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Limited Investments to Improve Communities
Source: Governor's Executive Budget Summary

The Governor's budget deliberations contained much debate about what functions constitute a proper role for government, and the Governor expects that those discussions will continue throughout his term in office. This budget contains selective new spending initiatives that will improve the quality of life for state citizens.

  • Transit: $60 million is provided to support the Hiawatha Avenue light-rail transit project. This recommendation is contingent on a final decision by the Governor after review of the overall impacts of this transportation decision. In addition, almost $15 million is recommended to preserver and improve existing levels of bus service in the metropolitan area, and $3.7 million is provided to maintain transit services in Greater Minnesota.
  • Highway funding: The Governor's recommendation provides a $90 million increase in state road construction.
  • Ongoing repair and betterment of state facilities: The Governor's budget includes $37 million to protect the investment taxpayers have already made in buildings and other public facilities. By doing this repair when needed, the state can avoid the cost of replacing these facilities in the future.
  • An additional $15 million is provided for community corrections programs that provide less costly alternatives to prison.
  • An additional $5 million is included to expand tourism advertising efforts, recognizing that tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in Minnesota.
  • An increase of $2.2 million is provided to improve the operations of the state parks.
  • The Governor's budget provides $16 million in additional funding to preserve existing housing and leverage non-state funds for the creation of additional housing for low-income citizens, recognizing that a safe, secure home environment is central to self-reliance and escape from poverty.
  • Over $3.5 million is provided to assure the quality and safety of our food supply and the agricultural products we export to the rest of the world.
  • The Governor's budget also includes funds to provide property tax relief for those farmers hit particularly hard by the current crisis in animal agriculture. In addition, he has directed his commisioners of Agriculture and Trade and Economic Development to investigate what role the state can play to encourage the development of additional animal processing capacity.
  • Nearly $3 million is provided for various resource recovery strategies, ncluding developing markets for recyclable products and encouraging pollution prevention strategies.
  • An increase of $2 million is provided for Clean Water partnership grants.
  • The Governor's budget provides $3 million to implement the Red River Basin flood water management initiatives.
  • Additional funding of $1.9 million is provided to improve the service at driver testing facilities.