Bonding Bill Debate Gears Up as Lawmakers Tour SE, SW MN

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(Learfield News Service) House lawmakers are in southeast Minnesota today (Mon) and tomorrow hearing pitches from projects vying for state bonding dollars, while their Senate counterparts visit southwest Minnesota Tuesday through Thursday.

Governor Tim Walz is preparing his own statewide campaign to push for a robust bonding bill in 2020. He says, “This is old-school Republican philosophy that there are certain things you spend on that make sense: When you can get historically low interest rates, keep construction costs down, I think they’ll be there.”

House Democrats are tossing around bonding bill numbers as high as three billion dollars — likely much more than Republicans would agree to.

Rochester Senator Dave Senjem says, “There’s a lot of pressure to spend more, but to spend more you have to have more…. To have more is a reflection of what the economy of Minnesota is doing.”

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Senate Capital Investment Committee will visit the area as part of the third leg of its Minnesota infrastructure statewide bonding tour.

In addition to site tours, the committee will also meet briefly at each location to hear from local officials regarding their project requests.

Senator Scott Newman of Hutchinson says projects include the U.S Highway 212 four-lane expansion with a stop in Bongards and the Henderson Area Minnesota River Scenic Byway project with a presentation at the Henderson Roadhaus and driving tour of State Highway 93.

The legislature goes back into session next February.

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