June 1, 2016

Bonding Bill

No bonding bill was passed during the 2016 session. Progress was made in crafting the bill but did not make it through final approval. The stalled bill (HF 622) would have been a mixed bag for parks and trails. On the positive side, the bill would have funded:

  • $26 million for asset preservation projects across the DNR system
  • $11.5 million for state trail development, including:
    • $2.59 million for the Glacial Lakes State Trail (New London to Sibley State Park)
    • $3.3 million for the Heartland State Trail (Detroit Lakes to Frazee)
    • $2 million for the Gitchi Gami State Trail (Tofte and Cutface Creek segments)
    • $3.6 million for the mountain biking system at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area
  • $750,000 for a pedestrian and bicycle bridge in Grand Rapids

Disappointingly, however, the bonding bill left out many important projects, including:

  • Renovations at Itasca State Park
  • State Park Campground rehabilitation
  • State Park Prairie restoration
  • Many local trail projects, including the Dakota Rail, Fairbault Northern Links, and Swedish Immigrant
  • Many state trail development projects, including the Casey Jones, Chester Woods, Goodhue Pioneer, Heartland Itasca Spur, Mill Towns, Minnesota Valley, Mississippi Blufflands, and Preston-Harmony
  • Metropolitan Regional Parks and Trails
  • Local park and trail grants

Bill Number(s): HF 622

Author(s): Torkelson; Hausman; Moran

Description: Public land, buildings, and other capital improvement spending authorized; previous appropriations modified; new programs established and existing programs modified; bonds issued; and money appropriated.

House Update: 5/22/16 passed

Senate Update: 5/22/16 amended, passed, and reconsidered

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