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House, Senate Pass Bonding Bill, Possible Money for Convention Center

Jim Maurice

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House overwhelmingly passed the $496 million state bonding bill this (Monday) afternoon.  And, although it doesn’t specifically list the River’s Edge Convention Center in the bill, the door has been left open for some state funding.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says the bill includes $50 million in grant money through the Department of Employment and Economic Development.  Kleis says the Convention Center would be eligible for that grant money.  He says it’s a matching grant, and the city has already met that requirement.

The downside is it’s only $50 million, which projects throughout the state will be bidding for.  St. Cloud is looking for $10 million.

The bonding bill passed the Senate 45-22 early this (Tuesday) morning.

The House approved the beefed-up version of its original bonding proposal on a 99-32 vote on Monday.

The package would provide $44 million to start fixing up the Capitol. That’s a fraction of the total cost of renovating the historic building.

It would send $64 million to the University of Minnesota and $132 million to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. The bill would spend $30 million on flood prevention and $49 million on roads, bridges and other transportation projects.

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