House passes $567 million updated bonding bill

GOP Rep. Larry Howes, chief author of the House bonding bill, listens to debate while his bill was heard on the floor on Monday.

The House passed a $567 million bonding bill, which got hung up last week because of objections from the governor, and sent it to the state Senate today.

Gov. Mark Dayton argued that last week’s $496 million borrowing proposal didn’t have enough parity between the state’s higher education systems and that it was too small. The new proposal adds roughly $10 million to the University of Minnesota’s allocation, which ups it to $64 million. The measure also takes about $12 million from the MnSCU system, dropping its total for projects to $132 million.

DFL Rep. Alice Hausman, who voted for the borrowing package on Monday, called it “an important bill for the state of Minnesota,” although most Democrats supported Dayton’s $775 million proposal.

Some Democrats, including Hausman, voiced concerns that the bill didn’t include projects like regional convention centers and light-rail transit supported by Minnesota business groups.

“We have given [business groups] exactly zero for all that work,” she said. “I think we missed an opportunity to build strong regional centers.”

The proposal would add on to a roughly $500 million bonding passed last summer as part of the package to end Minnesota’s state government shutdown, and would bring total bonding to more than $1 billion for this budget cycle.

The updated deal would also add $19.5 million funding for an education center at Camp Ripley. It also kept in $44 million in upgrades for renovations to the decaying state Capitol.

Rep. Larry Howes, the proposal’s chief House author, thanked members for their support of the bill before it passed 99-32.

Joking about the Vikings stadium proposal that came up later that day, Howes ended his comments with: “And right now I feel like the pregame show for Monday night football.”

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 05/07/2012 - 07:17 pm.

    “We have given [business groups] exactly zero for all that work”

    And your point is?

    Hundreds, if not thousands, of people work toward specific legislative outcomes every year. Most go away disappointed. Business groups are not and should not be an exception.

  2. Submitted by Joe Musich on 05/07/2012 - 09:32 pm.

    And does what for whom

    Also heard today is the report of the Republican investigation of itself. In light of alll this austerity crap and the continual blaming of the Democrats, I see this quote reported at MPR, “We discovered instances of misreporting, both internally and externally, a lack of adequate internal financial controls, examples of questionable decision-making and a lack of accountability and transparency,” said Jeff Johnson, who is the chairman of the committee. Following a certain direction in logic with this statemnt if the Democratic party central is not burdened with these problems which party might be better equiped to handle sate budgeting ? Oh wait I forgot the Republican party is the party of minimal regulation. So how’s that working ? Yea austerity is just a smokescreen. Then the Republicans do not have to talk about the fact that they really seem to dislike most of their fellow citizens or minilally not care about the general condition of all.

  3. Submitted by Alex Bauman on 05/08/2012 - 09:39 am.

    The point

    Hausman’s point is that Republicans spend all their time fretting about how legislation will affect businesses and then they didn’t put anything to help business in the bonding bill – she is indirectly accusing them of using bonding as a political cudgel because the bonding that businesses wanted (LRT, convention centers) would have also benefited DFL districts.

  4. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 05/08/2012 - 02:54 pm.

    GOP

    Hates public transport because it is for the city dwellers and the poor. They want their highways in rural areas because they only care about themselves. This is more out state dislike for anything urban.

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