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Confusion reigns at Capitol over Mayo request for $585 million in state aid

Gov. Dayton and some legislative leaders say a subsidy may not be feasible, but Mayo says it doesn’t need all of the money at once.

The Rochester Post-Bulletin says there’s confusion at the state Capitol about Mayo Clinic’s request for state aid to help them with a multibillion-dollar long-term plan to upgrade its facilities.

Gov. Mark Dayton said he understands that Mayo wants the $585 million state bonding subsidy, to be used for infrastructure in the city, all at once.

“You can see with a $750 million bonding bill for the whole state, that is almost unfeasible. So I am hoping and working toward finding some way that they can have financial support and the security as much as possible that they are going to have it on an ongoing basis,” Dayton said Thursday.

And earlier in the week, the paper, said, House Taxes Committee Chairwoman Rep. Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, blasted the proposal, calling it a “massive public subsidy.”

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But Mayo spokesman Karl Oestreich said the clinic doesn’t want it all at once but is looking for the subsidy to be spread out over 20 years:

“We’re not asking for all the public money up front, and it is a project that would be financed incrementally,” he said. “As we continue to explain this and go forward, we hope more people will understand.”

The clinic’s grand plan, called “Destination Medical Center,” calls for Mayo to invest $3.5 billion in its Rochester campus and leverage $2.2 billion in private investment. The clinic wants the state funding for public  infrastructure upgrades needed to support that growth, the paper said.

The story quotes Assistant House Majority Leader Kim Norton, DFL-Rochester, a sponsor of the DMC House bill:

“There is a lot of talking and work that needs to be done.”