2 House Bills to Contain $975M in Building Wishes

Updated: 04/01/2014 12:55 PM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson

Minnesota State Capitol
Minnesota State Capitol

A Minnesota House construction package loads up on college campus projects, provides for civic center upgrades across Minnesota and makes another Capitol restoration installment.
The proposal released Tuesday comes in two parts. One authorizes $850 million in state-backed borrowing and the other draws $125 million from a budget surplus.

"It's sort of hard for anyone to understand how fast a billion dollars goes," said Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL.  "I'm hoping for a miracle. And that is that there would be such a loud voice from Minnesotans to say 'This is under-investment.' This is not how we were writing bills 15 to 20 years ago." 

The two-part strategy is unique and reflects political dynamics around so-called bonding bills.
Bills authorizing debt require Republican votes to meet the three-fifths vote requirement. The cash bill only needs a simple majority.
That's why several theater projects are in the second bill.
Once the House passes its proposals, they must be matched up with a competing Senate version.

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