Legislative Update: January 17, 2020

Governor proposes $2.59 billion infrastructure package

Yesterday Governor Tim Walz made public the final pieces of his bonding bill, after rolling out his recommendations for housing, water infrastructure and higher education earlier in the week. In addition to borrowing $2.03 billion for public construction projects, Walz is also recommending almost $600 million in user financing and general fund cash, for a $2.59 billion package.

The complete details of the Governor’s capital budget can be found on the Minnesota Management and Budget web site.

As a reminder, Walz is recommending $488 million for higher education, of which $263. 7 million is for Minnesota State. The $263.7 million includes $142.5 million for asset preservation and $121.2 million for capital bonding projects at the colleges and universities. Walz’s proposal fully funds every bonding project in the system’s request. You may find further detail regarding Minnesota State’s bonding request HERE.

The 2020 legislative session is considered a bonding year, and passing a bonding bill will likely be a main focus of this year’s legislative session. A bonding bill needs a 60 percent super-majority in both the House and Senate in order to pass.

The Governor and Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans have said that the state has more than sufficient financial capacity to take on the proposed $2 billion in borrowing. In response to the Governor’s proposal, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, said that he wants to pass a bonding bill this year under $1 billion. “I think it should be closer to the numbers that we had before,” Gazelka said.

The 2020 legislative session begins February 11, 2020. Lawmakers will have until May 18 to come to an agreement on a bonding bill.

For more information please contact the Government Relations Team:

Bernie Omann – Bernie.Omann@MinnState.edu
Melissa Fahning – Melissa.Fahning@MinnState.edu
Sarah Berns – Sarah.Berns@MinnState.edu
Tina Firkus – Tina.Firkus@MinnState.edu

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