Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will deliver his annual State of the State address Thursday night. You can watch live streaming video of the speech at fox9.com/live beginning at 7 p.m.
What to expect
The governor will be speaking before a joint session of the Legislature in the chamber of the House of Representatives. These speeches tend to be a combination of success stories, combined with the governor's agenda for the coming year.
You can expect the governor to recap accomplishments like job creation, a minimum wage hike, and Minnesota having the fifth best economy in the nation. Dayton has said Minnesota needs to be more competitive, and that a dramatic expansion of early childhood education is a necessary investment.
Spending to create jobs
Earlier this week, Dayton rolled out his plan to pay for construction projects around the state. The governor wants to spend $842 million on everything from water projects to buildings at the University of Minnesota. The governor claims that his bonding plan would create nearly 24,000 jobs across the state.
But Republicans argue it puts the state on another increased path for spending that is simply not their priority.
In the governor's eyes, the opportunity is all about lifting the lumber on a backlog of potential job sites and needed construction projects. The governor's total plan includes borrowing $842 million, and the debt service would cost $78 million in the current budget, but it would fund dozens of projects including:
$65 million for railroad safety improvements in Moorhead, Willmar, Prairie Island and Coon Rapids.
$20 million for additional repairs to the State Capitol
$18 million to replace old veterinary labs at the U of M, including a new animal isolation facility.
But all of this is clearly not a priority for House Republicans. Part of the reason is that none of the construction projects have been vetted yet by lawmakers. But the governor is not giving up. Historically there has been some kind of construction bill in 31 of the last 32 legislative sessions.