Wed, Jan 17, 2024 11:56 AM
By Scott McClallen, The Center Square
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced a 2024 infrastructure plan, his capital investment recommendation for the upcoming legislative session.
The $982 million plan invests in infrastructure improvements statewide, including funding for water and transportation infrastructure, housing, and public safety.
“The investments in our 2024 Infrastructure Plan are investments in the wellbeing and future of Minnesota,” Walz said in a statement. “We have an obligation to ensure every Minnesotan has access to clean water, well-maintained infrastructure, safe communities, and state buildings that are safe and accessible. These projects will support local governments in their work to improve our infrastructure and create good-paying jobs in every corner of the state.”
The proposal includes spending more than $215 million on water and transportation infrastructure, including more than $119 million to support grants and low-interest loans to replace lead pipes.
The plan includes $28 million to establish new grant programs to help remove contaminants like PFAS from drinking water. Additionally, $2 million invested in developing a continuous nitrate monitoring network.
The plan includes $142 million for public safety projects, expanding laboratory and investigatory capacity for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and $47 million to build the infrastructure needed to provide rehabilitative programming and educational space for incarcerated individuals.
The plan includes more than $97 million for housing and environment and more than $16 million to update the Minneapolis Veterans Home.
The budget has more than $440 million to maintain buildings, including nearly $206 million for Minnesota State and the University of Minnesota to repair and renovate buildings.
More than $85 million for other infrastructure needs across the state, including $40 million for local government projects and $5 million in grants to construct and renovate early childhood facilities.
Rep. Fue Lee, DFL - Minneapolis, chair of the House Capital Investment Committee, welcomed the proposal.
“As we work to craft our own proposal in the House, we’ll do so in a way that protects what we have, builds what we need, and lifts up communities too often left behind when it comes to state investment,” Lee said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the Walz Administration and our colleagues in the Senate to deliver on these investments that make our entire state a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”