At a Capitol news conference with DFL-legislative leaders, Dayton touted the signing of the bills, which his office estimates will create 33,000 jobs across the state. The governor signed an $846 million construction borrowing bill and an additional $200 million cash bill for construction projects.
"I regret that Republicans forced cash to be spent for the bonding bill, which is not in my judgement the most prudent way to approach it," Dayton said.
But he added that the cash bill allowed critical projects to get done, including the Mayo Civic Center expansion. That project involves adding 188,000-square-feet of state-of-the-art convention space to the center. Also included in the construction package is $5.9 million for Winona State University's Education Village, $5.3 million for Chatfield Center for the Arts, $1.6 million for Red Wing River Town Renaissance, $1 million for Rochester Community and Technical College renovation and $500,000 for Lake Zumbro restoration.
Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede said he is relieved that the city's long-running quest to get funding for the civic center is finally over.
"The jobs it is going to create — that is so important in getting people to work," Brede said. "That will be pretty essential and then the jobs that it will create based on restaurants, hotels and events."
With the dollars headed the city's way, Brede said plenty of work lies ahead getting the plans finalized so shovels can be in the ground by this fall. But for today at least, Brede said he is going to take time to celebrate. He's planning to grill tonight with his wife and open a bottle of champagne to celebrate.
Brede added, "I am so relieved."
Dayton also signed a $103 million tax-cut bill that includes property relief for farmers, homeowners and small businesses and a $283 million spending bill. That includes $20 million to expand broadband in the state and a 5 percent rate incrase for home and community-based services.