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Legislative E-update April 11, 2013
Dear friends and neighbors,
This week was very significant for the state of Minnesota. We now have our jobs, bonding, and education bills up for consideration in the House and each of them is going to be very beneficial for our economy.
In particular, our bonding bill will have immediate impact on local communities. The bill allocates $800 million in general obligation bonds for statewide infrastructure improvements and invests in higher education, transportation, housing, economic development, clean water and wastewater systems. Using the Associated General Contractors of America formula, it is estimated that 22,800 permanent, temporary and spin-off jobs will be created, giving a shot in the arm to the state's recovering economy.
Now these projects do cost money. We know that. But many of the improvements these projects make would only cost more if delayed. Now is the right time to bond because the interest rates on these bonds will be almost as low as they can get. Rather than waiting until interest rates and project costs go up, we need to put Minnesotans back to work now.
More people working means more people spending money at grocery stores and gas stations and fewer people relying on supportive programs. Those that have been out of work due to the recession may have the opportunity to get a new job and support their families. And that's going to be very positive for our economy.
Some other highlights of the Capital Investment Bill include:
- Preserves and restores 108 year old iconic State Capitol building
- Protects natural resources -- from International Falls' Voyageurs National Park to the Big Lake Sanitary District to Albert Lea's Fountain Lake
- Provides greater public safety through upgrades in flood mitigation, local roads and bridges, dam repair, housing and the St. Peter Security hospital.
- Invests in asset preservation -- MnSCU, the University of Minnesota and state agencies will get needed asset preservation funds for critical repairs.
- Completes projects long past ready to go including civic centers in Mankato, Rochester and St. Cloud as well as the Minnesota Historical Society's Oliver Kelly Farm and the Southwest Regional Sports Center in Marshall.
- Makes a big dent in backlog for crumbling wastewater systems, roads and bridges throughout the state.
This bill and many other bills will continue to work their way through our committees in the House. I'll continue to keep you updated as they move towards the floor.