House bonding plan smaller, slower than Dayton’s

Republican legislative leaders say this session’s bonding bill won’t be as big or as fast moving as DFL Governor Mark Dayton is hoping to see.

Dayton proposed a $775 million bonding bill last week for public works constriction projects throughout the state, and he asked for quick acation. He wants a passed bill on his desk to sign by the end of February, to help get unemployed builders back on the jobs as soon as possible. But Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker, chair of the House Capital Investment Committee, says he’s planning to take more time.

“I don’t anticipate a bill being brought out of committee until about March 14,” Howes said. “That will give us time to get the February forecast on February 29. We’ll get a handle on what our checkbook looks like, what out debt service may or may not be, and then leadership will determine the size of the bill and then we’ll go from there.”

Howes says he thinks the maxiumum size for a bonding bill this year in the House is about $500 million.

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