ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota Senate has passed an $846 million borrowing package for construction projects and sent it to Gov. Mark Dayton for his signature, finishing a crucial piece of business as lawmakers work toward adjournment.
Money for the projects came from $86 million in state borrowing and an additional $200 million in cash.
The bonding bill vote was 47-17, easily exceeding the required three-fifths majority.
The separate $200 million cash package for public infrastructure projects passed 44-19.
Both votes had bipartisan support.
The House passed both measures earlier Friday morning.
From hiking trails to prison repairs to laboratories on college campuses, the plan is chock full of building projects in every corner of the state. The largest single item is $126 million to complete the Capitol renovation. The smallest is $78,000 for work on a historic bridge in Hanover.
The bill includes $240 million in renovation projects on state college and university campuses.
The most intense negotiations surrounded the $22 million devoted toward the Lewis and Clark regional water pipeline project in southwestern Minnesota.
The bills also fund civic centers in St. Cloud, Mankato and Rochester.
"Finally, at least, civic centers in three major regional centers across Minnesota will be completed," said Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Leroy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, says affordable housing will get a boost of $100 million.
"Housing as we traveled around the state from corner to corner, large cities as well as rural areas, housing was an area that was in great demand," Stumpf said. "Employers could not hire the people they wanted to hire because there was no housing in their communities."
The bonding bill is one of the last big items on the Legislature's "to-do list" for this session.
Here are some highlights of a pair of construction finance packages, one authorizing $846 million in state borrowing and the other allocating nearly $200 million in cash from a state surplus.
- $126.3 million as the final installment to a state Capitol renovation
- $100 million in combined authority and cash for public housing rehabilitation and affordable housing projects
- $56.7 million for Tate Laboratory renovation at University of Minnesota
- $85 million for preservation and replacement projects for public college buildings
- $25.8 million for a clinical sciences facility at Minnesota State University in Mankato
- $22 million toward the Lewis and Clark regional water pipeline project
- $18.3 million for wastewater infrastructure projects
- $14 million for development of the new Lake Vermilion State Park
- $17.7 million for acquisition and development of trails
- $87 million for replacement of local bridges and improvement grants for local roads
- $56.3 million for remodeling of the Minnesota Security Hospital
- $18 million for an intake center at the St. Cloud prison
- $5 million for a perimeter fence at the Shakopee women's prison
- $61 million split among civic center projects in Mankato, Rochester and St. Cloud.
- $14 million for an expansion of the Minnesota Children's Museum.
You can find the full list at: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/fiscal/files/bondingGF14.pdf