ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House on Monday approved a capital investment package on a bipartisan 84-39 vote featuring $825 million in general obligation bonds to fund construction projects throughout the state.
More than two-thirds of the bonding is dedicated to bricks-and-mortar projects, such as roads and bridges, water infrastructure and statewide asset preservation. The bill also features a component to use excess reserves from the Vikings stadium account to fund construction of veterans homes in Bemidji, Montevideo and Preston.
“The process of assembling this bill has been extensive and I think the super majority we earned today on the House floor says volumes about the finished product,” said House Capital Investment Chairman Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township. “This bill checks all the boxes, from geographic balance to its responsible overall dollar figure and the projects themselves in terms of sticking to the priorities and focusing heavily on infrastructure.”
The bonding portion of the bill includes:
$364 million for asset preservation such as state-owned buildings
$120 million for road and transportation infrastructure
$153 million for water and conservation projects
$188 million for “other” projects, such as:
$25 million for school safety
$25 million for mental health centers
With funding such as trunk highway bonds included, the bill provides an additional $254 million for transportation, another $10 million for water/conservation and $127 million in other funding for a total of $1.2 billion.
The bill provides $41 million in funding for the construction of veterans homes in Preston, Bemidji, and Montevideo through the same funding mechanism proposed in the House’s omnibus state government finance package. The reserve account for the Vikings stadium is running an excess, expected to reach $58 million by the end of the current biennium and grow to $120.2 million at the end of next biennium. This bill would allocate a portion of that funding for constructing veterans homes in each of the aforementioned cities.