ST. PAUL, Minn. - At times, it was contentious. In the end, the state legislature passed a billion-dollar bonding bill Friday.
"It is just about one of the largest bonding bills Minnesota has passed probably in a couple of generations," said David Schultz, Hamline University professor.
Schultz described to KARE 11 who he thought won and lost.
"Just about everyone was a winner on this," he said.
First up, some of the winners.
"Clearly the biggest winner is going to be the University of Minnesota," said Schultz.
The U of M got $119 million. Another winner? The State Capitol itself, he said.
"A lot of money was spent there, in fact the single largest appropriation in the bonding goes for state capitol restoration," he said.
To be specific, $126 million went for the final installment of the capitol renovation.
Some of the losers, according to Schultz?
"The potholes," he said.
Even though lawmakers approved $113 million for roads and bridges, Schultz believed there needs to be more, especially since the American Society of Civil Engineers reports more than 50 percent of Minnesota roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
"We probably need to spend far more money on roads, highways and bridges in the state of Minnesota than we do," said Schultz.
Schultz originally pointed to the lack of funding to improve internet access in greater Minnesota.
But later the legislature did agree in a supplemental spending bill to provide $20 million for broadband infrastructure investment.
"In many parts of the state of Minnesota its still dial up," he said.
Meantime, while not everyone got what they wanted, many at least got something.
"I would describe the legislature as being Santa Clause this year. Everybody got a present," he said.
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
BONDING BILL SCOPE