Sen. Jasinski, Senate bonding committee tour Northeast Minnesota bonding projects

The Minnesota Senate Capital Investment Committee today are wrapping up a three-day tour of potential bonding projects located in Northeast Minnesota. The tour began in Becker on Tuesday, and has stopped in various cities throughout the northland and Iron Range.

“It’s great to be back on the road with the bonding committee and learning about how all these projects are so important to their local communities,” said Sen. John Jasinski (R-Faribault), who is a member of the committee. “The state obviously has limited resources, so it helps to see all these projects firsthand when trying to prioritize taxpayer dollars.”

The northeast Minnesota swing is the first of four legs of bonding tours. In the coming weeks, the committee will also visit projects in northwest, southwest, and southeast Minnesota.

2019 bonding tour david tomassoni david senjem scott newman john jasinski carla nelson

Senator David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm), Senator David Senjem (R-Rochester), Senator Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson), Senator Jasinski, and Senator Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) pose at one of the NE MN bonding tour stops.

Full tour schedule:

Tuesday, September 10

  • Becker City Hall (Becker, MN)
    • Becker Business Park expansion project
  • Itasca Community College (Grand Rapids)
    • IRA Civic Center (City of Grand Rapids)
    • Infrastructure improvements (City of Bovey)
    • Itasca Community College asset preservation
  • Mississippi Riverfront Development (Cohasset)
  • Mine View “Windows to the World” (Hibbing)
  • DNR Drill Core Library (Hibbing)
  • Public safety building (Chisholm)

Wednesday, September 11

  • Virginia Regional Public Safety Center and Training Facility
  • Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Giants Ridge Recreation Area (Biwabik)
  • Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park
  • Ely Community Hospital
  • Ely Regional Trailhead
  • NHED Vermilion Community College (Ely)
    • Classroom building, design and renovation project
    • Campus tour and asset Preservation
  • Ely Regional Trailhead

Thursday, September 12

  • Wastewater facility improvements (Two Harbors)
  • Duluth Port development assistance
  • Duluth coastal infrastructure rehabilitation
  • Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (Duluth)
    • Combined heat and power energy system: engine generators
  • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (Cloquet)
    • Campus tour, asset preservation
  • Water distribution system (Twin Lakes Township)
  • Pine Technical and Community College (Pine City)
    • Campus tour, asset preservation
    • Technical trades labs design project
  • City of Cambridge City Hall
    • Railroad safety crossing
    • Highway 95 expansion

The current budget forecast from Minnesota Management and Budget includes enough debt service to pay for a $755 million bonding bill in 2020, in addition to the state’s other outstanding debt. If the legislature borrows more than the forecast allows, general fund money will be required to pay for the additional debt service.

Some Democrats are proposing a $3.5 billion bonding bill. With current assumptions, it would cost $500 million in general fund dollars over the next two biennia to cover the debt service for such a bill.

The rule of thumb is that it costs $143 million to repay $100 million of bond debt over 20 years. Therefore, a $3.5 billion bonding bill will actually cost taxpayers $5 billion.

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