Nearly half of the 518 million dollars in Governor Tim Walz’s bonding proposal would go for asset preservation — roof repairs, exterior renovation and technology upgrades — at state-owned buildings across Minnesota. Walz contends it’s so the state’s infrastructure doesn’t fall into disrepair. “This proposed bill makes the necessary investments so that we don’t get so far behind,” he says. Also in the governor’s proposal: 100 million dollars to preserve and build housing opportunities across the state and 43 million for security upgrades at the State Capitol Complex. And his request for 150 million dollars to help Minneapolis and Saint Paul recover from last summer’s riots will face resistance from Republicans. They say they’re willing to help businesses but are leery of a large amount going to each city to use as it sees fit.
The governor’s bonding plan has support of key lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled Minnesota House, but it’s future is less certain in the Senate. The Star Tribune reports Cook independent Tom Bakk, who chairs the Capital Investment Committee, hinted at disinterest in bonding this session.
Governor Walz is also asking for 4.5 million dollars for a new Veterans Cemetery in Redwood Falls in southwest Minnesota. And he wants 10 million dollars for Minnesota’s share of design and environmental work on a second daily Amtrak train between the Twin Cities, Milwaukee and Chicago. The run would include stops in Winona and Red Wing.