Senator Chris Eaton (DFL-Brooklyn Center) voted for the $1.37 billion Capital Investment Bill on Oct. 15 that provides critical funding to move Minnesota’s economy forward by putting more people to work, making critical investments housing, higher education, and transit. The bonding bill passed this week will finance more than $1.87 billion in statewide public projects, once other funding sources are counted.
In response to the bill passing, Sen. Eaton released the following statement:
“I was pleased to support the long-overdue 2020 bonding bill this week. This important jobs and projects bill is about building stronger, more vibrant communities. COVID-19 has exacerbated the economic inequality that already existed but the legislation passed today will fund hundreds of public construction projects around Minnesota and create thousands of jobs.
I am particularly pleased we were able to secure $100 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds for affordable housing projects for Minnesota. That is the largest capital investment the state has made in housing. Housing Infrastructure Bonds are dedicated to building new housing and preserving existing housing for Minnesotans at the lowest income levels. The bill also includes $16 million for public housing maintenance.
The bill includes supplemental budget investments to ensure untested rape kits get tested. It will bring some relief for survivors, reduce the backlog of the testing, provide storage of restricted kits, and be used to develop a website for sexual assault survivors to learn the testing status of their sexual assault examination kit.
Other supplemental budget funding in this bill will provide temporary pay increases for personal care assistants who care for vulnerable Minnesotans and fund Direct Care and Treatment programs at the Department of Human Services. Additionally, $30 million is allocated to help improve and promote equity in communities across the state.
The bill contains some tax provisions including making full section 179 expensing on like-kind exchanges (trade-ins), retroactive for tax years 2018 and 2019. Changes to the federal tax code in 2017 created a problem in Minnesota because they required trade-in value to be counted as income. I support this fix to help small businesses.
I am proud to support this important bill that takes care of our state-owned assets, addresses inequities in funding for our communities, and creates much-needed jobs to boost our economy harmed by the pandemic.”