Editorial: It's crunch time for bonding bill
Luverne Mayor Pat Baustian was an invited guest of Gov. Mark Dayton for Dayton’s State of the State address Wednesday night, which just goes to show much southwest Minnesota has become a focal point of a current statewide debate on how big the next bonding bill should be.
By now, many of the details are familiar. The allocation of money promised by the federal government for the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System has slowed to a trickle, and communities such as Luverne and Worthington eagerly await the sorely needed water the project would bring. Dayton, to his credit, is pushing for Lewis and Clark funding in his bonding bill, and said Wednesday that a $1.2 billion package would get that — along with other necessary and important projects — finished.
In a Thursday morning conversation with state media, Dayton reiterated that he prefers a larger bonding bill so that, in part, all the remaining Lewis & Clark work can be completed. He also noted that several Republicans have declined to embrace an amount greater than $850 million. He hoped that southwest Minnesota’s legislators could convince others in their caucus to support a higher number, but added that he was “very disappointed that Republicans, just for ideological reasons, are just sitting on this when we have so much that needs to be done.”
The time is ideal for a meaningfully-sized bonding bill that would make a significant investment in statewide improvements while also creating plenty of jobs. We hope our legislators agree.