Despite the fact that there have been modest Capital Investment bills the last two sessions, there is still a lot of pent up demand for a bonding bill in 2013. Though the focus of the 2013 Session will be the state budget and reform of Minnesota tax system, the possibility of a bonding bill grew stronger with the DFL regaining the majority in both the House and the Senate.
The new grant program created in the 2012 bonding bill, which allowed for the Dayton Administration to distribute awards, left a bad taste in the mouths of many. The $47.5 million fund was simply not enough to finance all of the worthy projects. The list of projects left undone includes many big-ticket items such as civic and convention centers in Rochester, Mankato, and St. Cloud. All told, there was almost $300 million worth of requests from 90 projects, only a fraction of which made it through the final grant process. When announcing the “winners” from this fund, Governor Dayton cited the long list of projects not funded as one of the reasons he would be interested in a bonding bill in 2013.
For those entities that may have a project for which they are seeking bonding dollars from the state, it is never too soon to start making plans and developing strategy. Opinions about projects will begin shaping even before the session begins. If you have a project that you need assistance advocating, please do not hesitate to contact our staff at Flaherty & Hood.