MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Gov. Tim Walz unveiled Wednesday the final part of his $2 billion bonding bill proposal.
Speaking to reporters from the state’s Emergency Operations Center in St. Paul, the governor announced that his plan called for $857 million for public safety and $675 million for quality of life improvements.
The public safety funding would cover upgrades to law enforcement facilities — such as local police stations, Minnesota National Guard buildings and state prisons – and be used to repair aging roads and bridges.
The quality of life funding would allow local governments to build/repair town halls and libraries, as well as make local roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Wednesday’s announcement was the fourth piece of Walz’s bonding bill plan, which calls for more than $2 billion in total investments. The other parts of the plan include $447 million for higher education, $276 million for affordable housing, and $300 million for clean water.
Republicans have already expressed discomfort with the $2 billion price tag. They’d like to see the bonding bill top out around $1 billion.
At Wednesday’s press conference, Walz’s defended his plan, highlighting the current low interest rates. He also urged Republican lawmakers to look at the projects his plan will cover, not just the price tag.
The Minnesota Legislature takes up a bonding bill every two years to fund major projects. Walz will need the support of some Republicans in the House if his agenda is to come to fruition.
The 2020 legislative session begins early next month.