Editor's Note: State Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville, issued the following e-mail alert and opinion piece:
On Thursday, the House debated the Capitol renovation bonding bill. It was a worthy bill that deserved to be passed. After years of neglect, the seat of Minnesota government has fallen into serious disrepair. Legislators would have been wise to address this issue now.
But our state’s infrastructure has fallen into serious disrepair, too. Gov. Mark Dayton unveiled a $775 million bonding bill more than three months ago. It’s time that we act on his proposal.
The Republicans’ meager bonding bill is another missed opportunity to invest in statewide infrastructure and create jobs vital to the state’s economic recovery.
We should pass a robust, balanced and strategic bonding package that focuses on higher education, transportation, housing, public safety, water and wastewater systems, and regional economic development to give the private sector the shot in the arm.
I have told you already that I am supportive of the $40 million for the St. Paul Security Hospital included in Gov. Dayton’s bonding proposal. This money would allow for much-needed remodeling it needs to effectively carry out its mission. But there are other proposals in Gov. Dayton’s bonding proposal that merits passage.
The DFL’s balanced and strategic bonding package would take advantage of record low interest rates and create thousands of construction and long-term permanent jobs throughout the state. It also includes the State Capitol – but as part of a strategic statewide effort, not a narrow stand-alone bill.
But instead of working together in a bipartisan fashion on a balanced and targeted bonding bill, Republicans want to go it alone, again, in an unproductive manner.
The only way we can pass a bonding bill this session is if both Republicans and Democrats work together on it. Bipartisanship is the tie that binds. DFLers have largely been shut out of this process while the GOP has pursued a political bonding approach. This is not the recipe for success.
The State Capitol has been my place of employment for 20 years. This is my last. I did not want one of my final votes as a state legislator to be against returning this treasure to its former greatness, so I voted for the Capitol renovation bonding bill. I am saddened that it did not pass.
But make no mistake: I deeply regret the political games the Republicans are playing, giving us this single project to vote on. Time is running short this session. We need to work together to salvage this session and pass a bonding bill that benefits the entire state of Minnesota.