GOP Rep. Larry Howes is proposing to cancel $60 million in already approved public works projects. Howes, the chair of the House Capital Investment Committee, is scheduled to hold a
Wednesday Tuesday hearing on his bill to cancel projects. The list includes the Minneapolis Planetarium, the Mesabi Trail Connection and planning money for the Inter-City Passenger Rail project. Read the draft bill here.
All but one of the projects tapped for elimination are in districts represented by Democrats. The only project in a GOP district is the Greenleaf State Recreation Area. GOP Rep. Dean Urdahl represents that area. But that doesn’t mean the project will be eliminated since Urdahl chairs the Legacy Fund division which appropriates money for outdoors projects.
Republicans have said that they may be willing to pass a bonding bill but only if they could find money from projects that have not been authorized yet.
Gov. Dayton is proposing a $1 billion bonding bill. He has proposed $500 million worth of projects and is hoping the Legislature comes up with an additional $500 million worth of projects. Republicans in the House and Senate have opposed Dayton’s plan.
Update: DFL Rep. Alice Hausman, who is the DFL lead on the House Capital Investment Committee, says she’s skeptical of many of the proposed eliminations. But she said she agrees that the funding for the Minneapolis Planetarium should be scrapped. She said the initial plan was to attach the planetarium to the Minneapolis Library, which didn’t happen. She said Planetarium supporters should start over with a new partner.