Governor Walz announced his 2021 proposal for a Local Jobs and Projects Bill. Commonly referred to as a Bonding Bill, the proposal would invest $518 million to maintain existing state assets, invest in Minnesota communities, and leverage federal funding that requires matching funds from the state. Interest rates for state borrowing through a bonding bill remain low, creating more incentive to invest in capital improvement projects now.
During the release of the bonding proposal, the Walz-Flanagan administration stated that there are over $1.7 billion in deferred maintenance needs for state agencies. The bonding proposal also includes $100 million in funding for preserving and building affordable housing. Other proposed items for capital investment include $15 million for projects serving people of color, who traditionally have not had equal access to state investment support, as well as $10 million for passenger rail to further connect Minnesotans to transit and low-emission transportation.
The Legislature passed a record $1.9 billion bonding bill in a special legislative session in the fall of 2019. That effort received strong support from Senate DFLers, who have consistently supported bonding projects that create jobs, invest in Minnesota’s communities, and close gaps in deferred maintenance needs before those needs are exacerbated and become more expensive.