As the 2006 Legislative Session opened, the 17 DFL House members serving their first term in the legislature called on the Governor and leaders of the four legislative caucuses to commit to passing a bonding bill before addressing other issues or agendas.
"We all have individual issues and policies we want to pursue," said State Rep. Frank Moe, of Bemidji. "However, this bonding bill will be good for the state as a whole. It addresses the issues that our the most important to every Minnesotan – education, health care, the enviroment and jobs."
State Rep. Melissa Hortman said quick passage of the bonding bill will send an important message to citizens across the state.
"The construction season is getting closer every day and we need to have a bill in place as quickly as possible," she said. "Our constituents sent us here in a large part because they were dismayed that partisanship derailed the 2004 session. They were unhappy that the main task of that session – passing a bonding bill – wasn't accomplished and that the jobs that would have been created were lost. Passing a bonding bill is again the main task before us this year. Let's keep our focus on that."
The group said that Minnesotans are tired of excessive partisanship and want their leaders to find common ground on the key challenges facing the state.
"We realize that we won’t always agree with each other. In fact, many of us hold sharply diverging views on important subjects," said State Rep. Bev Scalze, of Little Canada. "However, we also know we were elected in a large part because voters are tired of partisan roadblocks and wedge issues. They want us to stand up for the things we believe in, but also to work together for the good of the state. Passing a bonding bill quickly and efficiently will send an important message to Minnesotans that we are focused on the common good and want to move the state forward."