To bond or not in 2013?A strong movement appears to be forming to approve a public works funding bill in 2013, but most state leaders say that work must wait until after a budget is written.
A strong movement appears to be forming to approve a public works funding bill in 2013, but most state leaders say that work must wait until after a budget is written.
They are reluctant to discuss how big a bill they could support.
“We are almost required to” approve what is known as a bonding bill, Gov. Mark Dayton said, because a state Capitol renovation project already has begun and more than $200 million is needed to finish it.
“I have not spent a lot of time thinking about it,” Dayton said, but added that if there is a bonding bill, he will propose funding civic center construction projects in St. Cloud, Mankato and Rochester.
The governor also mentioned the need to help fund Minneapolis veterans’ home work.
“Our priority is the budget,” House Minority Leader-elect Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said, “The bonding bill is not off the table, we are open to talking out it.”
Daudt indicated Capitol work is a good use of bonding money: “It is a treasure to the state and we need to talk about it.”
Other Republicans are not as receptive.
“I don’t know why after a billion dollars of bonding in the last two sessions that we’d be jumping into more bonding in a non-bonding session,” Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville said. “But obviously you always have to look at what the proposal is before you pass judgment.”
The Legislature must deal with the budget in 2013 and usually reserves big bonding bills for even-numbered years.