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Budget for One Minnesota

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 @ 11:03 AM  posted by jbuytaert
Investing $1.27 Billion in community Prosperity
Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan propose investing $1.27 billion in community infrastructure projects across the state. The proposal balances the needs of the state, with 22 percent of projects in Greater Minnesota, 27 percent in the Twin Cities area, and 51 percent having impacts statewide.
Following eight years of sound fiscal management, the State of Minnesota has a triple-A bond rating and over $3 billion in available bonding capacity for 2020-2021. This capital investment proposal remains well within these limits – protecting the state’s financial standing, while making critical investments in our future.
Preserving and Renewing State Assets
Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan understand the importance of maintaining the assets we currently have. Half of their 2019 capital budget ($631 million) will support asset preservation projects at state agencies, such as roof replacements and exterior repairs, renovation and repurposing of existing facilities to better meet program needs, and renewing buildings to keep occupants safe and healthy.

Enhance Learning Environments and Improve Efficiency of Campus Buildings
Governor Walz recommends fully funding Minnesota State’s request of $150 million for asset preservation. This supports efforts to ensure the state’s public higher education buildings are accessible, safe, and energy efficient. More than 70 projects – like roof replacements, new HVAC systems, and electrical upgrades – are planned for at least 40 campuses across the state, from Thief River Falls to Marshall, and Virginia to Winona.
Ensure that Students, Staff, and Professors Work in Safe, Productive Buildings
Governor Walz recommends $117.7 million in funding for asset preservation across campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Rochester. The Governor also recommends $4.3 million to renovate A.B. Anderson Hall on the Duluth campus to modernize 35,000 square feet of teaching space and update mechanical and life safety systems.
Improve Public Lands and Buildings
Governor Walz includes $109 million for the Department of Natural Resources to continue taking care of buildings, water and wastewater systems, roads and bridges, trails, and water access sites in state parks across Minnesota. This
recommendation also supports the Department’s efforts to make their buildings and trails ADA accessible and safe for visitors and staff.
Revitalize the Minnesota Zoo
The capital budget includes $25 million for the Minnesota Zoo, of which $21 million is for a renewal of the monorail into a 1.3-mile treetop walk through natural habitats, better accessibility for guests, and modernization of the Zoo’s
animal hospital. An additional $4 million will support asset preservation projects throughout the Zoo’s 485 acres, 121 buildings, and 10 miles of roads and pathways.
Keep Minnesotans Safe and Healthy
Governor Walz provides capital funding of $20.621 million to correct safety, energy, and operational efficiency problems at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Department of Health laboratory building in Saint Paul. This
laboratory plays a critical role in protecting human health, the environment, and the agricultural economy in Minnesota. The investment will ensure the ability of the laboratory to
provide testing services necessary to protect the health and well-being of Minnesotans, from newborns to seniors.
Repair, Replace, and Renew Facilities
The state’s correctional facilities play a key role in ensuring staff and workplaces are safe, offenders are held accountable, and opportunities are available to help change offender behavior. Governor Walz’s capital budget recommends $20
million for asset preservation for the Department of Corrections to continue addressing a $600 million deferred maintenance backlog. Projects may include correcting safety hazards and code compliance issues, preserving building exteriors and interiors, and major mechanical and electrical system upgrades.
Preserve Life, Health, and Public Safety
The capital budget also recommends $7.5 million to renovate existing space to better serve offenders in Lino Lakes who suffer from serious mental illness, $2.7 million for secure interior fencing in St. Cloud, $4.2 million for fire suppression
systems in St. Cloud and Stillwater, $2.6 million for a new sewage treatment facility in Togo, and $1.8 million for improved accessibility for visitors and staff in Red Wing.
Meet the Needs of Service Members and Veterans
The capital budget includes $12.7 million to modernize the National Guard Readiness Centers in Rosemount and Fergus Falls. These two Readiness Centers support the local and state Governments in times of natural disaster and the local
community through day-to-day access to the gymnasium and classrooms. Completing restorations of these facilities will improve the safety of the buildings for soldiers, staff, and visitors, improve energy efficiency, and make the facilities usable for the next generation of service members. Governor Walz also recommends $10 million in asset preservation funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs to renew veterans homes located across the state: Hastings, Minneapolis, Silver Bay, Luverne, and Fergus Falls. Improvements will result in safer residential spaces for Veterans receiving skilled or assisted care and better energy efficiency in veterans home buildings.
Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan are committed to working in partnership with Minnesotans across the state to ensure that our public infrastructure is safe, reliable, and sustainable. To accomplish this, they have allocated over one-third of their capital budget ($428 million) to projects that directly benefit counties, cities, and neighborhoods.
Provide Critical Connections between Towns, Commerce, and Recreation
Governor Walz recommends $100 million for the Local Road Improvement Program. Funding for this program will leverage nonstate dollars to create rural road safety projects and fund the local share of trunk highway improvements. Past
projects funded include adding sidewalk and pedestrian ramps, widening and repaving of roadways, and replacing culverts. The Governor also recommends $100 million for the Local Bridge Replacement Program, as bridges in every part of the state are a critical link in our transportation system.

Improve Rail Safety
The Governor’s capital budget includes $52 million for a rail grade crossing separation in Moorhead, which has one of the highest levels of rail and vehicle traffic in the state. This project will result in better safety for drivers and
pedestrians, and will improve access for emergency services that are currently impacted by traffic gridlock.

Create Safe Routes to School
Governor Walz supports $10 million for the Safe Routes to Schools grant program open to school districts across Minnesota. This program leverages local funds to complete infrastructure projects that provide our students with safe walking and biking routes to and from school. Past projects funded by this program include sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and traffic diversions. In addition to the safety benefits for kids, the Safe Routes to School program reduces traffic congestion around schools, reduces transportation costs for districts as more kids walk or bike to school, provides students more opportunities for physical activity, and addresses the need to make our infrastructure more accessible to
Minnesotans with mobility challenges.

Replace and Repair Local Water Infrastructure
Governor Walz capital budget provides $67 million to provide low-interest loans and grants to help cities and other local governments construct wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects, which range from replacing aging
infrastructure to upgrading treatment facilities to meet regulatory requirements. These water infrastructure systems are essential to protecting public health and the environment and sustaining the economic vitality of communities.
Keep Waste Out of Landfills
Governor Walz supports $15.3 million in grants for Capital Assistance Programs (CAP). This funding will provide grants to Moorhead, Brooklyn Park, and Coon Rapids to construct and expand recycling and organics compositing facilities. In addition to these communities, $5 million for CAP funding will be awarded to other public facilities that are building or expanding facilities that support composting.
Build Infrastructure That Grows Minnesota’s Economy
Governor Walz’s capital budget includes $14 million for the Port Development Assistance Program and $5 million for the Minnesota Rail Service Improvement program, both of which promote the safe and efficient movement of goods to
support local economic development. The capital budget also provides funding for public infrastructure to support emerging and growing businesses across the state, with $3 million for the Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure Program and $2 million for the Innovative Business Development Public Infrastructure Program. Both of these programs fund projects such as wastewater systems, drinking water systems, sewer systems, utility extensions, and roads and bridges.
The decisions we make about our infrastructure will have an impact for 20 years or more. Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan want to make smart investments that position Minnesota for future growth. For that reason, approximately 17% of their capital budget ($213 million) is directed to creating assets that not only meet the needs of today, but also take advantage of our future opportunities.

Preserve and Expand Access to Affordable Housing for All Minnesotans
Governor Walz’s capital budget directs $150 million to the preservation of existing affordable housing and to create new homes for Minnesotans across incomes and in all areas of the state. This recommendation will create a full range of housing choices, including supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness, senior housing, family housing, and new homeownership opportunities. To accomplish this, Governor Walz supports $120 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds, which will leverage additional private development funds and preserve federal dollars for rental assistance, and an additional $30 million in general obligation bonds that would preserve 3,000 units of publicly-owned housing across the state for the lowest-income Minnesotans.
Expand Bus Rapid Transit Corridors
Governor Walz’s capital budget directs $20 million toward the expansion of the D Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor, which will run along Chicago-Emerson-Freemont Avenues in Minneapolis. Bus transitways like the D Line are efficient, reliable, and user-friendly for passengers. This investment will create opportunities for community prosperity by improving access to jobs and other needs.
Develop Passenger Rail
Governor Walz believes expanding the state’s passenger rail corridors is an exciting opportunity to connect Minnesota to the upper Midwest. His capital budget includes $11 million to leverage federal matching funds to develop
passenger rail corridors such as the Northern Lights Express to Duluth, a second daily Amtrak train between the Twin Cities and Chicago.
Provide World-Class Teaching and Research Facilities
The capital budget includes $28 million to complete the Institute of Child Development facility for the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development, which houses the top ranked program in child and
adolescent psychology in the country. This recommendation will provide modern research space to attract and keep leading-edge researchers, and provide classroom and meeting space for students, faculty, and community partners.

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