ST. PAUL – State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston) said he is pleased that lawmakers have ended the capital investment bill debate and that a bill has been signed into law. The proposal – which funds construction projects across the state – was approved by the Legislature with a $1 billion price tag, but Governor Pawlenty trimmed the bill to $680 million using his line-item veto authority.
“The Governor made the right choice by reducing the size of the overall bill, as we can’t afford to borrow money too much money during these uncertain economic times,” Davids said. “But I’m pleased to report that some of the projects that made the final cut will positively impact Fillmore and Houston counties.”
Davids said funding now exists for local bridge repair, wastewater treatment infrastructure, and preventing the spread of the emerald ash borer. The Lanesboro Dam will also receive repair funding.
Davids also noted that while the Governor vetoed all revenue for new trail projects, he did allow funding to rehabilitate existing trails, meaning the Root River trail now has revenue to repair and replace eight bridges.
However, the Chatfield Potter Center for the Arts did not survive the Governor’s final reductions. Despite this, Davids said supporters of the program should hold their heads high.
“It often takes five or six tries to secure bonding dollars, and the Chatfield supporters were able to help land their project on the Governor’s desk in their first try,” Davids said. “Those who support this proposal can take comfort knowing that this is good first step in the process.”