- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Republicans unveiled their $800 million wish list for public construction projects Wednesday, with the largest share set for roads and bridges as well as water infrastructure and higher education buildings.

The proposal includes $227 million for local road and bridge projects, $130 million for water infrastructure construction - such as wastewater and drinking water projects - and $137 million for higher education.

Democrats, who have proposed more than $1 billion in public construction projects, have been calling on House Republicans to release the details of their proposal since the Legislature must adjourn by Monday.

The total is larger than the $600 million that Republicans had previously suggested they would put forward, but it’s not clear that the extra money is enough to get crucial Democratic support. The final price tag will be part of negotiations between legislative leaders.

“It’s been my goal since the start of session to put together a bonding proposal that all sides can vote for, and this bill does just that,” House Speaker Kurt Daudt said in a statement.

But House Democrats criticized the proposal, which requires a supermajority of lawmakers in each chamber to pass.

Rep. Tina Liebing, a Democrat whose home city of Rochester didn’t receive any funding in the House proposal, said the bill “pits areas of the state against each other.”

“This is one bill where people need to come together to do what’s best for the whole state, and this bill fails miserably on that measure,” she said.


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