ST. PAUL, Minn – 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.
“I’m incredibly disappointed in how the Bonding Bill process ended this year. In the last minute flurry of bill drafting, several projects – including the Duluth Steam Plant and Arrowhead Regional Wellness Center – were listed on a spreadsheet, but not actually included in the bill. This is extremely disappointing, and shows the significant and real dangers of last-minute legislating. I voted for the bill, but had it actually passed today I would be asking Gov. Dayton to veto it.”
Sen. Reinert and other Purple Caucus leaders had called earlier in session for a “4th Deadline” for major bills and conference committee reports. The additional deadline would require bills be posted for at least 48 hours so legislators, and the public could read the bills.
“I am urging Governor Dayton to call a special session so we can pass a significant, comprehensive, and regionally-balanced Bonding Bill. There are too many critical bonding projects all across the state – including here in Duluth – that cannot wait another year before receiving funding,” said Sen. Reinert.
Duluth-area Bonding project requests:
- Lake Superior Zoo: $1.9 million
- Glensheen Mansion: $8 million
- Duluth Airport Authority: $5.9 million
- St. Louis River Area of Concern: $12.7 million
- Western Lake Superior Sanitary District – combined heat and power system: $8.1 million
- Duluth Steam Plant: $21 million
- U of M-Duluth Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science Building: $27.2 million
- Hermantown – Arrowhead Health Regional Wellness Center: $8 million
- Northeast Regional Corrections Center: $2.9 million
Sen. Reinert has often noted that the only purpose of the even-numbered “short session” is to pass a capital investment (bonding) bill.