Minn. House defeats $47M for flood projectsby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota House defeated $47 million in state bonding for projects to control flooding in the Red River Valley and other parts of the state.
The House voted 76-57 early Saturday for borrowing for flood control projects, but bonding bills require a supermajority of 81 votes to pass
The biggest chunks of money would have been allocated to the cities of Moorhead, Roseau and the small community of Georgetown, which is north of Moorhead.
Several Democrats complained that the bonding bill didn't spend enough and didn't focus on the needs of the entire state. Rep. Lyndon Carlson, DFL-Crystal, said he's like to see the state borrow more because interest rates are low. He also said it would help the state's construction workers get jobs.
"When we talk about the infrastructure needs, there are a lot of projects that are shovel ready," Carlson said. "If we passed a bonding bill, you could literally, as soon as those bonds are issued, you could put people to work."
Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker, is the chief author of the bill. He said Democrats are hoping that another bonding bill surfaces in a special session.
"The people who voted no decided either to roll the dice and try it another day and hope for more," Howes said. "I hope it works for them but I don't see it working for them."
Howes says another bonding bill could surface if lawmakers are forced into a special session because they failed to reach a budget agreement with Gov. Dayton. He says he's willing to work on a bonding bill but says it can't be as large as Dayton's proposal.
Dayton has proposed a $1 billion bonding bill in which half of the projects are picked by him and half of the projects are picked by the Legislature.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)