Senate DFL leader Tom Bakk and Capital Investment Lead Sen. Keith Langseth today voiced support for Governor Dayton’s $1 billion bonding bill that would create 28,000 private sector jobs across Minnesota. The Governor proposed $531 million in projects and asked legislative leaders to work in a bipartisan manner to come up with an additional $469 million in shovel-ready projects.
From Senator Tom Bakk:
As a carpenter who exhausted his unemployment and health benefits during the recession of the early 1980s, I know firsthand how hard it is for the 200,000 unemployed Minnesotans currently looking for work during these difficult times.
I applaud Gov. Dayton for presenting a true jobs plan for Minnesota. This bill is targeted at shovel-ready projects, and will not only create thousands of private sector jobs in our state, but will also provide long-term economic development opportunities across the state.
Despite their rhetoric, Republican leaders in the House and Senate have yet to produce one single idea that will help get the 200,000 unemployed Minnesotans back to work. Gov. Dayton has provided them an opportunity to work with him on creating jobs and jumpstarting our economy. I encourage them to give his proposal thoughtful consideration. Political grandstanding will not get Minnesotans back to work.
From Senator Keith Langseth:
Flood control is my highest priority this year and we need $55 million to do the work that is ready to go. The governor started with half of a $1 billion bill, and he put half the money needed into flood control, so I will work hard for the other half.
This bill is a good start; I too, applaud Governor Dayton for presenting his plan early and his desire to get a bill passed quickly before the start of the construction season. I pledge to work across the political aisle with my GOP colleagues to put Minnesotans back to work. These are tough times, and we need to pull together to provide leadership and do what’s best for our state.
There are some important proposals put forth by the Governor, including higher education asset preservation, natural resources infrastructure improvement and local projects that would generate jobs immediately and for the future.
However, this is only half a bill. The Governor invited legislators to provide an additional $469 million to round out a bonding proposal. I intend to take him up on this offer. He provided $28 million for much needed flood mitigation. But, we need approximately $55 million to help safeguard our communities in northwestern Minnesota from the flood crises ahead.
Legislators need to put their heads together to complement the Governors proposal and put Minnesotans back to work. I look forward to that challenge.