Governor Tim Walz today rolls out part three of his bonding proposal for state public works projects — this segment paying for building maintenance and new construction at the U-of-M and state colleges and universities. Walz says his total bonding bill number will be around two billion dollars, while Senate Republicans say under a billion dollars is a responsible amount. The governor fired back Friday, “We haven’t had a hearing, we haven’t had experts in, and you’re telling me now that you’re gonna tell the mayor and the people of Albert Lea that you decided ahead of time to not do their projects, even before you saw it.”
The governor contends the state’s continued budget surplus easily supports two billion dollars of borrowing while interest rates are low. Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka responds budget surpluses come and go, but the state must be responsible in how much debt it takes on.
Walz unveiled the first and second parts of his bonding proposal last week — 276 million dollars for affordable housing and 300 million for water infrastructure projects. The fourth and final segment, for public safety projects, he’ll roll out Wednesday.