MN Legislature approves $1.9 billion bonding bill

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The Minnesota Senate followed the lead of the State House of Representatives and passed a $1.9 billion infrastructure bonding bill yesterday, including supplemental funding for the Departments of Corrections and Human Services. Despite months of contentious negotiations, the legislation received wide bipartisan support: 100-34 in the House and 64-3 in the Senate. The bill now goes to Gov. Tim Walz for his signature.

MAPE President Megan Dayton said the union supports the smart investments in workers, families and communities.

“MAPE is especially pleased that safety and care of the vulnerable were addressed in supplemental funding. Our members have long fought for deficiency funding for Direct Care and Treatment services. Members are also happy to see an emphasis on safety through the supplemental funds they sought for the Department of Corrections for employee compensation costs and continuation of operations of the Challenge Incarceration Program at Togo and Willow River facilities through next June,” Dayton added.

The bonding portion of the bill totaled $1.38 billion and included huge investments in asset preservations and long standing projects already in development. Below are some of the highlights:

  • Minnesota State received $90.8 million, with $46.3 million for classroom and lab facilities
  • Minnesota State Academies received $3.1 million in asset preservation
  • Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received $104 million for various projects and trails, including $15 million in undesignated asset preservation
  • Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)/ Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) received their $20 million for the joint laboratory building
  • Department of Human Services (DHS) received $27 million, including $8 million in asset preservation and $1.8 million for the Minnesota Sex Offender Program  St. Peter Phase 2
  • Department of Corrections received $44 million, with $25 million for asset preservation

You can find the full list of projects here.

The supplemental appropriations bill provided almost $16.03 million to cover the deficiency funding request for DHS Direct Care and Treatment. The Department of Corrections received $7.5 million for employee compensation costs and to continue operating the Challenge Incarceration Program at the Togo and Willow River facilities through June 30, 2021. Also included in the supplemental article was $3.6 million to the Department of Public Safety and roughly $4.5 million to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to increase capacity for storing and processing sexual assault examination kit tests and forensic testing for violent crimes.