By STEVE KARNOWSKI
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gov Tim Walz proposed Thursday that the state borrow $276 million to invest in safe and affordable housing projects throughout Minnesota.
The announcement came at a south Minneapolis apartment building that was financed with state bonds. It was the first of four presentations that the Democratic governor has planned over the next week on his public works borrowing proposal for the 2020 legislative session.
Walz told reporters his “Local Jobs and Projects Plan” will total around $2 billion.
Borrowing packages known as bonding bills are usually the top priorities in the Legislature’s agenda in even-numbered years. Democrats who control the House are expected to offer a bigger plan in the coming weeks, while Republicans who hold a majority in the Senate are expected to offer a smaller proposal. The final compromises over which projects make it into these bills are usually the subject of intense negotiations late in the session.
The affordable housing component of the governor’s plan includes $200 million in housing bonds that would be awarded to developers statewide through a competitive process. It also includes $60 million for rehabilitating public housing.
Walz plans to announce details of his water quality and infrastructure plan on Friday, his higher-education proposal on Monday, and his public safety and quality of life package on Wednesday.