Key Lawmaker Calls DMC Plan B 'Incomplete'

Posted at: 04/12/2013 6:22 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's a plan that could transform Rochester, creating a one of a kind, Global Destination Medical Center, but plans for public funding were stopped in their tracks.

The original plan called for $585 million dollars in public funding for Mayo Clinic’s Destination Medical Center. The senate proposal would cap it at $525 million, along with some other changes.

The bill was to have a hearing in front of the senate tax committee Friday morning, but late Thursday night it was knocked from the agenda.

The chair of the Senate Tax Committee, Senator Rob Skoe, says the new proposals needed more time.

"To be honest the original proposal, hadn't involved the legislature as much as it should have," said Sen. Skoe.

Senator Skoe says with a private investment of $3.5 billion from Mayo Clinic, as well as a state investment of more than $500 million dollars involved, there needs to be more discussion before a new proposal is made.

"It tends to draw attention, that's part of the reason we didn't move forward today, we think we need to have all the parties at the table so when we come forward there's more consensus around it," said Sen. Skoe.

Senator Dave Senjum who sits on the tax committee agrees that the original plan was too complex.

"Complex to the point where it was difficult to understand, but more importantly difficult to administrate within the agencies up here," said Sen. Senjem.

Senator Senjem says the new plan sticks to the main goals of the original, but changes things to make it more simple.

"To make is easier, we would base the investment off the number of capital investments by Mayo," said Sen. Senjem.

Senator Carla Nelson who has her own amendments to add, says the new plan is another way to get the important DMC bill passed.

"The actual form is the very same, it's just a little different way to calculate how that initial investment is made," said Sen. Nelson.

But Senator Skoe says the amendment didn't do what proponents thought it was going to do and for that reason there needs to be more work done before they move forward in committee.

"There are three parties in this, the city of Rochester,  Mayo Clinic, and the state, we have to do our responsibility to ensure tax payers interests are protected.".

Senator Skoe said he is hopeful that both sides and both in the house and senate can get together to discuss this new plan before it is taken up in the committee. he said that should happen sometime next week.