SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent, Senate DFL Capital Investment Lead Sandy Pappas, Assistant DFL Leader Senator Jeff Hayden, and Assistant DFL Leader Senator Nick Frentz unveiled their 2020 jobs bill at a Capitol press conference. With less than two weeks left of session and no bonding hearings scheduled in the Senate, they expressed an urgency in getting a bonding bill passed. Minnesota has more than $5 billion in requests to improve our crumbling public buildings and infrastructure across our state, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made the urgency for the jobs these investments will create even greater.
“If there was ever a time to pass a robust bonding bill, it’s now,” Senator Sandy Pappas said. “Our $2.3 billion in investments ensure access to safe drinking water, housing that is affordable, public safety, and upkeep for the higher education institutions that prepare our future workforce in all four corners of the state. Passing a bonding bill will help address the need for infrastructure improvements and will create the local jobs and economic stimulus our state needs during this public health crisis.”
“Bonding is about building stronger, more vibrant communities,” Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent said. “Unfortunately, it seems House and Senate Republicans are holding up much-needed jobs from passing. We cannot become comfortable with the idea that political posturing is more important than the well-being of Minnesotans.”
House Republicans have publicly said they will actively block a bonding bill from passing unless they get something in return, and their ask isn’t small. They’re asking the governor to give up his ability to quickly and effectively respond to a public health crisis. In the Senate, repeated attempts by Senator Pappas to communicate with the Capital Investment Chair have been met with silence. “It’s unconscionable that state Republicans are more comfortable holding thousands of jobs hostage, during a time when jobs are needed most, than they are in working with the governor, Senate DFL Caucus, and the DFL House to ensure the safety and security of our communities,” Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent said.
“Equity in bonding is crucial in passing a robust bonding bill that benefits Minnesotans in every corner of the state. In order to ensure the diverse communities across our state are thriving, we must invest in meaningful initiatives that support communities of color,” said Senator Jeff Hayden. “Bonding investments are critical for communities, and this legislative proposal is a testament to the Senate DFL’s commitment to ensure no one is left is behind.”
“With less than two weeks left of the 2020 session, we haven’t seen a bonding bill, and there haven’t been any hearings for one scheduled,” Senator Nick Frentz said. “Make no mistake, the political games they are playing now is no coincidence. Over the past three years, our bonding bills have lacked transparency, resulting in confusion, bills not passing, and important projects being delayed.”
The Senate DFL is actively working with the governor and with House leaders to lead the charge on passing a robust bonding bill that is good for all Minnesota communities. Together, their prudent and fiscally sound investments will address our backlog of needs, is regionally balanced, will create local jobs, and will provide our communities sorely needed economic stimulus during and beyond this public health crisis.