BONDING BILL: U of M, state schools biggest beneficiaries - KMSP-TV

BONDING BILL: Essential bullet points and big winners

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What $1 billion of construction projects looks like What $1 billion of construction projects looks like
Rep. Hausman introduces the bonding bill Rep. Hausman introduces the bonding bill
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

The House Capital Investment Committee released the details of two proposals that will spend a combined $975 million on public works and construction projects in Minnesota.

One bill will contain $850 million worth of proposed borrowing while the other will have $125 million in projects that would be paid in cash.

MORE: At the Capitol on April 1

Chair Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL-St. Paul) presented a complete review of the bill Tuesday morning, which puts money toward higher education, transportation, housing, economic development, water and wastewater systems.


"If you've never written a bonding bill, it's hard to understand how fast a billion dollars goes." - Rep. Alice Hausman


A good portion of Minnesota's projected $1.23 billion budget surplus is going toward the House tax relief package that passed in late March. The bill spends $434 million in tax cuts that will stimulate $508 million in tax relief. At the same time, it saves $150 million for the budget reserve fund.

That passage made room for the bonding bill to take the stage.

Hausman called the bill "inadequate," and said that it doesn't have enough money for local roads and bridges, but she says if she had another $100 million, she'd know what to do with it.

WHERE'S THE MONEY GOING?

U of M + MnSCU: The two largest items in the bonding bill are for the University of Minnesota -- $175 million and $193 million for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

At the U of M, Rep. Hausman is asking for $56,000 to renovate the Tate Laboratory of Physics and $51 million for the Bell Museum and Planetarium. She's repeatedly tried to push for funds at the Bell Museum in past legislative sessions.


PHOTO: Itemized list of university projects (click to enlarge)

City projects: $4.5 million would go toward a Nicollet Mall revamp in Minneapolis while Mankato would receive funds for the Minnesota State Arena and Auditorium expansion. Rochester would get $30 million for the Mayo Clinic Civic Center expansion.

Transportation: $21.7 million would go toward local bridge replacement and $18.3 million for local road improvement.

GOP WEIGHS IN

Rep. Matt Dean, the Republican lead for the House Capital Investment Committee, said he can't make any commitment for Republican votes on the bonding bill until they've read the whole thing. Rep. Dean said eventually, he'd like to see a version of the bill that could get at least half of the support from the GOP caucus.

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