Democrats in the Minnesota House today could not attract enough Republican support to pass a public works bonding bill. The House fell five votes short of passing the $800 million bill.
Democrats have argued that the bill would help put people to work by funding needed construction projects around the state, including the renovation of the Capitol building. Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, said it’s unlikely that she’ll push for another vote on the measure this year.
“What would be the point of taking it up again tomorrow?,” Hausman said. “We’ve been trying for months to solidify the votes and so overnight nothing is going to change. It’s inconceivable to me how people could make this kind of judgment.”
Hausman said she thinks funding for the Capitol renovation will be stalled if a bonding bill doesn’t pass this year. Republicans objected to the overall price-tag, the timing of the vote, and that the bill includes funding for projects that should be in other budget bills.
Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, voted against the bill even though it includes money for recovery from last winter’s ice storm damage in southwestern Minnesota.
Hamilton said southwestern Minnesota lawmakers were being held hostage to vote for the bill.
“That is absolutely disgusting,” Hamilton said. “We had the governor come down there and meet with the people in our area. He promised them, he promised us, that we would have assistance to help them out.”
Lawmakers have until midnight Monday to finish their work.
Here’s the Roll Call