ST. PAUL, Minnesota. – Gov. Mark Dayton today introduced a $1.5 billion public works proposal that would make urgently-needed investments to build world-class colleges and universities for Minnesotans, and improve and repair state buildings and other critical infrastructure across the state. Given the significant need for investments in higher education institutions statewide, Gov. Dayton’s proposal would invest $542 million at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State campuses. An additional $998 million would be directed to improving state buildings, building affordable housing, repairing clean water infrastructure, and other infrastructure projects across Minnesota.
Gov. Dayton’s public works proposal would create an estimated 22,950 jobs* and support statewide economic growth. Thanks to the governor’s sound fiscal management, the State of Minnesota has a triple-A bond rating and over $3.5 billion in bonding capacity this year. Gov. Dayton’s public works proposal would remain well within these limits – protecting the state’s financial standing, while making critical investments in our economy and our future. The governor’s proposal is designed to make state resources go further, by leveraging more than $570 million in private, local, and federal investment in Minnesota’s infrastructure.
“Since 2011, we have made many important investments in Minnesota’s aging classrooms, buildings, and other critical infrastructure,” said Gov. Dayton. “But those investments have not kept pace with the enormous need for infrastructure improvements across Minnesota. Years of underinvestment have shortchanged our economy, our higher education institutions, and the vitality of our communities.
“Now is the time to make substantial investments in our state’s future. My public works proposal would make significant, needed investments to provide world-class educations for our students, guarantee clean, affordable water for more of our communities, and ensure our state has the infrastructure necessary to grow and compete in the modern economy.”
Gov. Dayton’s public works proposal prioritizes strategic investments in higher education, would improve and maintain state buildings and other infrastructure, build more affordable housing, and deliver clean, reliable, affordable drinking water for Minnesotans. These urgently-needed investments also would protect the state’s long-term fiscal health. Approximately 50 percent of state and higher education buildings are currently in “fair” or worse condition. It costs an average of 70 percent more to repair a structure in “poor” condition than maintain a building in “fair” condition.
“Investment in state buildings and other critical infrastructure has not kept pace with the growing need. It would cost an estimated $8 billion over the next decade simply to restore and maintain our current state and higher education infrastructure,” said Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans. “Gov. Dayton’s $1.5 billion public works bill remains well within the state’s $3.5 billion in available bonding capacity. The governor’s proposal is a smart investment in Minnesota’s future – reducing a backlog of deferred maintenance before the costs of these urgently-needed projects escalate further.”