Governor Dayton’s 2016 Bonding Proposal
Rather than roads, bridges or transit, Governor Dayton’s transportation priorities focus on rail and pipeline safety. Dayton’s proposal includes nearly $70 million for three high-profile rail grade separation projects. These projects have grown more dangerous as they block intersections for increasingly long periods of time as the number of trains carrying oil has increased dramatically the past few years.
Rail Grade Separation on Crude Oil Rail Lines Program: $69.624 million
Facilities Capital Program (Trunk Highway Cash): $40 million
Minneapolis 10th Avenue SE Bridge over the Mississippi River: $31.875 million
Duluth Airport Authority: $5.274 million
Notably missing: Any money for transit projects including the Gateway bus rapid transit project, the Bottineau or the Southwest light rail projects. Governor Dayton indicated that the costs associated with these projects should be paid for through a metro-area sales tax rather than bonding.
Water Quality & Environment
A major function of bonding bills is to help maintain publicly-owned infrastructure. Many small towns have out-of-date and crumbling drinking and wastewater facilities. Improvements or building new systems is so costly – many towns require state assistance before they can move forward. Governor Dayton’s investment of $220 million to help aid communities across the state is 3-4 times the average amount spend on water quality projects. According to the EPA, Minnesota communities will need $11 billion in water infrastructure improvements over the next two decades. Read more about the importance of repairing water infrastructure here.
Water Infrastructure Initiative: State Matching Funds for U.S. EPA Grants: $25 million
Water Infrastructure Initiative: Wastewater Infrastructure Fund: $80 million
Water Infrastructure Initiative: Point Source Implementation Grants: $62 million
Natural Resources Asset Preservation: $33 million
Dam Safety Repair, Reconstruction & Removal: $7 million
Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Reserve Program: $30 millionNotable: The Governor is clearly making water quality and safe drinking and wastewater infrastructure a priority with investments of $220 million in his bonding proposal. The Senate Bonding Tour visited dozens of small towns across the state, many with failing or badly out of date wastewater infrastructure. Many of these small communities are incapable of covering the costs of building a new system on their own.
Arts & Culture & Parks
In addition to preserving our state’s assets, bonding can also help maintain and build the things that make Minnesota a great place to live, work and play. The Governor’s bonding proposal includes several investments in places many Minnesotans love – including the Minnesota Zoo, Como Zoo and regional parks across the metro area.
Metropolitan Regional Parks: $10 million
Home is the foundation for stable families, strong communities, and a competitive state. Housing infrastructure bonds help pay to build new homes for low-income families, while investments in public housing rehabilitation helps maintain and rehab existing housing stock. The Dorothy Day Revision investment will help create a more dignified setting for homeless in St. Paul, while also providing more resources to get the homeless back on their feet.
Housing Infrastructure Bonds: $70 million.
Public Housing Rehabilitation: $20 million
Dorothy Day Revision Phase 2: $14. 5 millionNotable: The $90 million for public housing builds on the successes of the 2014 Bonding Bill when the legislature voted to invest $100 million in housing infrastructure bonds – helping house hundreds of homeless Minnesotans.
Higher education investments are always an important part of any bonding bill. This year Gov. Dayton invested $343 million into MnSCU and the University of Minnesota. Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) makes up a large portion of this investment – helping make critical repairs to hundreds of buildings across the state. Dayton said he could have spent nearly the entire $1.4 billion bonding bill on higher education alone – that statement speaks volumes about the need on our college and university campuses. The Senate bonding tour visited more than a dozen campuses this fall, and saw a trend of buildings constructed in the 1960’s and 70’s that have fallen into disrepair – built much more poorly than other buildings constructed during the first half of the 20th century.
MnSCU: $80 million HEAPR (Higher Education Asset Preservation & Replacement)
Bemidji State University – Academic Learning Center (Hagg Sauer Replacement) Design and Renovation: $18.097 million.
Winona State University – Education Village Phase 2, Renovation & Demolition: $25.306 million
University of Minnesota: $55 million in HEAPR
Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science Building (U of M-Duluth): $27.167 million
Corrections, Human Services & Public Safety
The Governor’s bill prioritizes protecting all Minnesotans, and that includes asset preservation at prisons, and important security upgrades as well as less restrictive, community-based changes to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. Investments to an emergency operations center prioritizes proper training for our state police and fire employees.
Saint Cloud Intake, Health Services & Loading Dock: $19 million. This allocation would help complete phase 2 of this project.
MN Security Hospital Phase 2: $70.255 million.
MN Sex Offender Program (St. Peter) Phase 2: $14.5 million
MN Sex Offender Program Less Restrictive Alternatives: $12.42 millionRush City Prison expansion request of $141 million to help alleviate prison overcrowding across the state.
Business and Economic Development
Many investments in the Governor’s proposal will help spur greater economic development, bringing jobs and people into communities. All of these investments are designed to strengthen communities, modernize aging infrastructure systems and help aid local businesses. The Governor’s $1.4 billion proposal is projected to create nearly 40,000 jobs in Minnesota.
Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI): $21 million.
Lewis and Clark Regional Water System: $16 million
Transportation Economic Development Grants – $10 millionNotably missing: any money for Greater Minnesota veteran’s homes.