Finally, a bonding bill

During the October special session, the Minnesota Legislature finally passed the long-anticipated bonding bill, which makes strategic and necessary long-term capital investments in state properties and to support local communities with their regional needs. The bill includes $1.9 billion in bonds: $1.3 billion on in general obligation (GO) bonds, $300 million in transportation bonds, and $150 million in appropriation bonds. 

This is the first time the legislature has passed a bonding bill with more than $1 billion in GO bonds, and it provides substantial investment throughout Greater Minnesota. In addition to funding numerous statewide capital improvement programs, the bonding bill includes more than $500 million in specific projects in communities throughout Greater Minnesota, including investing in clean water infrastructure, flood mitigation, improvements to roads, bridges, and airports, and replacing aging infrastructure.

We are pleased to see a number of GMNP’s priorities included in the bill. First, we are pleased to see a significant investment in Greater Minnesota specific projects. These community investments will make our cities stronger and help attract and retain employers and families.  We are also pleased with the inclusion of $100 million in housing infrastructure bonds. The bill includes $8.2 million for the Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) grants, which is one of the most successful programs at the Department of Employment and Economic Development, and supports projects in Greater Minnesota that expand economic growth, retain or create jobs, or increase the local tax base. These are all critically important investments for our region.

Although no funding was provided, the bill creates a new childcare facilities grant program for Greater Minnesota that will provide the necessary capital to create new childcare facilities in our region. Getting this program funded will be a top priority for the 2021 legislative session. Thank you all for your outreach and communication with your local legislators in support of the bonding bill. It took a regular session plus five special sessions to get it done, but the investments included in the bill will have a significant impact on the economic sustainability of communities across the state