- Associated Press - Friday, January 10, 2020

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota should borrow $300 million to replace aging infrastructure and upgrade treatment facilities to protect its water supplies, Gov. Tim Walz proposed Friday as he announced the second of four installments of his public works borrowing package for the 2020 session.

Walz told reporters the water quality package in his “Local Jobs and Projects Plan” is aimed at helping communities clean up existing contamination and upgrade aging facilities to prevent pollution from happening.

To highlight the kinds of upgrades he has in mind, Walz later went down in a storm sewer tunnel in Minneapolis.

The water package is part of what the Democratic governor says will be around a $2 billion borrowing proposal, also known as a bonding bill. On Thursday he proposed borrowing $276 million to invest in affordable housing projects. He plans to release his higher education facilities proposal Monday and his public safety and local projects package Wednesday.

The House Democratic majority is expected to offer a plan as big as $3.5 billion in the coming weeks, while Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said Thursday that he’d be more comfortable with a bonding bill in the range of the last two, which totaled $825 million and $998 million.

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