CGMC asks Governor Dayton to call special session on bonding

Below is a press release sent to media outlets today. A PDF version is available here.

For Immediate Release: May 23, 2016
Contact: Julie Liew, jlliew@flaherty-hood.com

CGMC asks Governor Dayton to call special session on bonding
Coalition President says Greater Minnesota cities cannot wait for clean water infrastructure funding

ST. PAUL—After the legislative session came to an end early Monday morning without the passage of a public works bill, the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) is calling on Governor Mark Dayton to order a special session to address bonding.

“Unless the Governor calls a special session on bonding, millions of dollars’ worth of important Greater Minnesota projects will not receive the funding they need,” said Robert Broeder, mayor of Le Sueur and president of the CGMC.

In addition to numerous projects that benefit individual cities, the bonding bill includes significant funding for some of the CGMC’s top statewide priorities including clean water infrastructure grant and loan programs, the Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) Grant Program and Corridors of Commerce highway funding.

“We have been saying all session that the Governor’s initiatives relating to water infrastructure should be the foundation of a good bonding bill,” Broeder said. “Wastewater facilities across the state are in dire need of updates due to aging infrastructure and new water quality regulations. Without additional funding through the bonding bill, our cities will have to drastically raise their water rates to pay for these costly upgrades. Cities simply cannot afford to wait any longer for state funding to help meet these needs.”

In a press conference today, Governor Dayton gave no indication whether he will call a special session. He said he is waiting to see the bills before making any decisions and that he has encouraged legislators to head home for the time being.

“We are disappointed that the Legislature was unable to pass the bonding bill, but there is still time for a deal to be reached if the Governor calls a special session,” Broeder said. “The bonding bill is extremely important to communities across the state. It would be a shame if disagreements over other issues stopped Greater Minnesota’s needs from being met.”

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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.