Gov. Mark Dayton pitches proposed $986M bonding bill

By KBJR News 1

January 15, 2014 Updated Jan 15, 2014 at 7:47 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Nearly a billion dollars could go toward education and infrastructure projects in Minnesota if Governor Mark Dayton has his way.

The Governor unveiled his 2014 bonding bill proposal Wednesday morning in St. Paul. The proposal calls for the creation of 27,000 new jobs.

Governor Dayton said his bill gives priority to shovel-ready projects that he expects will put thousands of Minnesotans to work throughout the state.

The bill includes a number of projects all across the state.

The Governor is proposing $104 million for downtown Improvements in several cities, $233 million for higher education and $79 million for roads and bridges.

"If we're going to keep pace of our society and provide the kind of quality education experiences and quality state parks and other public resources that Minnesotans depend on, we need to make ourselves attractive economically as well as socially," Gov. Dayton said during a news conference Wednesday.

A couple of the bigger projects included in the governor's pitch for the Northland are the NorShor Theatre, Lake Superior College and Range Regional Airport.

The NorShor Theatre renovation carries a price tag of $22.3 million dollars. The $6.95 million proposed by the Governor in the bonding bill would be used to facilitate a skywalk and handicapped accessibility and provide public access.

"We had good confidence that Governor Dayton would support it again because he did previously and he's very, very excited about how we can restore the NorShore, which means we will revitalize that whole part of downtown," said Marcia Doty, the chair of the steering committee behind the project.

Not in the Governor's proposal? Money for Wade Stadium in West Duluth.

The Governor will now meet with lawmakers during the legislative session scheduled to start February 25th to hash out differences.

The bonding bill requires a three-fifths majority to pass, so Democrats will need Republican votes.

To read the full proposed bonding bill, you can log onto Governor Dayton's website.

Written by Kevin Jacobsen
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