The Minnesota House took up the bonding bill, HF 2529 (authored by Rep. Mary Murphy, DFL-Hermantown) the floor this morning. After a relatively short floor debate, House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) stood to inform everyone his caucus would not vote for the bill. He further stated that there would be a bonding bill this year, but it would not happen until there is a special session. Although a majority of House members voted in favor of the bill, it failed to pass because the bonding bill requires a three-fifths majority to pass, which in this instance meant the bill needed support from all 75 members of the DFL majority plus at least six members of the GOP minority. The bill failed on a party-line vote.
Meanwhile, the Senate its bonding bill today, S.F. 3463 (authored by Sen. David Senjem, R-Rochester), and it is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Capital Investment Committee at 3 p.m. today. The bill, which is just under $1 billion, includes a number of CGMC priorities, but at lower amounts than we are seeking:
- $133 million for the Public Facilities Authority water infrastructure grant and loan programs (we are seeking $200 million)
- $12 million for the Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) grant program (we are seeking $20 million)
- $80 million for the Local Road Improvement Program (we are seeking $100 million)
- $ 25 million for the Local Bridge Replacement Program (we are seeking $100 million)
The bill excludes other top CGMC priorities including the creation of a new Greater Minnesota child care facilities grant program and a new program providing grants for public infrastructure to support housing. The child care program was funded at $5 million in the House version of the bonding bill, but neither the House or Senate proposals include funding for the housing grants.
The Legislature must finish its by midnight on Sunday and despite Rep. Daudt’s statements, a lot can happen between now and then. CGMC staff will continue to urge the Legislature to pass a bonding bill that addresses Greater Minnesota priorities before the regular session adjourns.