House Capital Investment Division holds first meeting of the year

On Tuesday morning, hours before the official start of the 2020 legislative session, the House Capital Investment Division held an informational hearing to learn about Governor Walz’s bonding proposal.

Myron Frans, commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget, gave a presentation on the Governor’s $2.03 billion “Local Jobs and Projects Plan.” He noted that the demand for bonding money is greater than ever, with more than $5 billion in requests, including $1.3 million from local governments alone. While Frans highlighted a number of projects in the Governor’s proposal, he emphasized higher education and water infrastructure projects as two major components of the plan.

Division chair Rep. Mary Murphy (DFL-Hermantown) said division members spent significant time touring potential bonding projects during the interim, noting that they heard 236 presentations over the course of 17 days. She said the division will continue to learn more about potential bonding projects in the coming weeks and that she plans to have a bill ready before the Legislature’s Easter break in early April.

Rep. Murphy did not mention how large her bill will be, but she has previously expressed a desire for a $3.5 billion bill. However, that number may be a hard sell. When asked about the bonding bill at a Chamber of Commerce event this week, all four legislative leaders (Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt) agreed that the bonding bill will not exceed $2 billion.