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Money and spending

Gov. Tim Walz announced his plan for a $2.7 billion bonding bill, which would be a new record for the state.

The governor said more than a billion is for asset preservation — maintenance and preservation of existing public buildings. “These are assets that belong to the people of Minnesota.”

There’s more for bridge replacement and road improvements, $450 million for housing, including homelessness projects, and money for the environment.

In addition to general obligation bonds, Walz would finance this collection with $276 million from the state’s record surplus fund. According to the Associated Press report, Walz said the surplus means Minnesota can afford to spend for the big package.

And that’s the problem with big surpluses. According to lawmakers and government officials, surplus revenue equates to more spending. There’s no regard for where that surplus came from –the excessive taxes that Minnesotans have been paying.

We know it is unlikely that the governor will get everything on his wish list. With that amount of debt, he will need support from Republican legislators, especially in the GOP-controlled Senate. There will be give and take in the bonding bill, perhaps with some dealmaking over tax cuts to help the state withdraw its hands from taxpayers’ pockets just a little.

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