Last week, the Minnesota Legislature adjourned the 2020 regular session sine die without passing a bonding bill. Despite a flurry of negotiations over the final weekend, legislators were unable to reach agreement on capital investment funding for the second year in a row.

We expect the governor will call legislators back into a special session on or around June 12 to address several unresolved issues, including the next steps in the state’s COVID-19 response. This will likely be the first of multiple special sessions in the coming months as Minnesota continues to respond to the pandemic.

Many legislators from both parties and both bodies want to pass a bonding bill to inject funds into the state’s struggling economy. This is good news, as a bonding bill requires a three-fifths majority of both bodies to pass meaning all parties must negotiate and compromise. It also means that every legislator is important and needs to hear from you.

The U of M has a $4.8 billion, 10-year deferred renewal need for facilities around the system, and the backlog continues to grow. It is critical that the state approves a bonding bill in a special session to help address this backlog and to free up funds for investment in the U of M’s chief asset, its people. As a public institution, times like these require assistance from our partners for the economic health of the U of M. A lack of significant capital investment impacts our teaching and research spaces, outreach efforts, staffing, and student experience.

Please contact your lawmakers today. Your work has been incredibly helpful in the past, especially on bonding issues. Citizens from around the state are seeking capital investment dollars at the legislature, and there is a limited amount of resources available. As a result, legislators need to hear from voters that the U of M is a priority for their constituents. Our most recent advocacy push generated over 5,000 emails to lawmakers, and continuing these efforts is vitally important as we move toward a special session.