May 30 (Reuters) - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton on Wednesday approved legislation to fund nearly $1.46 billion in infrastructure projects, largely with bonds, despite “serious concerns” over its scope.
The bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature is slightly smaller than the $1.54 billion plan the Democratic governor proposed in January.
Dayton said Republicans set “an arbitrary, ill-founded, and woefully inadequate limit” on the size of the so-called bonding bill, resulting in underfunding for higher education, state park and water projects. “I am signing this bill, despite my objections, because areas throughout Minnesota need the projects and the jobs, which it will provide,” the governor said in a statement. Keith Hovis, a spokesman for Minnesota Management and Budget, said general obligation and appropriation-backed bills were included in the bill and that plans for the state’s next bond sale have not been finalized.
The state’s GO bonds are rated AAA by Fitch Ratings, Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service and AA-plus by S&P Global Ratings. (Reporting by Karen Pierog in Chicago Editing by Matthew Lewis)