Don't bet on big 2017 Minnesota bonding bill
ST. PAUL—Billions of dollars in state public works construction projects are on hold, and no one knows if the Minnesota Legislature will make money available for them in 2017.
The 2016 Minnesota Legislature failed to fund projects like safer rail crossings, adding to and renovating existing college facilities, improving safety at state mental health hospitals, fixing or removing dangerous dams, constructing flood-prevention structures and hundreds of other projects state and local officials say are needed. Early in 2016, they produced more than $3 billion in construction requests.
"We are going to fall $1 billion behind," incoming Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook, said about funding public works projects, financed by the state selling bonds, if a significant public works bill does not pass in 2017.