A one-week legislative special session wrapped up without much to show for the workers and communities of Minnesota. The Legislature went home without passing a robust bonding bill, and I agree with Gov. Walz on that as a “total failure.”

I serve as the business manager of Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 405, and we represent nearly 900 general construction laborers. Our members are proud to build and maintain the infrastructure all Minnesotans rely on every day. The Rochester area is expected to see major population and economic growth during the next 20 years, but without bonding investments in local jobs and projects here, our aging infrastructure will hold our community and businesses back.

Construction workers who fix and build the infrastructure in our area are locals. These are our neighbors and friends. With a slowdown in construction due to the pandemic, more of them are facing reduced hours or unemployment. Without a large infrastructure bill, which could create up to 30,000 jobs statewide, thousands of working families will face more uncertainty. There is just no excuse for lawmakers to let us down. They need to get back together as quickly as possible and pass a bonding bill.

Sheldon Steele, Grand Meadow

Business manager, Construction Craft Laborers, Local 405