Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bonding revamped

Thursday morning, the Senate Finance Committee approved a second package of bonding projects and advanced the proposal to the full Senate.

At the request of Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, the Senate bonding chariman, the committee adopted an amendment to SF2538, containing a $925 million bonding package. (This brings the original total down from $965 million). Langseth said the governor has indicated he wants a package of about $825 million. Putting a $925 million proposal out is intended to establish a Senate position on a slightly smaller bill for conference committee purposes, Langseth said. Changes to the proposal for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities do not include any cuts, there is however additional funding of $3.5 million for Ridgewater College, and $2.4 million for Hennepin Technical College (these projects were not included in the Senate's original bill). For this proposal, this puts the system total at $277 million. According to The Bemidji Pioneer yesterday, both Rep. Alice Hausman, the House Capital Investment Chair and Langseth neither knew the next step in finishing a bonding bill. “If this goes to the floor, it is to make a statement to the position we are in,” Langseth said. “It is a long, long way from passing.”

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