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 veterans home construction was the result of an amendment by Rep. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook.
“The bipartisan bonding bill that passed today with a super-majority included language to enable the construction of the veterans home in Bemidji. Keeping this promise to our nation's heroes has been one of my top priorities over these last two years in the legislature and I am glad we have it moving forward on multiple tracks,” said Rep. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook, author of the amendment to add the veterans home provision to the bonding bill. “On top of the veterans homes, there is also funding to address school facilities in both the Northwest Angle Inlet's one-room schoolhouse and Red Lake. These are worthwhile projects and will help to make sure children in the area are able to go to school in safe, up-to-date facilities.”
The bonding portion of the bill includes:
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.