Legislators could resume talks on billion-dollar bonding billby Laura McCallum, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — As state lawmakers return to the Capitol Tuesday from Easter break, they could resume negotiations on a capital investment bill.
A conference committee may get back to work resolving differences between the House and Senate versions of the nearly $1 billion bonding bill.
The committee would authorize the state to borrow money for public works projects. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has asked lawmakers to scale back the size of the bill, now that the state's projected deficit has grown to nearly a billion dollars.
Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, said the measure should be large enough to create jobs to help spur the economy.
"It's hard to see how we actually put together a bonding bill that has had over $4 billion in requests that can really only be about $400 million, which is barely over what he vetoed last year," Clark said. "So that's what we're trying to figure out."
The lead House negotiator, Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, said lawmakers must agree on a bill Pawlenty will sign. She said she's still hopeful negotiators can agree on the size of the bill this week.