Bonding bill update


Both the House and Senate bonding committees put their proposals for a capital investent borrowing bill on the table Thursday in the first day of the session.

The House bill, with Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, as its author, comes in at just under $1 billion in size.

The Senate bill, written by Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, weighs in at $955 million.

More from CAPITOL REPORT: Pulling back the curtain on the legislature to “share what I know and give people a somewhat insider’s view of how decisions are actually made inside that building and how normal citizens can have the best chance of influencing those decisions.”

Both are significantly larger than the $685 million list of projects Gov. Tim Pawlenty has endorsed.

Both houses will pass their own versions of a bill, then we’ll see what comes out of conference committee and negotiations with Pawlenty. He said he’ll veto anything that’s too big. Both houses need three-fifths majorities to pass bonding bills, and would need two-thirds majorities to override a veto.

Full spreadsheets of projects and funding are available for the House and Senate bills, but here are some of the highlights for Twin Cities area requests:

* The University of Minnesota would get $111 million in the Senate bill, $77 million in the House bill and $100 million in Pawlenty’s proposal. Pawlenty wants more for physics and nanotechnology, the Senate wants more for basic upkeep and repair.

* The Minnesota Zoo would get $32.5 million from the House bill, compared with $21 million from the Senate and Pawlenty. The House puts more in for fixing up exhibits.

* Pawlenty requests $75 million for local bridge repair and replacement and the Senate and House provide $67 million in their bills, but all include $10 million for Hennepin County for the Lowry Avenue Bridge and $7 million for Minneapolis’ Northtown Rail Yards Bridge.

* The House kicks in $75 million for the Metropolitan Council, versus $58 million from the Senate and just $13 million from Pawlenty. The House bill includes $50 million for transit improvements, while the Senate gives $25 million for a new bus garage and $11 million for the Como Zoo and Observatory.

* St. Paul’s Ordway Center Arts Partnership expansion would get $16 million in the House bill and $15 million in the Senate. It is not part of Pawlenty’s request.

* Minneapolis’ Orhcestra Hall and Peavey Plaza renovation would get $17 million from the House, $14.1 million from the Senate, and is also not in Pawlenty’s plan.

* Construction of an Asian-Pacific Cultural Center in St. Paul would get $7 million in the House, $5 million in the Senate and is not part of Pawlenty’s plan.

* A Hennepin County African-American Museum and Cultural Center would get $840,000 in the House, $500,000 in the Senate and is not part of Pawlenty’s plan.

Requests on life-support because they were included in only one bill include:

* $5 million for a St. Paul Rice Street bioscience corridor in the House bill.

* $5.3 million for Minneapolis’ Granary Road storm water and roadway infrastructure in the Senate bill.

* $250,000 for St. Paul to design and build a new home for the Saints baseball team.

In a future entry, I’ll look at outstate Minnesota projects and how they fared in the House and Senate bonding bills.