The top Democrat in the Minnesota Senate is raising doubts about whether a big bonding bill is needed this session.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said today that he would be surprised if the Legislature passes more than a $200 million package of public construction projects. That runs counter to DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, who has said he plans to propose at least $850 million of bonding this year.
Bakk said he thinks $150 million is more likely. But he said the bonding number could grow larger as part of a transportation funding plan.
“I actually am somebody that actually supports bonding for transportation,” Bakk said. “I just think that the taxpayers right now, this year, shouldn’t have to pay for the cost of building a bridge that is going to be used by people for decades. The right public policy is to spread the cost of that out.”
Bakk said for now, he has instructed Senate committees to focus on budget matters rather than bonding projects.
On transportation funding, Bakk said a bill needs to be passed this year or the issue will likely be delayed until 2017.
He said the construction on the state Capitol will result in an abbreviated session in 2016.