Reinert Opposes Bonding Bill that Forgets Duluth
St. Paul – The Minnesota State Senate passed a $496 million bonding bill late Monday night. Senator Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth) voted no on final passage of the bill.
“I voted ‘no’ last night because the bill fell far short of accomplishing what a substantial, regionally-balanced bonding package could have done for our community and our state,” said Senator Reinert.
After last year’s drawn out budget debate and state government shutdown, the only real task for this year’s Legislature was the production of a fair and balanced bonding bill. Bonding dollars are used for targeted investments in our state’s capital infrastructure. Senator Reinert stated, “With the construction industry still struggling under high unemployment and Mother Nature granting Minnesota an early construction season, there was absolutely no reason a sizeable bonding package should not have been passed months ago.”
Instead, Republican leadership in the State Legislature proposed a patchwork of projects that mostly benefitted Republican incumbents, while leaving next to no investment for other regions of the state like Duluth.
“In particular, I was disappointed the bonding bill left out the top three priorities in the City of Duluth: the multi-modal transit center, improvements to Wade stadium, and the American Indian Learning Center at the University of Minnesota – Duluth.”
By failing to invest just six million of the $496 million dollar bonding package in our multi-modal transit center, Duluth could miss out on $20 million of federal grant money that expires this year as well as private partnership investment.
“Further, Wade Stadium is a landmark in Duluth and an important contributor to our local economy, yet it too was left unfunded in spite of the City’s commitment to match any state investment, dollar for dollar. And the American Indian Learning Center at UMD would have freed up scarce classroom space, allowing the University to offer more courses for all enrolled students.”