SAINT PAUL – Today, House Speaker Melissa Hortman announced the appointment of Rep. Fue Lee (DFL – Minneapolis) as the incoming chair of the House Capital Investment Committee for the upcoming legislative session. The committee is charged with developing legislation investing in public infrastructure improvements across the state.
“I’m grateful to Speaker Hortman for this opportunity to step into this new role and continue our work to deliver critical investments in infrastructure across our state,” Rep. Lee said. “Capital Investment bills are about more than numbers on a spreadsheet, or even the bricks and mortar; they are about strengthening communities. Through our work in this committee, we can help Minnesota emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic challenges by investing in our public infrastructure, creating good-paying job opportunities, and keeping a focus on equity and inclusion.”
Capital Investment bills – or bonding bills – fund improvements of public assets including higher education institutions, wastewater treatment plants, roads and bridges, transit, parks, trails, municipal buildings, and opportunities for economic growth within communities. The committee customarily tours the state to vet proposed projects. During the fall of 2019, the panel traveled more than 3,200 miles and visited 230 sites of potential projects.
This past October, the Legislature approved a Jobs and Local Projects bill with $1.879 billion worth of investments. In his current role as Vice Chair of the Capital Investment Division, Rep. Lee was instrumental in securing a section in the legislation dedicated to equity for the first time ever. The equity component included $30 million worth of projects important to people of color and Indigenous communities, as well as a new policy requiring diversity hiring goals and equal pay for state bond-funded projects.
Full committee membership will be announced in December. The 2021-2022 legislative session convenes on January 5.