Bonding bill requests total $2.8 billion

Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers will have plenty of construction projects to pick from next year when they begin assembling their bonding bill proposals.

Preliminary capital budget requests already total $2.8 billion, according to a letter today from Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) Commissioner Jim Schowalter to House and Senate finance and capital investment committee chairs. The requests came from state agencies ($2.1 billion) and local governments ($682 million).

Schowalter noted that the preliminary requests have not yet been reviewed by MMB or the governor.

“In anticipation of the Governor’s Strategic Capital Budget being submitted to the Legislature by January 15, 2014, MMB and the Department of Administration will work with agencies and higher education institutions over the next several months to develop additional project information and refine cost estimates,” Schowalter wrote. “MMB will also provide information and assistance to political subdivisions as they further develop and refine their capital project requests.”

Lawmakers passed a pared down, $156 million package of construction projects during the closing hours of the 2013 session. The Minnesota House had earlier considered an $800 million bonding bill, but it failed to reach the 60 percent super majority support needed for passage. Gov. Dayton had proposed a $750 million bonding bill.

Many of the projects from those proposals are expected to get another look during the 2014 session.