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House votes down bonding bill

ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota House public works funding bill failed Thursday, an action on a major undecided issue that further muddles the fate of 2016 legislative session.The House vote follows the defeat of a Senate bonding bill earlier this month....

ST. PAUL - A Minnesota House public works funding bill failed Thursday, an action on a major undecided issue that further muddles the fate of 2016 legislative session.
The House vote follows the defeat of a Senate bonding bill earlier this month.
A public works bill, financed by the state selling bonds, was to be a key part of this session, but its future is in doubt as the Legislature has just three days left to pass bills. It is not the only major issue with question marks; transportation funding, taxes and budget changes also remain to be resolved and there were not high-level negations on those issues Thursday.
The $800 million bonding bill vote was 69-64 in favor of passing, but it failed because it fell short of the constitutionally required 81 votes needed to pass. It has opposition from representatives of both parties.
“This is kind of a plain Jane bill,” Rep. Paul Torkelson, R-Hanska, said of the bonding bill. “There is not a lot of fluff in it.”
Democrats complained that their districts were left out of the bill, although House GOP staffers said $232 million was in Republican districts while $200 million would be for Democratic districts.
Also on the Democratic complaint list was that the bill should spend more. Senate Democrats wanted a $1.5 billion measure and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton called for $1.4 billion.
“I have heard it should be bigger,” Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, said. “But this bill is above average.”

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