
Locally, the package includes funding for Spirit Mountain, Giants Ridge, Lake Superior College, St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center, and St. Louis County Fairgrounds.
Public works borrowing packages, also known as bonding bills, are traditionally the centerpiece of Minnesota’s legislative sessions in even-numbered years. Walz is unlikely to get everything he proposed. The final packages are usually the product of intense negotiations.
Republicans who control the Senate, are expected to propose a smaller bill, while Walz’s allies in the Democratic-controlled House may try to add additional projects.