Bemidji News | Minnesota News

Minnesota Legislative session begins today

Mn Legislature
The State Capitol building. Photo by Larissa Donovan

The 2020 Minnesota Legislative Session begins today, and since it’s an even-numbered year, the big project for both the House and Senate is the bonding bill.

According to reports, communities have requested about $5 billion for local bonding projects, including Bemidji’s $8 million bonding request for a water treatment plant.

Bemidji’s well system was contaminated by PFAs, which are substances believed to have originated from firefighting foam. The foam was used at the airport in training exercises, above the city’s five working wells, numbers 2 through 7. The fire department has stopped using the foam, but the PFAs remain.

Some Democrats are proposing for a $3.5 billion bonding package, while Senate Republicans are hoping for a bonding package under $1 billion.

Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman says a big priority across the state is water infrastructure.

Other priorities include healthcare, such as insulin affordability, with meetings on that topic beginning today.