Dayton now looking for bigger bonding bill

Gov. Mark Dayton is now considering a $975 million measure next session for public construction projects throughout Minnesota.

That’s about $200 million higher than his earlier bonding bill estimate. The DFL governor said he’ll propose spending $3.5 million from a projected budget surplus to cover the additional debt service costs. Dayton told reporters today that more room is needed in the bonding bill to meet the demand for good projects, including some important upgrades to correctional facilities.

“We have over $2.4 billion in requests for what was originally budgeted as a $775 million bill, and $125 million of that goes to the Capitol restoration,” Dayton said. “So, there’s really already a big bite out of what’s available.”

Earlier in the day, Dayton met privately with the House and Senate DFL leaders who will craft next session’s bonding bill. The governor will release his proposal early next year.