Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is pushing his one and a half billion dollar public works proposal, which includes millions of dollars for Northland projects.
Dayton's most recent proposal has a big focus on education, with more than $500 million dollars going to upgrades and investments at state colleges and universities.
"One of the smart investments we can make is in education," says Commissioner of MN Mgmt. and Budget Myron Frans, "and training and opportunities for people to get good training, and education to become part of our workforce."
Here, in the Northland, that starts with upgrades totaling $2.6 million to Vermillion Community College in Ely, as well as Fond du Lac Community College.
"Those are going to have an incredibly transformative impact on those institutions," says Frans.
Also in the proposal, the Governor recommends $4 million, to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the U of M, for renovations at Glensheen Mansion.
Still in the early stages, this bonding bill is just a proposal, which leaves room for items to be added or subtracted. It will be in the hands of state legislatures when the legislative session convenes on February 20th.
The Steam Plant was looking for $14 million for phase two of their energy efficiency upgrade project.
Before that, the city put the Superior Street Reconstruction project on hold while they waited to see if bonding money would be awarded to the Steam Plant. Both the city and the Steam Plant agreed to wait until both were funded to begin the reconstruction project to avoid ripping up Superior Street twice.
Minnesota Senator Erik Simonson says there should be little concern at this point that the project is not included, as it is a very preliminary version of the bill.
"It's not in the governors recommendations right now, but it is on the governors list of projects that he supports," says Simonson. "There's a supplemental list out there that has that particular project in it. But what we need to do as local legislators is make sure that project gets into either the House or Senate version of the bonding bill, or preferably both."
On this week's episode of Beyond the Headlines, Dan Wolfe sits down with Glensheen's director Dan Hartman to talk about the historic mansion's priorities when it comes to bonding money. Wolfe also speaks with Duluth City Councilor At Large Zack Filipovich to talk about what city projects didn't make Dayton's first bonding bill draft, and how nothing is set in stone yet.