Proposed Bonding Bill cuts Mayo Civic Center funding - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Proposed Bonding Bill cuts Mayo Civic Center funding

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Minnesota lawmakers unveiled details of this year's public works proposal on Tuesday. A funding cut to Mayo Civic Center has some Rochester Representatives upset and asking for more money.

Mayo Civic Center is included in the bonding bill, although it came up short by about $7 million.  Now, the project is only set to receive $30 million of the $37 million dollars requested for the expansion project.

"The state has already invested the planning money in this and to under fund it to such an extent that it can't move forward is irresponsible," said DFL Representative Kim Norton of Rochester.  "I'm hoping to get to that $37 million and have that be the House's negotiating position going into conference."

The House Capital Investment Committee released two proposals on how they plan to spend $975 million on public works and construction projects.  One bill would borrow $850 million dollars, while the other will pay $125 million dollars in cash from the budget surplus.

Republican Representative Mike Benson says it's unlikely the proposed cash bill will win over House Republicans.

"That will pose a problem in getting full Republican support or at least get enough legislators to vote for it if they believe the process will be circumvented with an additional cash only bill," said Rep. Benson of Rochester.

For Benson and others, Mayo Civic Center isn't the only project needing funding from the bill.

"My hope is when it comes back there's at least $100 million more for local roads and bridges," said Rep. Benson.

Rep. Norton said she plans on presenting three amendments to the bill in the coming days.  The amendments include more funding for infrastructure for colleges and universities, roads and bridges, and Mayo Civic Center.

This year's bonding bill allocates money toward transportation, housing, economic development, water and waste systems and colleges and universities.  Rochester Community and Technical College will receive funding for its Plaza and Memorial Hall demolition and renovation. 

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