Infrastructure czar talks funding for MN as Biden visits Rosemount

Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu
Mitch Landrieu, a former mayor of New Orleans, was tapped by Biden to oversee the implementation of the infrastructure law. He told host Cathy Wurzer about the billions Minnesota can expect as part of the package.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais | AP

President Joe Biden is in Minnesota today to promote his $1 trillion infrastructure law. He visited Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount and gave remarks.

Mitch Landrieu, a former mayor of New Orleans, was tapped by Biden to oversee theimplementation of the infrastructure law. He told host Cathy Wurzer about the billions Minnesota can expect as part of the package.

That includes $4.5 billion for highways, $800 million for public transportation, and hundreds of millions more for bridges, broadband internet, electric vehicle support and clean water.

Considerations of climate and equity will be foundational to the way the money will be spent, Landrieu said.

Landrieu told governors and mayors to be ready for an all-hands-on-deck undertaking, because they will build most of the projects funded by Biden’s infrastructure package. The federal government is only slated to build 5 percent of the projects.

The effects of some spending will be seen soon, but much of it will come in the long term. Landrieu said that the law is a 10-year proposition, adding, “It’s easy to tear stuff down … but it takes quite a while to build something.”

MPR News reporter Brian Bakst also stopped by to share political analysis of the infrastructure package and Biden’s visit. He said that Republicans are attacking the large price tag of the law, while Democrats are focused on promoting the components of the package.

Minnesota may have to put up matching money for some projects in the law, and Bakst expects lawmakers to argue over the precise locations of projects as they try to secure dollars for their jurisdictions.

Bakst said it’s no accident that Biden chose to visit Minnesota’s second congressional district. Angie Craig, the representative from that district, is in a vulnerable position, and associating with the infrastructure law, which passed through Congress with bipartisan support and also has some popular support, may help her chances of reelection.

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