Thursday, March 19, 2009

BioBusiness bill heard; Prevailing wage may be suspended

"BioBusiness Alliance bill heard in Senate
The Senate Economic Development and Housing Budget Division met yesterday to hear multiple bills, including SF 952, authored by Sen. Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin. The bill appropriates $1.1 million each year in FY 2010 and 2011 from the general fund to the commissioner of employment and economic development for the operation of the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota.

CEO Dale Wahlstrom, BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota, said the funds are to create, recruit, retain and expand biobusiness activity in the state. Wahlstrom said the funds will also be used to implement the destination 2025 statewide plan to promote the growth of biobusiness in Minnesota. Sparks said the bill allows Minnesota to stay competitive relative to other states and nations working in the biobusiness industry.

The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus bill.

Suspension of prevailing wage bill to be introduced
Yesterday at the Capitol, Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, and Sen. Chris Gerlach, R-Apple Valley, held a press conference to talk about a bill they are introducing that would suspend prevailing wage requirements for contractor bidding on state jobs. Rep. Gottwalt said the proposal would lower the cost of state projects and allow for more people to be put to work. He said the proposed legislation would not do away with the law requiring contractors to pay a prevailing wage, which is based on a formula. The provision would kick-in and remain in effect for the calendar year following any November Forecast projecting at least a 1 percent budget deficit.

At the Capitol:
Legislative schedules are available for the House and Senate.

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