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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL)

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Capital Investment Veto Could Cost Minnesota More in the Long Run

Thursday, May 3, 2007
To the Editor, I was extremely disappointed that Governor Pawlenty vetoed the Capital Investment Bill this week. The House pledge to govern with fiscal moderation was reflected in the bill we sent, and careful consideration was applied to each infrastructure project to be sure it met the threshold of immediate need. Important maintenance and repair projects across the state, relief for a community devastated by spring flooding, and restoration projects for North Hennepin Community College and Hennepin County Tech were among the bills that were sidelined by the Governor's veto pen. The Activities and Fine Arts buildings at NHCC haven't had basic structural maintenance in nearly 36 years, and in some cases, water is leaking through the walls and foundations are crumbling. If that doesn't meet the urgency criteria customary for off-year public works projects, I'm not sure what does. Crucial projects to maintain our infrastructure and preserve our state's assets are now in question due to the Governors' insistence on one-sided negotiations. Delaying these investments is shortsighted and only serves to drive up the costs in the long run. It's penny-wise and pound-foolish and I'm not sure it's what Minnesotans' are looking for when they talk about leadership. Sincerely, Michael Nelson State Representative, District 46A