ST. PAUL – After collecting information for more than a year, and touring the state to learn more about needed renovation projects, State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska), who chairs the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee, said developing a bonding bill priority list has now begun.
"We had five times more requests than we actually have available to fund," Torkelson said. "What I've learned is that the State of Minnesota owns a lot of things across this state that need continued rehabilitation, and one of my top commitments for this capital investment bill will be asset preservation."
Torkelson noted that many buildings, particularly on University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MNSCU) campuses, are in need of major remodeling. Other areas, such as state parks, are in need of rehabilitation.
"These are projects that are difficult to keep in the bill because they're not bright and shiny objects," Torkelson said. "Very few people ask me to spend money on asset preservation, but most of them request something new."
Torkelson noted that while the capital investment project ranking process is underway, do not expect to see the final proposal until late in the 2016 session.
"If you look at the history of the legislature, the bonding bill is typically the last one out the door," Torkelson said. "So stay tuned as it could be weeks before the House capital investment proposal makes its way to the House floor."