Gov. Dayton bonding bill DOA for GOP

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton rolled out a billion dollar bonding bill for state construction projects and Republicans in control of the legislature quickly shot it down.  “This is about putting Minnesota back to work” the governor estimated the bill could create 28,000 jobs.  Despite Dayton leaving half the bill for lawmakers to fill with their own ideas, legislative leaders said there would be no bonding bill in this budget year except maybe emergency projects such as flooding at the end of session.  “Taxing and borrowing cannot be Minnesota’s answer” to the recession according to GOP Deputy Senate Majority Leader Geoff Michel.

As usual much of the money would go to higher education projects and building restoration.  Rochester, St. Cloud and Mankato get money for civic centers in the governor’s bill, along with the St. Paul Saints and Target Center.  Dayton called such projects “downtown revitalization” that he learned the importance of in his family’s former downtown Dayton’s department store.  DFL former bonding chair Rep. Alice Hausman was concerned about the lack of transit money.  Her former counterpart Sen. Keith Langseth thinks there will be funds for transit in the end but a bill “probably won’t come until the final days.” 

New GOP Bonding Chair Larry Howes said “Minnesotans are fed up with earmarks” and he doesn’t think it’s right for lawmakers to bring home pet projects to blunt the budget cuts they will likely make.  Senate Bonding Chair Dave Senjem is now even against the Rochester civic center in his hometown saying “We better get the budget and jobs figured out before we get the credit card out.”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Joe Musich on 02/02/2011 - 08:14 pm.

    On fight on Republicans! They are creating their own disaster. Two years and out no matter what Sutton tries to pull out a hat. Historically their plan has almost never worked. I’m betting already public opinion is starting to flow against them. You mean could have had a job and you went to eliminate gun licenses ? Start putting the x’s on the calendar.

  2. Submitted by Eric T on 02/03/2011 - 08:37 am.

    I think it’s pretty reasonable for the republicans to refuse to pass a bonding bill when the state has debt issues. Given the current state finances, it’s not reasonable for the state to shoulder the burden to build new stadiums. That seems financially irresponsible.

  3. Submitted by Mohammed Ali Bin Shah on 02/05/2011 - 08:43 pm.

    “As usual much of the money would go to higher education projects and building restoration.” And as usual not one of these CREATES jobs. They create short term work, not long term jobs, and in many cases saddle local governments with long term operating costs. Only entrepreneurs or companies with a great product/service and money to risk truly create jobs and wealth and economic growth. Anyone who says that government can do that just does not understand the basics of economics.

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