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Cash-only capital investment bill passes House, but time runs out on Senate

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

Late-session chaos means no bonding bills were passed in 2024.   

With less than 10 minutes left before its work had to be done, the House voted 70-0 to pass a $71 million cash-only capital investment bill Sunday.

HF4323/SF4225*, as amended, was approved with less than 10 minutes remaining before the midnight deadline for lawmakers to act and not long after its contents were released to the public. The proposal was rushed to the Senate, but the clock struck midnight before a vote was completed. Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul) said the vote came about 30 seconds late.  

House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth (R-Cold Spring) encouraged members not to vote on the bill saying it was impossible to know its contents.

Minnesota House passes SF4225, a cash capital investment bill 5/19/24

“I would ask that you would be wise in not voting on this because the way that governance works in Minnesota has been degraded and will never be the same,” Demuth said. 

Among the projects in the proposed package were treatment space at the Lino Lakes prison, tree-planting grants, improvements to the State Capitol parking areas, building an ADA accessible tunnel from the State Office Building to the Capitol, and design of the National Guard hangar in Duluth.

Policy provisions included in the cash-only bill would have helped clarify expectations for entities seeking state dollars, including what is considered a nonstate match. Additionally, those receiving a direct appropriation from the state would have had to establish a replacement fund for “major rehabilitation, expansion, replacement, or preservation of the capital project once the project has reached its useful life.”

When the session started, there was hope a general-obligation bonding bill could be passed, which is traditionally done in even number years and requires a three-fifths majority for passage. Though the House Capital Investment Committee approved a $980 million proposal, no bonding bill made it to the House Floor.

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