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Bills proposing $1.9 billion in capital projects clears House bonding panel

(House Photography file photo)
(House Photography file photo)

The House Capital Investment Committee continues to move along bills investing approximately $1.9 billion in roads, bridges, trails, parks, buildings, and other infrastructure projects.

Committee members approved two bills Monday appropriating money for capital projects ranging from the Somali Museum in Minneapolis to flood mitigation in Moorhead and sent them to the House Ways and Means Committee.

House Capital Investment Committee 2/20/23

HF669, amended by a delete-all and author’s amendment, would authorize about $1.5 billion from bond sales, while HF670, also amended by a delete-all and author’s amendment, would appropriate about $400 million from the General Fund for state and local projects.

The Legislature is catching up, said Rep. Fue Lee (DFL-Mpls), who sponsors both bills. Bonding bills did not pass in 2021 or 2022.   

Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City) said he hopes these bills reach a successful conclusion. 

Among the higher ticket items in the bonding bill, which requires a supermajority to pass are:

  • $235.39 million for water and wastewater programs;
  • $173.25 million for the Department of Natural Resources; and
  • $146 million for local road and bridge grants.

[MORE: See the proposed capital budget spreadsheetdebt service tracking]

There’s very little change to the capital investment proposal unveiled Feb. 13; the author’s amendments are generally technical in nature. There is a reduction of a budget line for the Root River Trail, which should represent the cost for property acquisition and design, Lee said.  

Additionally, more funding has been allocated to integrated manufacturing labs at Lake Superior College, offset by about $4.8 million less for higher education asset preservation and replacement funds that would go to the Minnesota State system.

About $185 million has been set aside for projects proposed by the Republican caucus. Urdahl said amendments adding them to the bill are to be offered either in the House Ways and Means Committee or on the House Floor. 

Lee expects the bills to be acted on by the ways and means committee Feb. 27, then go to the House Floor for potential action on March 6, although there’s still discussion about whether the bills would be heard on the same day. 

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