St. Paul, MN – Yesterday, the Minnesota House passed a Jobs & Local Projects and Critical Economic Development bill with investments in infrastructure and economic stimulus to help communities bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic. The companion bill was passed by the Minnesota Senate today. Among other items, the legislation contains $1.879 billion toward public assets such as higher education institutions, clean water infrastructure, transportation, parks, trails, and funding for underserved communities. State Representative Mike Freiberg (DFL - Golden Valley) voted in favor of the legislation.
“As Minnesota continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, legislation like this is crucial in ensuring our communities have the resources necessary to not only recover, but to also benefit from these projects for years to come,” said Rep. Freiberg. “This bipartisan bill is a sorely needed injection of jobs and funding into our communities, and I look forward to the completion of our local projects.”
In Rep. Freiberg’s district, this legislation funds the expansion of the Crystal Police Department building, a bicycle and pedestrian underpass at Douglas Drive and State Highway 55, and flood mitigation for Golden Valley. In addition to investments in our aging infrastructure, the bill delivers $16 million in funding for direct care and treatment programs, a temporary wage increase for personal care assistants, $10.3 million to ensure sexual assault examination kits get tested, and a salary increase for state troopers in line with other law enforcement agencies.
The bill also contains a series of tax provisions, including full section 179 conformity for the federal tax code which will help businesses and farmers. It contains a policy fix for short-term rental properties, flexibility for the Minnesota State High School League’s sales tax proceeds, and an expansion of the homestead property tax exclusion for the spouses of deceased disabled veterans.
A full list of projects included in the bill can be accessed here and the legislation itself can be accessed here.
Additionally, Rep. Freiberg was the author of legislation allowing video conferencing for meetings with a notarial officer during the COVID-19 pandmeic, which also passed the Minnesota Legislature during this special session. Both bills are expected to be signed into law by Governor Tim Walz.