The Senate Capital Investment Committee held its first hearing at the Capitol this week. During the fall, the Capital Investment Committee went on several tours of the state to review prospective projects. Even numbered years in the legislative biennium are typically reserved for supplemental budgets and capital investment bills.
Legislative leaders and Governor Walz have indicated passing a bonding bill is an important priority this legislative session. Capital Investment bills require a three-fifths majority to secure passage, which is unique as other bills only require a simple majority. As a result of the makeup of the Legislature, these proposals will require bipartisan support to pass into law.
DFL legislators are arguing for a larger bonding bill, especially given the large asset preservation needs of our state. Bonding bills create good-paying trades jobs throughout the state, which boost both the local and state economies. Republicans have been opposed to passing bills over $1 billion in General Obligation bonds for over a decade. As result, the state has fallen behind in preserving our infrastructure. Additionally, the longer the state waits to fix our infrastructure, the more expensive asset preservation becomes, resulting in greater fiscal pressure.
Typically, capital investment bills are one of the last bills to pass the legislature before adjournment. Watch for future updates as the bonding bill comes together this session.