Democrats in the Minnesota House are expected to unveil a $975 million package of public construction project this week.
The House bonding plan will combine $850 million of borrowing with $125 million from the budget surplus.
DFL Rep. Alice Hausman of St. Paul, chair of the House Capital Investment Committee, said she thinks a larger bill is needed. But Hausman said lawmakers have a "psychological barrier" of $1 billion for a bonding bill.
"Sixteen years ago, Arne Carlson signed a bonding bill for $1 billion, and 16 years later we're still using that as a barrier. We can't go above it. But the buying power of that today would be almost $1.5 billion. So that means we're under investing. That's why people are frustrated," Hausman said.
Democrats will need the help of Republicans to reach the supermajority required to pass a bonding bill. House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt of Crown said he expects the two-year bonding total to remain under $1 billion.
"We think that is a reasonable amount, and I think if we can get there the votes will likely be there from our caucus," Daudt said.
Editor's Note: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this story misquoted House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt's position on the bonding bill. The current version is correct.