The Minnesota Senate passed a $1.87 billion economic stimulus bill Thursday, by a 64-3 margin, providing investment to public assets and critical statewide infrastructure needs. In addition to these investments, the package addresses federal tax conformity on Section 179 and restores critical funding for the Department of Corrections.
“The bonding bill is an economic stimulus package that invests in critical infrastructure needs, creates thousands of good-paying jobs, and helps our state recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Karla Bigham (DFL-Cottage Grove). “Minnesotans were depending on the legislature to come together and pass a bonding bill that put aside partisan politics, and instead focused on addressing the needs of our communities. This bill is a win for Minnesota.”
The legislation includes $2 million for rehabilitation of Hastings City Hall, $2 million for Concord Street improvements in South Saint Paul, $2 million for sanitary sewer mainline lining in Newport, $1.5 million for a new pedestrian and bike trail along Highway 316, and $7 million for the expansion of the Ramsey/Washington County Recycling and Energy Center. The bill also includes $100 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds.
In addition to bonding, the supplemental budget contains several key provisions. This includes more than $7 million in additional funding for the Minnesota State Patrol, providing a much-needed raise for troopers while addressing budget issues that arose from additional costs this summer. The budget also includes more than $4.4 million for storing, tracking, and testing sexual assault examination kits and forensic testing to combat violent crime for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
The legislation also contains a series of tax provisions, including full section 179 conformity to the federal tax code which will help businesses and farmers. It also contains a policy fix for short-term rental properties, flexibility for the Minnesota State High School League’s sales tax proceeds, and an expansion of the homestead property tax exclusion for the spouses of deceased disabled veterans.