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ST.PAUL – The 2014 Omnibus Bonding Bill was unveiled in the House Capital Investment Committee today. The bill allocates $850 million in general obligation bonds for statewide infrastructure improvements in higher education, transportation, housing, economic development, clean water and wastewater systems. Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL – St Paul), Chair of Capital Investment, made it a priority to put forward a bill that will benefit the entire state.
“This bill will go a long way toward helping communities across Minnesota make much needed improvement and repairs to their local infrastructure,” said Rep. Alice Hausman. “We had well over $3 billion in project requests to consider when putting together this final bill. Putting this kind of bill together is tricky because so many areas of the state have such different needs. But we really focused on making sure the bill funded projects in every corner of Minnesota. This final list represents the most pressing needs across all regions of the state. ”
Some of the highlights of the Bonding Bill include:
• Protects natural resources – from International Falls’ Voyaguers National Park to the Big Lake Sanitary District to Albert Lea’s Fountain Lake
• Provides greater public safety through upgrades in flood mitigation, local roads and bridges, and dam repair.
• Invests in asset preservation – MnSCU, the University of Minnesota and state agencies will get needed asset preservation funds for critical repairs.
• Makes historic investments to address housing challenges across Minnesota.
• Completes projects long past ready to go including civic centers in Mankato, Rochester and St. Cloud as well as the Minnesota Historical Society’s Oliver Kelly Farm and the Southwest Regional Sports Center in Marshall.
• Makes a big dent in backlog for crumbling wastewater systems, roads and bridges throughout the state.
At a time when interest rates are still low, this borrowing bill will allow the state to stretch taxpayer dollars and boost job creation. Minnesota added more than 45,000 jobs during 2013, and currently has an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.
“Minnesota’s economy is doing well,” said Hausman. “But there are still plenty of people in our state who have not seen the benefits of our economic recovery. The great thing about the bonding bill is that it invests in communities in every corner of the state. The economic benefits of these investments are really felt equally across all regions.”
During the meeting, Rep. Hausman also unveiled the details of a separate bill that would make $125 million in cash investments through the use of one time budget surplus funds.
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