For Immediate Release: May 2, 2016
Contact: Julie Liew, email@example.com
Senate bonding bill includes funding for key Greater Minnesota priorities
ST. PAUL—The Minnesota Senate showed support for key Greater Minnesota infrastructure programs when it unveiled its bonding bill this morning. The bill includes significant funding for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities’ (CGMC) two main bonding priorities — $167 million for clean water infrastructure grant and loan programs and $15 million for the Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) Grant Program.
“I’d like to thank the Senate Capital Investment Committee and its chair Sen. Stumpf for recognizing the needs of Greater Minnesota communities in their bonding bill,” said Robert Broeder, mayor of Le Sueur and president of the CGMC. “I’m pleased to see that the Senate has joined Gov. Dayton in supporting important infrastructure programs that benefit cities across Minnesota.”
Greater Minnesota city leaders have been vocal about the struggles many of their cities currently face when it comes to paying for required upgrades and repairs to wastewater and drinking water facilities. The Senate’s capital investment plan includes a combined $167 million for three key grant and loan programs that help cities pay for these updates. Gov. Dayton included the same amount in his bonding bill released in January.
“Funding for clean water infrastructure should be the foundation of the bonding bill,” Broeder said. “As facilities age and the state imposes expensive new regulations on wastewater facilities, cities are forced to pass the added costs onto their residents and businesses. State funding is absolutely necessary to help cities offset these massive expenses.”
The BDPI program, which helps cities in Greater Minnesota pay for public infrastructure needed for private business growth, is also a top priority for the CGMC because of its proven track record of helping attract companies and jobs to rural communities. At $15 million, the Senate’s bonding bill includes less for the BDPI program than the Governor’s plan which calls for $21 million.
“The BDPI program has led to the creation of thousands of jobs in Greater Minnesota,” Broeder said. “It has a tremendous return on investment.”
Now that the Senate and Governor have both released their bonding proposals, eyes are turning toward the House.
“As the House crafts its bonding bill, it’s critical that our House members match the Senate’s commitment to addressing Greater Minnesota’s water infrastructure and economic development needs,” Broeder said.
The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization representing 88 cities outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Coalition educates legislators about issues important to Greater Minnesota. Visit the CGMC online at greatermncities.org.