It’s time to BuildMN

State Sen. Chuck Wiger
District 43

When the 2014 Minnesota State Legislative Session begins in February, you are going to be hearing a lot about a “bonding bill” and “capital investment.”

Capital investment is the process by which the state issues bonds to fund public projects that have a state or regional significance. This funding goes towards a variety of projects across the state including improvements to higher education buildings, roads and bridges, veterans homes and trails.

If you would like a detailed look at some of the projects under consideration this session, visit http://build.mn/. This website includes information on a number of possible projects, a “Frequently Asked Questions” page, “The Latest” page for recent news and more. We hope the website will give constituents a closer look at what is happening in their home towns and towns across the state.

One critical area of every bonding bill is our investment in our colleges and universities. From new buildings and facilities to upkeep on cooling and heating systems, repairing roofs and repaving parking lots, we need to make sure our higher education needs are being met. One project I am not an author of, but will be supporting is the Century College proposal to renovate and renew digital fabrication, kitchen space and a solar panel system.

I will be authoring a number of bills for projects in our area. The projects include:

• Groundwater Monitoring Wells Installation – This funding would be used to install new groundwater wells statewide to monitor and assess groundwater.

• Harriet Tubman Center East regional Safety Service Center and Learning Institute – This legislation includes funding to design, renovate, and equip the Harriet Tubman Center East to be used as a regional safety service center to provide shelter for trafficked woman and girls and victims of domestic violence, legal services, youth programs, mental and chemical health services, and community education.

• Regional Public Safety Training Facility – This funding would be used to acquire land, prepare a site including environmental work, predesign, design, and construct the East Metro Regional Public Safety Training Facility in Ramsey County.

There is a lot of work to be done before the final legislation is passed for these capital investment projects. Between now and the end of session, you will see the governor release his recommendations, public testimony on the individual projects, the Senate and House pass their individual bills, the Senate and House create one combined bill (and pass it) and the governor’s signature on the bill. If you are interested in this issue, I encourage you to visit Build.MN regularly and stay up to date on each step.

As always, please contact me with questions or suggestions regarding any issue. I encourage you to visit me at the Capitol, or let me know if you’d like me to stop by your home or apartment.  Also, please tune in to my local cable TV show, “Your Capitol: What’s Up?” which appears on public access channels 15 and 16. I can be reached by email at sen.chuck.wiger@senate.mn and by phone at 651-296-6820.

 

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