VIDEO: Dayton announces bonding proposal

Gov. Mark Dayton released a $750 million list of proposed construction projects today that he estimates will create 21,000 jobs throughout the state.

Dayton’s bonding bill recommendations include civic center expansions, repairs to college buildings and upgrades at state-run veterans homes. But the biggest single project is $109 million for the next phase of renovation work on the State Capitol Building in St. Paul. Dayton said the Capitol renovation will be unpleasant and disruptive, but he thinks most lawmakers understand its importance.

“Visitors come in here every day, and we owe it to their safety and protection, as well as to the generations of Minnesotans who will get the benefits of this to do it and do it right,” Dayton said. “I think we’ll do that.”

Republican leaders have said they support the Capitol renovation, but it’s not clear of they’ll provide the votes needed to pass a large bonding bill this session. A bonding bill requires support from a 60 percent supermajority to pass. House Democrats release their bonding bill proposal on Tuesday.

Here are some highlights of Dayton’s plan released by his office:

State Capitol Restoration

The governor’s bonding proposal would invest $109 million in a major restoration of the state Capitol, making the building functional and safe for the next 100 years. For three decades, plans for repairing the aging building have been debated and neglected. But the funding provided in this bonding proposal would complete restoration of the building by the end of 2016. Restoration measures would include:

• Replacing the roof and completing repair of the crumbling stone exterior

• Replacing of the corroded plumbing system, which was first installed in 1905

• Upgrading the building’s mechanical and electrical systems

• Making the building more energy efficient

• Improving access to the Capitol for all Minnesotans

• Enhancing the safety and security of the building and improving telecommunications

Higher Education

Gov. Dayton’s bonding proposal also invests $189 million in our state’s higher education systems to ensure that Minnesota students have access to world-class labs, classrooms, and training for the jobs of the future. Highlights of education projects included in the governor’s proposal include:

• $35 million for infrastructure improvements at 25 MnSCU campuses statewide

• $85 million to complete the STEM Tate Laboratory renovation at the University of Minnesota

• $32.5 million for build new teaching and research labs, classrooms, and student support areas at Metro State University in St. Paul; this will allow the university to add five new science degrees

• $15 million for infrastructure improvements at eight University of Minnesota campuses statewide

Regional Civic Centers and Downtown Improvements

The governor’s bonding proposal invests $98.5 million in the downtowns of regional centers; projects that will create jobs, attract additional private investment, and support economic development in communities across Minnesota. Those investments include:

• $35 million for the Rochester Civic Center expansion

• $20 million for reconstruction of Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis

• $14.5 million for a new addition to the Mankato Civic Center

• $14 million to double the size of the Children’s Museum in downtown St. Paul

• $10.1 million for an expansion of the St. Cloud Civic Center

Roads and Bridges

Investing in strong, reliable transportation infrastructure is a critical part of building an economic environment where businesses can thrive. Repairing our roads and bridges for the future with smart investments will help support and attract businesses, and put hundreds of Minnesotans back to work in the construction trades. That is why the Governor’s bonding proposal invests $46.6 million in transportation infrastructure, including:

• $25 million to improve local roads at the TCAAP site in Arden Hills and the Trunk Highway Turnback in Rochester

• $20 million to fund bridge repair and replacements statewide

• $1.6 million to make needed improvements at the Metro Bus Operations Center in St. Cloud

Other Investments

The proposal also includes additional investments in projects of statewide and regional importance, including:

• $57.8 million investment in veterans, including an expansion of the Minneapolis Veterans Home and other improvements statewide

• $54.8 million for regional treatment centers and mental health facilities

• $50.3 million for asset preservation and infrastructure improvements at state correctional facilities

• $40 million for affordable housing

• $51.5 million for pollution abatement, wastewater infrastructure, and clean water projects statewide

• $24 million to improve roads, bridges, and buildings at state parks and trails

• $15 million for flood hazard mitigation in Moorhead

• $4 million for parks and trails

• $3 million for reforestation projects in state forests

There are more details of Dayton’s plan on his website.