Time to build or time to cut back?

Gov. Pawlenty released his bonding bill recommendations earlier today (watch video from the first portion of his news conference above). He’s proposing $685 million in state bonding for public works building projects. He called his bill “austere” and said it prioritized the state’s needs.

“The idea that we can just endlessly spend is out the window. You have to prioritize and you have to focus and you have to be willing to say no.”

But DFL Rep. Alice Hausman of St. Paul said she thinks the bonding bill should be $1 billion, especially since there are low interest rates a it’s cheaper to build right now.

“Our taxpayer dollar will go farther this year than if we wait two years for these projects. That resonates with everyone.”

Pawlenty also said the state has reached a deal to buy land on Lake Vermilion from U.S. Steel but that plan needs legislative approval to lift a cap on the purchase price. If they don’t get approval, Pawlenty said U.S. Steel is prepared to move forward with their development plans this summer.

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