“When Gwen and I bought our house in Mankato, we knew the importance of investing in upkeep over the years in order to avoid major repairs down the road. You fix your roof before it collapses. You repair a leaky pipe before it leads to water damage. That’s exactly what this plan prioritizes — taking care of what we have,” Walz said. “By maintaining existing assets, we can keep our state’s infrastructure strong and reliable for generations to come. What’s more, we can create jobs that boost our economy in the process.”
“The 2021 Local Jobs and Projects Plan ensures our students are learning in safe and sufficient facilities, makes critical investments in our communities across the state, and allows us to leverage time-sensitive federal grant funds,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “At a time when our communities need investment and our workers need jobs, this plan delivers.”
The 2021 Local Jobs and Projects Plan includes $240 million in General Obligation Bonds, $250 million in Appropriation Bonds, and an additional $28.3 million in General Fund cash. General Obligation Bonds are backed by the state’s full faith and credit and finance publicly owned capital projects. Appropriation Bonds are repaid through annual appropriations from the Legislature and can be used to finance a broader range of capital projects.
The plan also includes $150 million in Redevelopment Appropriation Bonds to support rebuilding efforts in the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul in the areas damaged by civil unrest in May and June 2020. This investment will create or retain jobs; preserve the tax base; support enterprise development and wealth creation for persons adversely affected by long-standing structural racial discrimination and poverty; and help prevent displacement of low-income residents.
Additionally, Walz and Flanagan recommend $15 million to support capital projects from community-based organizations that are led by and serve communities of color and American Indians, as these organizations have not traditionally had access to capital investment from the state.
The plan recommends $4.5 million for a new State Veterans Cemetery in Redwood Falls. The Veteran's Affairs National Cemetery Administration's Veterans Cemetery Grant Program will provide a $5.99-million federal grant for this project. Additionally, the plan recommends $10 million for Minnesota’s share of design and environmental work for a second daily Amtrak train between the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, and Chicago, including stops in Winona and Red Wing. The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded a $31.8-million Consolidated Railroad Infrastructure and Safety Initiative grant and a $12.6-million Restoration and Enhancement grant for this project.