ST. PAUL – As chairman of the House Capital Investment Committee, Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, issued the following statement following Gov. Mark Dayton’s announcement Tuesday that he is proposing a $1.5 billion bonding package during the 2018 legislative session.
“It will be an uphill battle to secure legislative support for a proposal that spends $600 million more than we have planned for in the budget forecast,” Urdahl said. “Last session, the Legislature passed a $1 billion, geographically balanced bonding bill which focused heavily on infrastructure and transportation needs. Any bill that takes shape this year will need to follow that same blueprint. By contrast, the governor’s proposal fails to include any of the critical local infrastructure projects that are critical to any bonding bill's success. In addition, information from the state’s February economic forecast needs to be factored into the equation, so let’s allow those details to come into place before we get too far ahead of ourselves.”
The vast majority of the 2017 bill was comprised of funding for roads and bridges, water infrastructure, and statewide asset preservation. More than 25 percent – $254.4 million – was geared toward transportation projects; $116 million went to the Local Road Improvement Fund Program, $71 million for rail grade crossings, and $49.2 million for local bridge work. $172.9 million was provided to water-related projects, including $116 million Public Facilities Authority funding for water and sewer infrastructure. $112 million went to statewide asset preservation, and $212 million went to state colleges and universities.