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ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Senate has approved a $367 million bonding bill, which borrows money in order to fund construction projects throughout our state. State Representative Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) said he’s troubled by the proposal.
“It is somewhat ironic that the Democrats who control the Legislature have not offered even one solution towards solving our $6.4 billion budget deficit,” Gunther said, “but a bill that would spend nearly $400 million has been offered, debated, and approved in the Senate.”
Gunther, who said the bonding bill is typically approved in the second year of the legislative biennium after the state’s budget is set, said the bonding proposal is heavily slanted towards Metro Area projects. Of the 26 specified projects in the plan, only five can be found in rural Minnesota.
“It’s just another example of Greater Minnesota being left behind,” Gunther said. “Hopefully, if the Minnesota House creates a bonding proposal this year it will do a better job of project distribution.”
Gunther’s also discouraged by information he’s received regarding Minnesota’s transportation funding. Despite the Legislature’s approval of a nearly $7 billion transportation tax increase proposal last session, Gunther said area counties have not made out as well as they expected.
“Martin, Watonwan and Faribault counties have not received what they anticipated from this law,” Gunther said. “And in the case of Martin County, it received $16,000 less than what it would have had we done nothing for transportation during the 2008 session. This is just another case of lofty expectations not meeting reality, and once again, rural Minnesota gets the short end of the stick.”
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