Officials discuss scope of Minn. construction billby Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio,
Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — DFL Leaders in the Minnesota House say they plan to take quick action on a borrowing bill next year to try to create much needed construction jobs.
DFL State Rep. Alice Hausman of St. Paul, who chairs the House Capital Investment Committee, says her goal is to approve a bonding measure shortly after the 2010 session starts in February.
The estimated $1 billion package will fund a yet-to-be determined list of public works projects throughout the state. Hausman says she hopes the measure rises above politics.
"There is too much at stake for our state to engage in partisan rhetoric and to play political games with something as important as this, something that builds infrastructure [and] that prepares us for the economy of the future and in the meantime puts people to work," Hausman said.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty said DFLers in the Legislature are too focused on the bonding bill as a job growth strategy.
"They need to learn and understand that there's more to the economy than just building government stuff," he said. "I wish they would focus more of their attention and energy on cutting taxes, making Minnesota more cost competitive and they just keep focusing on the bonding bill."
Pawlenty's budget advisor told lawmakers that new debt guidelines are being developed, but he said the governor's bonding proposal will likely be about $725 million.
Tim Pugmire covers politics and state government for MPR News.