Preserving our state's infrastructure is a key responsibility of the Legislature. With 12,000 miles of roadway, over 3,000 bridges, hundreds of water treatment facilities, 54 college and university campuses, airports, ports and more, there are enormous assets to preserve. That's why, every two years, a large bonding bill containing money for hundreds of projects is passed to fund asset preservation.
During the 2016 legislative session, infrastructure funding was a major focus and culminated in the House bonding bill of 2016 (H.F. 622). The bill authorized borrowing for nearly $1 billion in basic, no-frills, essential projects. It passed off the floor with a vote of 91-39.
Unfortunately, the bill died in the Senate, held hostage by DFL demands for money for the $1.74 billion South West Light Rail project. With only minutes remaining, Sen. Ron Lats, D-St. Louis Park, tweeted following the vote: "No light rail funding, no bonding bill. When will the House figure this out?"
Many projects in our region are being held up, such as:
I'm proud to have worked on and supported this needed legislation. In doing so, I and other Republicans prioritized middle-class families by passing more than one-half of a billion dollars in tax relief for veterans, college graduates with student loan debt, farmers, and more; generational reforms to improve quality-of-life for Minnesota's aging adults and historic levels of education funding.
In the next three years, the plan which passed the Legislature and now is in the hands of the governor for enactment provides tax relief in the amounts as follows:
Another major change in our state tax code led to passage this year recognizes the sacrifice veterans have made in serving our country by ends the state income tax on veterans pension benefits.We need Gov. Dayton to call a special session immediately to make sure that $995 million in critical projects and all the jobs affected can go forward.