As a result of last year’s inability to reach an agreement, some legislators have been anxious to find a compromise on a bonding bill. Governor Dayton submitted his proposal to the Legislature for consideration early in the legislative session. His proposal for general fund (GF) supported debt topped out at $1.49 billion. In comparison, House Republicans failed to pass their most recent iteration of a bonding bill which totaled $800 million in GF supported debt.
The Senate’s original proposal was higher relative to the House proposal; it totaled $972 million in GF supported debt. The Senate had its proposal to the floor by early March, while the House’s proposal reached the floor with less than a week remaining. As a result of the bonding bill needing to be a House File, the Senate was unable to send its bill to the House. Additionally, bonding bills need a super majority to pass in both the House and Senate while meeting the demands of the Governor to earn his signature.
As a result, the bonding bill was tied up in budget negotiations until the last night of the special session. Legislators passed a $987.9 million bill because of the important projects that need to be funded across the state. A secondary benefit of extending the lifecycle of our buildings and assets are the thousands of Minnesotans who will be employed and earning paychecks that will be spent in communities across the state. (HF 5)