ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Governor Mark Dayton signed a $1.5 billion construction project bill on Wednesday, but he wasn’t happy about it.

The governor salvaging at least one piece of the 2018 legislative session. He signed it, despite what he said were “serious concerns.”

The governor said the bill contained enough construction projects to provide badly-needed jobs in different parts of the state. But Dayton said the bill under-funds some projects, and raids the environmental lottery trust fund to use the money for other purposes.

“This had no hearing at all. This was developed behind closed doors, brought forth at the very eleventh hour, 59th minute, with no hearing, no public scrutiny and they just did it,” Dayton said. “It’s just the worst kind of legislating. It’s the poorest form of governance. And unfortunately it is all too typical of what prevailed this session.”

Dayton line-item vetoed a $1 million measure involving the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The money would have gone towards reviewing the agency’s scientific work.

A lot of folks are relieved to see a number of popular projects in the bill.

There may be a lot to hate about it from the Gov. Dayton’s point of view. But there’s a lot to like, also.

That includes:

  • About $25 million in School Safety Grants
  • $32M New Veterans homes in Princeton, Montevideo and Bemidji
  • $1 million for Stone Arch Bridge repairs
  • $18 million for Second Harvest Heartland in Brooklyn Park
  • $6 million for the Minnesota Zoo (much less than the $35 million they asked for)

The next stop for Dayton will be the DFL Convention in Rochester this weekend. He is scheduled to speak to the crowd on Saturday morning.

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