Legislature fails to pass bonding bill

Without a bonding bill, the University will receive none of the $236.3 million it had requested from the state for infrastructure projects.

by Ryan Faircloth

The University of Minnesota will receive no state funding after the state Legislature failed to pass a roughly $1 billion bonding bill in the waning hours of the session Sunday night.

The University had requested about $236 million from the state to help pay for infrastructure projects and building repairs.

After a bonding bill passed through the House with minutes to spare Sunday night, it was sent to the Senate, where it was amended to include funding for a proposed Southwest light rail line from Minneapolis to Eden Prairie.

But before the bill could return to the House for review, the House adjourned, marking an end to its legislative session.

Part of the debate over the bonding bill was how much funding to allocate to the University.

Gov. Mark Dayton originally recommended a $153.3 million distribution to the University. The House recommended $65.8 million, while the Senate suggested $160.7 million be allocated to the school.

At a Monday afternoon news conference, Dayton expressed disappointment with the Legislature’s treatment of the University.

“When you shortchange the University of Minnesota, you shortchange the economic and social vitality of the future of Minnesota all over the state,” he said.

Though Dayton could convene a special session to address unresolved issues like the bonding bill, he said he was unsure if he would do so.

“Whether or not there will be a special session, I can’t say today.