The Minnesota Senate passed a $1.37 billion bonding bill as part of a total $1.87 billion economic development package investing in shovel-ready public works projects throughout the state Thursday, including more than $12 million in funding for local projects. Senator Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin) voted YES on the package, which passed 64-3 with strong support from both Republicans and Democrats.
“Finding common ground on a bonding bill that was focused on creating jobs, investing in state assets and critical infrastructure, and boosting our economic recovery from COVID-19 was a priority for my colleagues and I, and I’m happy to vote yes on this vital legislation,” said Senator Sparks. “Passing this bill was only possible by working across the aisle to find compromise and put the needs of Minnesotans first.”
The bill includes $2.682 million in funding for flood mitigation on Main Street/US-65 in Albert Lea, $250,000 for the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance to build a facility in Albert Lea, as well as $1.74 million to complete the final piece of the Blazing Star Trail to Hayward. It also provides $7.4 million in funding for the Austin wastewater treatment plant. The Township Road Improvement Grant Program receives $5 million from the bill.
In a huge win for farmers and small businesses, the legislation also addresses Section 179 tax conformity, which Senator Sparks has been a strong advocate for.
The bill had previously passed the House of Representatives on a vote of 100-34. It now goes to the governor, who is expected to sign the legislation into law.