Capital investment bond change and corrections bill

Several legislative members and some conversation groups opposed the bonding bill last year as a result of it including bonds backed by the environment and natural resources trust fund instead of general obligation (GO) bonds. Despite these concerns, Governor Dayton signed the bonding bill into law. Following the bill being enacted into law, conservation groups filed a lawsuit against the State of Minnesota regarding the improper use of the environment and natural resources trust fund for the issuance of bonds. The lawsuit had been stayed until after the legislative session in hopes an agreement can be reached.

A bill signed into law madecorrections to the bill that was passed in 2018. Additionally, the bill converted projects that were funded in the 2018 bonding from bonds backed by the environment and natural resources trust fund to general obligation (GO) bonds. As a result, $98 million in revenue bonds are converted to general obligations bonds. Additionally, $4.3 million has been added to the GO bonds issued for the Waste Disposal Engineering (WDE) site in Anoka County. (HF 80)

$440 million bonding bill fails to pass; $60 million for housing infrastructure bonds approved

The final negotiations agreed to by the Majority Leader, Speaker of the House, and Governor Walz included $440 million in general obligation bonds and $60 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds; however, when session closed only $60 million for housing was approved by the Legislature.

A bonding agreement must get the support of both the majority and minority caucuses given the number of votes needed to pass a bonding bill – a three-fifths majority vote or 81 representatives and 41 senators – and the minority caucuses did not sign the final negotiated agreement. A bonding bill must originate in the House of Representatives, and the House determined it did not have enough support for a bill that included $440 million in infrastructure improvements. As a result, the House only approved $60 million for Housing which the Senate passed before adjournment. (HF 12)