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Tribune Editorial: Gov. Dayton should sign bonding bill for 2018

A Highway 23 gap.

It is time for investing in Minnesota with the 2018 bonding bill. The only step remaining is the need for a signature from Gov. Mark Dayton.

This 2018 bonding bill is significant for west central Minnesota as it includes more Corridors of Commerce funding, targeting the Highway 23 gaps projects with $101 million and includes a state commitment to build three veteran nursing homes, including $9.4 million for the Montevideo location.

There are certainly other important projects across the state. Other highlights include:

• Nearly $500 million for roads and bridges alone.

• $300 million to fix and maintain state-owned facilities.

• $210 million for the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State University facilities.

• $120 million for housing needs.

• $120 million for sewer and water projects.

• $51 million for new mental health crisis centers and housing.

• $25 million for schools to improve safety.

While Dayton and the Republican majority leaders in the Legislature have struggled to find common ground, we hope, all the leaders understand the wisdom of investing in Minnesota.

There was significant Democratic-Farmer-Labor support for the $1.4 billion bonding bill, which includes $825 million in general obligation bonds. The Senate approved the bill 42-25, while the House overwhelming approved the bill with a 113-17 vote.

The Dayton administration had wanted a larger bonding bill, targeting $1.5 billion with $825 million generated from general tax revenue. The reality of political life is that a governor does not always get all that one wants.

A Dayton veto of this bonding bill will be a missed opportunity for the state of Minnesota. A bonding veto would not help the DFL House candidates in the November election.

This bonding bill has many important projects across the state. Kicking this investment opportunity down the road will only increase the costs into the future, but also cost Minnesotans in other ways, especially in transportation needs.

We encourage Dayton to sign the 2018 bonding bill as is, so Minnesota can make this badly needed investment in our future.