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Walz asks lawmakers to back record $2.7 billion bonding bill

The 2022 Local Jobs and Projects plan includes funding for infrastructure improvements, investments in affordable housing and climate change prevention.

MINNEAPOLIS — Gov. Tim Walz is asking the Minnesota legislature to back a $2.7 billion “local jobs and projects” plan that’s considerably larger than the record package 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 bonding bill approved by the 2020 Legislature.

Walz, along with Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, 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.

According to the governor's office, the plan includes $2 billion in General Obligation bonds, $250 million in Appropriate bonds and $276 million in a General Cash fund.

Here's the proposed breakdown for the Walz-Flanagan plan:

Asset Preservation - 38%

The plan includes more than $1 billion in funding to maintain and renew property owned and relied on by taxpayers, including $260 million to repair and replace buildings in the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State systems across the state.

Infrastructure - 21%

The governor's plan earmarks more than $560 million for infrastructure projects across the state, including things like local bridge replacements, road improvements and water infrastructure grants and loans.

Housing and Homelessness - 16%

Another $450 million will be invested in affordable housing projects across the state. A portion of the funds would also go toward repairing existing shelters and investing in housing for veterans.

Community and Equity - 14%

As part of the plan, $400 million will support projects "that build thriving communities" across the state. A focus will be put on equity in bonding to fund organizations that service Black, Native and communities of color.

Environmental Stewardship - 10%

Finally, more than $262 million will be invested to mitigate the impacts of climate change and preserve Minnesota's natural resources. Electric vehicle charging infrastructure and stormwater construction grants are among the proposed projects.

You can read more about the proposed capital budget here.

In response to Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan's proposal, the Minnesota AFL-CIO issued a statement of support and urged "lawmakers to being moving this plan when they return to St. Paul."

"No matter where Minnesotans live or what we look like, we will all benefit from infrastructure investments in our communities," said Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy. "Furthermore, high employment in the union construction sector has a ripple effect, putting money into local economies across Minnesota."

The North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters also endorsed the governor's bonding proposal.

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