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Letter: Legislature must pass bonding bill in special session

Minnesotans are desperate for our lawmakers to prove that they can work together for the good of our state. One issue that should be a no-brainer is passing a bonding bill. Communities across the state have had to delay critical infrastructure projects because legislators have been unable to work together. We’ve waited long enough.

Just looking at water infrastructure needs alone, there are millions of dollars in necessary projects. We need a bonding bill to replace arsenic-filled drinking water with clean water in southern Minnesota, get mercury out of the water in northern Minnesota, stop riverbank erosion in Mankato, provide drinking water that is free from dangerous chemicals in Bemidji. The list goes on and on — and that doesn’t even begin to address crumbling roads and bridges, aging public buildings and other important projects.

As legislators return to St. Paul, I urge them to focus on the current needs of their constituents. The state and local communities are still suffering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent civil unrest. By passing a bonding bill, the Legislature can provide an immediate boost to the economy, create jobs and help our cities begin to move forward from these past few difficult months.

Audrey Nelsen

President, Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities