Rochester Senator Nelson Votes for Bonding Bill
St Paul, MN (KROC AM News) - Rochester State Senator Carla Nelson was the only Republican to vote for a $1.5 billion bonding bill Thursday.
Democratic supporters needed two Republican votes, so the measure failed and its future is uncertain.
Nelson says she supported the bill because it contains funding for several local projects, including the Rochester Airport.
Nelson says the bill was larger than she liked and she supported an amendment offered by Rochester Republican Senator Dave Senjem. That amendment proposed a $1 billion bonding package and it failed along party lines.
Governor Dayton has proposed a $1.4 billion bonding bill while House Republicans earlier announced a $600 million limit. They have not yet released the list of projects it would pay for.
Here is Nelson’s news release:
“ On the Senate Floor today I voted in favor of the Senate’s 2016 bonding bill because it included several projects critical to Olmsted County, such as funding for the Rochester International Airport, the Reading Center, Rochester Community and Technical College, Chester Woods Trail, the military’s Rochester Readiness Center, and Lake Zumbro. These are important projects that will greatly benefit our region, and they deserve strong support.”
“The bill was larger than I would have liked, which is why I also supported an amendment to reduce the size of the bill significantly. Unfortunately, this amendment failed, as did the entire bill. In order to secure the 41 votes needed for the bill to pass the Senate, House and Senate leaders will now need to come together to negotiate a new version of the bill. Once they reach an agreement, it will come back to the Senate for final passage.”
“I have real concerns about how this process will play out. We are rapidly running out of time in this session; the failure of the bill today only increases the likelihood that we have a repeat of previous years, when bills were put together in the final hours of session and brought up for a vote before legislators and the public have an opportunity to read them. This is a disservice to all Minnesotans and I hope we can avoid it this year.”