• 19°

Minnesota governor seeks to borrow $1.5B for construction

ST. PAUL  — Gov. Mark Dayton urged skeptical lawmakers Tuesday to borrow $1.5 billion to fund overdue improvements to college campuses, water infrastructure and various other public construction projects, a request nearly twice as large as his administration estimated last month.

The so-called bonding bill will be a marquee item for the coming legislative session when lawmakers return Feb. 20. And in his last chance to fund a backlog of public works proposals before leaving office early next year.

Sensing inevitable pushback on the cost from Republicans who control the Legislature, the Democratic governor’s administration stressed the still-low — though rising — interest rates available for borrowing and said tackling the wish list could employ nearly 23,000 workers.