Republicans Push For Smaller Bonding Bill Voted Down, No Capital Improvements Despite Need (Audio)
On Thursday, the Minnesota House of Representatives fell one vote shy of passing a Bonding Bill to restore and repair the State Capitol building.
Majority Republicans put up 69 votes; House Democrats only offered 11 votes in favor of the plan. The 80 vote total was one short of the 81 needed to pass a Bonding Bill in the House.
The 221 million dollar bill calls for significant restoration work over four years. Chunks of cement – some as heavy as 20 pounds- have fallen from the exterior, while plaster and trim have eroded and broken off on the inside. In addition, the building, constructed in 1905, needs new wiring, HVAC, and water systems.
Representative Larry Howes (R-Walker) chairs the House Capital Investment Committee, and says doing the project all at once – rather than on a piece-meal approach – will save money and cause fewer disruptions. He added that the bill is a high priority for Governor Mark Dayton and that the project will employ thousands of Minnesotans. Despite its strengths, the bill was rejected by more than 50 Democrats in the House on Thursday.
Representative Howes spoke on the House floor in favor of the restoration project.