Dayton signs bonding bill with concerns

He line-item vetoed $1 million for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Susie Jones
May 30, 2018 - 1:16 pm

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Governor Mark Dayton has reluctantly signed the bonding bill, authorizing almost $1.5 billion in public construction projects.

Dayton approved all but one project in the package.

He line-item vetoed $1 million for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which would have allowed for review of the state's groundwater regulations." It's a redundancy, and doesn't serve any purpose except to placate the intended recipient of that grant," Dayton said.

At a press conference Wednesday morning Dayton criticized the bill, saying it didn't provide enough in upkeep for state universities and college campuses, left mass transit projects unfunded and shortchanged other projects across Minnesota."It shortchanges the future of the state," he said. 

The bill borrows a total of $1.5 billion to pay for $133 million in water and sewer projects across the state, $544 million for road and bridge repairs and $32 million to build three new veterans homes.

It also provides $90 million to expand affordable housing options, $25 million for schools to enhance their security and another $90 million for the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and universities system to fix ailing buildings.

The bill uses $98 million from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, a fund approved by voters in 1998 that's governed by a semi-independent state commission. That funding source emerged in the final hours of the session, and environmental groups called on Dayton to veto it.

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