This week Gov. Mark Dayton introduced a $531 million capital investment bill to spur economic growth and create jobs in Minnesota now. The Governor’s plan funds over 300 specific critical infrastructure projects. He also indicated support for doubling over 300 specific projects the Republican controlled Legislature deems most important.
“To focus on getting Minnesotans back to work immediately, the Governor’s plan invests in shovel ready construction and paint and repair building rehab projects that can begin as soon as the bill is signed into law,” said State Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul.
Capital investment, or bonding, is the process by which the state of Minnesota issues bonds to fund public projects that have a state or regional significance. Projects can vary from roof repair and improved insulation at existing facilities to major new construction; the projects bring new revenue to communities across the state and are crucial for economic growth.
A large portion of the Governor’s proposal is dedicated to critical repairs and other improvements to higher education facilities within the University of Minnesota system and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. As the DFL lead on the Senate Higher Education Committee, Sen. Pappas said investment projects that expand our state’s educational opportunities are the key to creating the jobs of the future.
Specifically, the Governor’s proposal includes $98.8 million for the U of MN, including $51.3 million to build a new physics and nanotechnology building at the Twin Cities campus, and $127.6 million for MnSCU improvement projects across the state, including a new roof for St. Paul College.
Sen. Pappas also noted the importance of including funding for the St. Paul Regional Ballpark. The Governor’s proposal includes $20 million for the new St. Paul Regional Ballpark that will be located in the Lowertown area of downtown St. Paul. The publicly owned ballpark will host the St. Paul Saints, high school and regional tournaments, as well as other events.
In addition to the $20 million in funding from the Governor’s proposal, both the city and the Saints have committed to investing $10 million each in the regional ballpark.
“The ballpark is a smart investment for St. Paul,” said Sen. Pappas. “It’s expected to create 225 construction jobs and 151 full-time and seasonal jobs as well as generate $10 million annually in economic growth from over 400,000 visitors it will bring to St. Paul each year.”
For more information, Sen. Pappas may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-1802.