MINNEAPOLIS — Comparing it to buying his first house in Mankato and investing to keep it solid, Governor Tim Walz on Monday shared his plan to spend more than $518 million on projects to maintain existing buildings and invest in Minnesota communities.
While the 2021 Local Jobs and Projects plan is designed to invest in all types of projects, nearly half of the money it asks for is targeted to support "asset preservation projects" at state agencies and higher education institutions.
“When Gwen and I bought our house in Mankato, we knew the importance of investing in upkeep over the years in order to avoid major repairs down the road. You fix your roof before it collapses. You repair a leaky pipe before it leads to water damage. That’s exactly what this plan prioritizes—taking care of what we have,” said Governor Walz. “By maintaining existing assets, we can keep our state’s infrastructure strong and reliable for generations to come. What’s more, we can create jobs that boost our economy in the process.”
The Governor detailed his plan from the University of Minnesota, a campus that would benefit from some of the funded projects. Walz's wish list would be funded by $240 million in general obligation bonds, $250 million in appropriation bonds, and $28.3 million from the state's general fund.
A press release from the Governor's office explains that "general obligation bonds are backed by the state’s full faith and credit, and are used to finance publicly-owned capital projects. Appropriation bonds are repaid through annual appropriations from the Legislature, and can be used to finance a broader range of capital projects."
Among the projects that would be funded by the Walz plan:
- Deferred maintenance needs for state agencies - more than $1.7 billion
- Housing Infrastructure Bonds to preserve and build new housing opportunities across the state - $100 million
- Redevelopment Appropriation Bonds to support rebuilding efforts in Minneapolis and Saint Paul in the areas damaged by civil unrest in May and June 2020 - $150 million in redevelopment
- Security upgrades to the Capitol Complex - $43 million
- A new State Veterans Cemetery in Redwood Falls - $4.5 million
- The plan recommends $10 million for Minnesota’s share of design and environmental work for a second daily Amtrak train between the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, and Chicago, including stops in Winona and Red Wing.