Bonding bill rebirth resembles Dayton's original priorities

Written by Ruth Kappes on .

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One of the three conditions put forth by Gov. Dayton before coming to a budget agreement was an additional $500 million bonding bill to be voted on during the special session, a condition that closely resembled Dayton's earlier proposal for a $1 billion bonding bill at the beginning of this year's session.

Indeed the bill passed last night greatly resembles the list of more than 300 infrastructure projects designated by the Governor a few months ago. His contribution to the billion dollar bonding bill totaled $531 million; last night's amounted to $521 million before adjusting for changes to previous laws.

The largest line item in the bill is for construction of a physics and nanotechnology building at the UofM. This project, which was also included in Gov. Dayton's original proposal, has been granted $51 million. Along these same lines, the U of M is receiving another $12.5 million to design and construct the relocated biomedical nuclear magnetic resonance imaging lab, as well as mitigate the impacts on other research labs caused by the construction of the Central Corridor transit way. Both amounts are the same in the two bonding bills.


Higher Education Asset Prevention and Replacement funds- $25 million for the UofM and $30 million for MNSCU- were included in the January bonding bill as well, although they each received a $5 million cut.


Another big line item is Flood Hazard Mitigation at $50 million. This money will go towards various levee projects around the state, possibly including those in Georgetown, Moorhead, Roseau, and New Ulm. In Gov. Dayton's bill the same line item totaled $28 million.


Two interesting large changes made from Dayton's plan are an increase from $10 to $20 million for the Wastewater Infrastructure Funding Program, and an increase from $15 to $33 million for Local Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation.


There are also a few new items that were added to the bonding bill. For instance capital improvements to Metropolitan Regional Parks and Trails ($5 million), Lake Superior Campground Expansion ($1.25 million), MN African American History and Cultural Center ($1 million), and State Trail Acquisition and Development ($5.8 million).


In terms of the nuts and bolts of a bonding bill- bond sale expenses for the current bonding bill total $553,000, that is $34,000 more than the bond sale expenses included in Gov. Dayton's bonding bill.


The additional debt service cost for this bonding bill is $4.5 million in FY 2012, $16.2 million in 2013, $28.9 million in 2014, and $32.7 million in 2015.


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