The Minnesota Senate passed a $1.87 billion economic development package Thursday that included bonding for public assets and infrastructure, supplemental budget provisions, and several changes to state tax policy.
“With such low interest rates this bonding bill is an unprecedented opportunity to invest in projects throughout our state that will create jobs right now, especially for the tens of thousands of trade workers who are currently unemployed. These investments will help Minnesota bounce back more quickly from the COVID-19 pandemic, generate economic development for years to come, and provide a strong return on investment in future state revenue,” said Senator Jim Carlson (DFL-Eagan). “It is unfortunate that Minnesotans had to wait until October for this legislation as House Republicans blocked it throughout the summer, but I am happy they have seen the light on the importance of investing in Minnesota’s infrastructure and its people.”
The bonding bill included $6 million for much needed improvements to the Lake Byllesby Dam and $4 million to address safety concerns on Diffley Road. 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 supplemental budget also contains more than $13 million to provide a temporary rate increase for primary care attendants of 8.4%.
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.