Anyone who’s seen Gov. Dayton’s proposed bonding bill know it’s filled with pork. Fortunately, passing it is an uphill fight. The legislature should scrutinize Gov. Dayton’s proposal for the pork that’s in it. A perfect example of this pork is that Gov. Dayton “recommends $19.901 million in general obligation bonds to make mechanical, architectural, and electrical improvements to correct safety, energy, and operational efficiency issues at the joint Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Laboratory.” The question should be asked why the building needs $20,000,000 to correct safety issues and improve energy and operational efficiencies. That’s a ton of money on something that frivolous.

Another part of Gov. Dayton’s proposal is to spend “$2.5 million to demolish and reconstruct a maintenance building at the National Sports Center in Blaine” and to spend an additional $1,500,000 “for asset preservation for projects at the National Sports Center (NSC) in Blaine. These projects are intended to ensure the safety and health of participants and staff using the stadium and indoor ice arena.”

These are just a couple examples of the pork thrown into the DFL’s pork bill.

Rep. Dean Urdahl, the House Capital Investment Committee chairman, issued a statement Tuesday, saying “(The governor’s) proposal (calls for spending) $600 million more than we have planned for in the budget forecast. Last session, the Legislature passed a $1 billion, geographically balanced bonding bill which focused heavily on infrastructure and transportation needs. Any bill that takes shape this year will need to follow that same blueprint.”

In other words, Republicans are insisting on tilting the Bonding Bill as much towards transportation infrastructure that will help improve Minnesota’s economy. Gov. Dayton and the DFL want to borrow money for government buildings. There’s money in the Dayton/DFL bill for fixing Como Park, university campuses and bike trails.

Here’s the question the DFL needs to be asked: Why isn’t your proposal focused on Minnesota’s priorities instead of on feel-good pork projects? Republicans are serious about what Minnesota spends money on. The DFL isn’t.

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