Posted at 4:00 PM on April 19, 2012
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: MN Legislature
An effort to renovate the crumbling State Capitol building has narrowly failed in the Minnesota House.
Lawmakers voted 80 to 50 today in favor of the $221 million bonding bill to cover the project. But bonding bills require a supermajority, and the bill fell one vote short. Several Democrats said the bill shortchanges other important public construction projects throughout the state.
During the debate, House Republican Majority Leader Matt Dean of Dellwood stressed the need for the renovation by comparing Minnesota's Capitol to those in neighboring states.
"Wisconsin has a pretty nice Capitol," Dean said. "Iowa has a fairly nice Capitol. North Dakota, I mean my goodness grief. Has anybody seen North Dakota's Capitol? "It's like State Farm Insurance called, they want their office building back. I mean, it's terrible. It's embarrassing."
Dean later explained that he was actually taking a shot at fellow Republican and House Speaker Kurt Zellers, who was raised in North Dakota.