ST. PAUL, Minn – Saturday morning the Senate Capital Investment Committee unveiled its scaled down $1.4 billion Bonding Bill as a counter proposal to the House’s $800 million Bonding Bill. In the 19 days since the Senate originally introduced its bill, chair of the committee Sen. LeRoy Stumpf (DFL-Plummer) says his office has received hundreds of letters, emails and phone calls in support of all the projects that were included. He says his new, smaller bill is a compromise, and he says he worked with dozens of project stakeholders to reduce the size of their request to accommodate the House and Senate Republicans request for a smaller bill.
“We worked with project advocates to see where we could make reductions in our original proposal – this newer bill lowers our bonding number by more than $100 million. The existing projects and funding are a reflection of the critical needs facing communities across our state. We can’t just ignore these projects – that without funding still need to be done – as they will place an enormous undue burden on the residents of small communities if the state does not step up and assist. The Governor and members of the Senate DFL believe a bill of this size is absolutely necessary to meet the demands of our local governments across the state,” said Sen. Stumpf.
The cuts to achieve this smaller bill size were made across the board – from higher education to the department of natural resources and public safety. Sen. Stumpf points out that this bill is well under the state’s debt capacity guideline of 3.25 percent. He adds, arguing that this proposal is still too large, is simply inaccurate.
“To effectively govern, we must put the needs of our constituents ahead of politics. I understand that saying this bill spends too much is a political talking point, but it is harmful and disingenuous to the people across our state that are asking for our help. I invite the House and Senate Republicans to join us in support of this proposal – it’s time to do something important for the people of Minnesota,” said Stumpf.