Governor Signs Bonding Bill Funding Several League-Supported Programs

Gov. Dayton signed the $1.43 billion omnibus bonding bill, but chose to line-item veto a grant related to studying water regulations.
(Published Jun 4, 2018)

After a week of uncertainty over Gov. Dayton’s intentions, proponents of the 2018 omnibus capital investment bill, Chapter 214, heard good news on May 30. The governor announced at a morning press conference that he has signed the public works plan containing $1.43 billion in total appropriations, including $825 million in general obligation bonding.

The package contains funding for programs the League supports including: water and wastewater infrastructure, the Local Road Improvement Program, Corridors of Commerce, the Local Bridge Account, the Local Road Wetland Replacement Program, and housing programs.

—See list of projects/appropriations on the governor's website

Governor dislikes portions of bill

Dayton did line-item veto one measure, a $1 million grant for analyzing Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) water regulations. He called the provision "an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy."

The governor has the authority to line-item veto budget provisions, but he cannot veto individual policy provisions.

In a letter to legislative leaders, Dayton said he was not entirely pleased with the package. He wrote, "I am signing this bill despite my objections because areas throughout Minnesota need the projects and the jobs."

He went on to say the measure "underfunds critical investments in higher education, state parks, and water infrastructure, and assures that those needs will become more urgent and more expensive in the future."

While the amount of appropriations in the bill resembles the governor’s proposal of $1.5 billion in capital investments, the priorities in the bill do not align as closely.

The governor’s proposal included substantially more for clean water initiatives than the bill he received. The final package also contains trunk highway bonds for the Corridors of Commerce program, which the governor did not propose.

—Read the governor's letter regarding the bonding bill (pdf)

What's in the bill?

Some provisions that may be of interest to cities include:

  • $400 million in trunk highway bonds for the Corridors of Commerce program (over three years).
  • $6.7 million for the Local Roads Wetland Replacement Program.
  • $5 million for the Metropolitan Council’s Inflow and Infiltration Grant Program.
  • $35 million for the Local Road Improvement Program.
  • $5 million for the Local Bridge Account.
  • $25 million for the Water Infrastructure Funding Program for drinking water projects.
  • $14 million for the state match for federal grants to state revolving loan programs for drinking water projects.
  • $10 million for public housing rehabilitation.
  • $50 million for housing infrastructure bonds.
  • $30 million for housing infrastructure bonds for persons with behavioral health needs.
  • Many city-specific projects.

A thorough summary of Chapter 214 will be published in the League’s 2018 Law Summaries in the coming weeks.

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