An off-year, scaled-down bonding bill for state public works projects remains in play for next month’s special session, after legislative leaders agreed about 500 million dollars will be available  — a combination of state borrowing and federal COVID money.  The mix of projects is still to be negotiated, and Senator Tom Bakk, Independent from Cook, says he wants it to focus “real hard” on asset preservation:

…”deferred maintenance on state infrastructure around the state, whether it’s D-N-R buildings or wastewater, water infrastructure, maintenance at our state colleges and universities, University of Minnesota.”

Bakk, who chairs the Senate Capital Investment Committee, says:

“Some people will be a little disappointed, ’cause I’m really not planning on putting local-type earmark projects in.”

Urban lawmakers will likely push for money to help rebuild riot-torn areas in the Twin Cities, but Bakk says Minneapolis and Saint Paul have already received a lot of money from the federal government.   And he’s says there’s already “well over a hundred-million dollars” available from the Minnesota economic development agency for businesses statewide.