Today, the Minnesota State Senate passed a long overdue local jobs and projects bill. The $1.37 billion infrastructure bill will create thousands of jobs for Minnesotans across the state. The bill finances $1.87 billion in statewide public projects, once other funding sources are counted, including road and bridge repairs, access to safe drinking water, housing that is affordable, public safety, and upkeep for the higher education institutions that prepare our future workforce. After voting in support of the bill, Senator Susan Kent released the following statement:
“Minnesotans asked for a robust bonding bill and it is long overdue. After months of Republican political posturing, DFLers were able to successfully advocate, work, and pass investments that will spur the rebuilding and revitalization of our communities statewide,” said Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent. “People whose livelihoods have been affected by COVID-19 are facing devastating economic situations. This bill chips away at the state’s backlog of infrastructure needs while delivering much-needed stimulus to the economy and local jobs.”
The bill includes $30 million for equity projects including funding for the Hmong American Farmers Association, the Minneapolis 38th Street Cultural Wellness Center, the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance in Albert Lea, the Minneapolis North Commons Park, and the Northwest American Indian Center in Bemidji. Also included was $55 million for Bus Rapid Transit.
The bonding bill passed by the legislature will create economic stimulus in the face of an economic downturn and puts people back to work. In addition to creating thousands of jobs statewide through bonding projects, the bill provides tax relief for farmers and small business owners, protects jobs in Northern Minnesota correction facilities, and provides a rate increase for personal care assistants.