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Who will get big bucks coming state’s way from federal infrastructure act?

By almost all measures, $1.2 trillion is a hefty chunk of change. That’s how much is supposed to be divvied up among the states as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was signed into law by President Biden in November. So how much of that is coming to Minnesota?

The current estimate is about $7.3 billion, according to State Budget Director Ahna Minge. But, as she told the House Capital Investment Committee Tuesday, that comes with some caveats.

First, Congress has to approve the appropriations by Feb. 18 or pass a continuing resolution. And then there are the matches, which the state must provide for most grants coming its way. Those vary according to the funding category, but most range between 2% and 7% of the total monies accorded infrastructure projects in the state.

And it’s not a no-strings-attached kind of scenario.

“There isn’t a large, flexible pot of spending like there was in the American Rescue Plan or the CARES Act,” Minge said, referring to federal money that came to the state as part of COVID-19 economic recovery plans. “About $200 billion in federal grants will be available to states with a competitive component, and these typically require a match.”

She said 84% of the money coming to the state will require a match of some sort.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, or IIJA, was actually a combination of two bills, one dealing exclusively with transportation, the other a variety of subjects. Of that $1.2 trillion, over half is earmarked for transportation, but the roads and bridges part of the state’s total is a much larger piece of its pie chart.

Minge said the Department of Transportation should expect to oversee about $5.45 billion of the state’s $7.3 billion total.

Here's how Management and Budget believes the funding will break down by state agency, approximately:

  • Transportation, $5.45 billion;
  • Metropolitan Council, $852 million;
  • Public Facilities Authority, $668 million;
  • Commerce, $159 million;
  • Employment and Economic Development’s Office of Broadband Development, $103 million; and
  • Cybersecurity (MNIT), $18 million.

So how much is the state expected to pitch in on funding these infrastructure projects? It varies. To use the largest example, the state’s roads are expected to receive $4.5 billion in federal help -- $599 million of that an increase over base funding – and $302 million in new funding for bridge replacement and repairs. To procure that, the state must pitch in $113 million a year.

The state will also receive infrastructure funding from the feds in the categories of:

  • Water: $668 million, with a state match of $29 million for fiscal years 2022-24;
  • Climate: $568 million, with a state match of $20 million in fiscal year 2023 and $2 million in other years;
  • Airports: $297 million, with a state match of $7 million a year;
  • Transit: $236 million, with a state match of $17 million a year;
  • Broadband: $100 million, with no state match, but a 25% match required for subgrantees;
  • Electric vehicle charging infrastructure: $68 million, with a state match of $3.4 million a year; and
  • Cybersecurity: $18 million, with a state match of $4.125 million.

When is it coming to the state and over how long a period? Minge said the state is awaiting further guidance and details from the federal government on timelines.

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