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Dayton Reiterates Calls For Bigger Bonding Bill In ‘State Of The State’

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ST. PAUL (AP) – Gov. Mark Dayton is making a last-ditch push for $1.2 billion in public works borrowing.

A construction projects bill is among the major items yet to complete before lawmakers head home.

Coming into their session, Democratic and GOP legislative leaders said they would craft a bill limited to $850 million. But Dayton implored lawmakers in his State of the State on Wednesday to shoot higher so a greater backlog of projects can be addressed.

Unlike most measures, it requires a supermajority for passage so Republican buy-in is critical in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

One of Dayton’s invited guests was the mayor of Luverne in Minnesota’s southwestern corner. The city is counting on state bonding dollars for the Lewis and Clark water project deemed essential to shortages in that region.

Dayton says the state is making progress in delivering services to people and businesses that interact with government.

In his State of the State address Wednesday night, the governor said the Legislature and his administration have made sped up government tasks and become more responsive.

Dayton says moves to cut bureaucratic red tape have meant faster environmental permits for businesses and shorter waits for people with motor vehicle transactions. For example, he says it now takes an average of 19 days to register a car compared with the needed three months previously.

He says his “unsession” campaign to prune the books of outdated or duplicative laws have resulted in 121 deletions so far.

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