ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday announced a proposed $2.7 billion infrastructure and bonding bill. The governor is asking for $120 million for bridge repairs, $260 million for infrastructure at state colleges and universities, $450 million for affordable housing, and $940 million for climate change projects.

These projects will require support from both Republicans and Democrats in the upcoming legislative session.

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On Tuesday, Walz toured part of the University Institute of Child Development that is currently under construction, saying this is just the kind of overhaul of existing state infrastructure that he wants to spread $2.7 billion for across the state.

The normally complicated bonding process — which would for the governor’s plan involve borrowing $2 billion for capitol projects across the state — is complicated by uncertainties surrounding an expected $7 billion from the federal infrastructure bill, but one that would require matching funds from the state.

That’s something the state can do with its $7.7 billion surplus.

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The state has built projected inflation into the costs of each project.

But inflation worries remain a top concern for Republicans, and the two powerful Minnesota Senate independents who caucus with them. Sen. Tom Bakk and a bipartisan group of senators toured Inver Grove Heights Community College, which is seeking $18 million in bonding money

Bonding and infrastructure bills require more cooperation and bipartisanship than other bills. That is because, for them to pass, they require a three-fifths majority of both the Minnesota House and Senate.

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The 2022 legislative session is scheduled to begin on Jan. 31 at noon, just 13 days away.

Esme Murphy