In response to House Republicans’ Moorhead visit today to the critical rail grade crossing project, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) has released the following statement.
The final minutes of the 2016 Legislative Session ended just short of passing a bonding bill which would have created thousands of jobs. The greater White Bear Lake area had several critical projects at stake in the bill, including $1.78 million for a study of the water levels on White Bear Lake, funding for several projects at Century College as well as a request for a White Bear Lake Community Achievement Center. Sen. Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood) released the following statement about how the session ended.
In the wake of the 2016 session ending without passage of a Bonding Bill, Sen. Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth) released the following statement calling for a special session.
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.
The Senate Capital Investment Committee is calling a Conference Committee with the House of Representatives to work out details of a Bonding Bill.
I was proud to vote in favor of the 2016 Bonding Bill last week, but it unfortunately did not pass due to Republican partisan politics being placed before constituent needs. Since last week’s disappointing vote, I’ve tried to make sense of why anyone would vote against a bill that would create nearly 40,000 jobs and invests in critical transportation projects, clean water and wastewater infrastructure projects, and colleges and universities, among other things. So far, I’ve come up with nothing – other than partisan politics – which leads me to believe there’s no real reason to oppose this bill.