With no bonding bill, many accessibility projects have to wait until 2025, 2026

Capital projects vying for state bonding dollars may have to wait for 2025 or 2026, if a special legislative session […]

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Capital projects vying for state bonding dollars may have to wait for 2025 or 2026, if a special legislative session is not called this summer. 

On May 19, the final day to pass legislation, House members pushed through a $900 million bonding package. But their counterparts in the Senate ran out of time before the clock struck midnight. 

As Access Press went to press, it wasn’t initially clear if a special session to deal with bonding would be called by Gov. Tim Walz. The governor had called bonding his “big show for this legislative session.” No special session will be held.  Even-numbered years are typically bonding years in Minnesota.  Earlier in the session Walz brought forward a $982 million public infrastructure plan. That’s much smaller than the $2.6 billion bonding package approved in 2023. The 2023 bonding package set a state record. 

Improvements to state facilities, an array of housing projects including accessible and supportive housing, new facilities, access accommodations and assets preservation were projects vying for bonding support in 2024. 

Improving accessibility at Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)-managed lands and facilities had a $2 million price tag, to build up work started in past years.

Some state parks and wildlife management areas still have access needs. 

The long list of projects competing for funding at the start of session also included design requests for the state academies in Faribault. The Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (MSAD) sought a new student center, with $300,000 to replace up to five older campus buildings with a single center. 

Pre-design funding was also sought  for the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind (MSAB) therapy pool and related improvements. That was also for $300,000. 

Asset preservation was eyed for both campuses, at $1.227 million. That’s far less than the plus-$33 million in needs. 

Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) sought $12.266 million in assets preservation statewide. That’s another drop in the bucket as the statewide facilities needs tied to deferred maintained are estimated at more than $184 million. 

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