ST. PAUL (KMHL/LEARFIELD) – Democrats in the Minnesota Senate are proposing a $2.3-billion-dollar bonding bill for state public works projects.

Senator Sandy Pappas (PAP-us) says Democrats are making their own proposal because they’ve been “met with silence” from Senate Republicans.

“Minnesota has more than $5 billion in requests to improve our crumbling public buildings and infrastructure across the state,” said Pappas. “And the COVID-19 pandemic has made the urgency for these jobs these investments would create even greater.”

Senate Republican leadership hasn’t put forth a proposal yet, earlier in session they were discussing a bonding bill of less than a billion dollars.

But Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls) says they are poised to have a good bonding bill.

“I think a lot of it is going to be spent on infrastructure, roads, bridges, trains, transportation, certainly the government infrastructure, colleges, HEAPR, things like that,” said Dahms. “I think that’s where our strengths will be.”

House Republican leaders said they won’t let a bonding bill move forward unless Governor Tim Walz relinquishes his emergency COVID authority and gives the legislature a greater role in responding to the pandemic.