Duluth's Sen. Reinert votes no on Minnesota bonding billThe Democrat from Duluth said “the bill fell far short of accomplishing what a substantial, regionally balanced bonding package could have done for our community and our state.”
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
A lack of projects for the Northland led to Sen. Roger Reinert’s “no” vote on the state Senate’s $496 million bonding bill passed Monday night.
The Democrat from Duluth said “the bill fell far short of accomplishing what a substantial, regionally balanced bonding package could have done for our community and our state.”
Reinert said that after last year’s budget debate and state government shutdown, the Legislature failed in its biggest task of the current session: “a fair and balanced bonding bill.”
“With the construction industry still struggling under high unemployment and Mother Nature granting Minnesota an early construction season,” he said, “there was absolutely no reason a sizeable bonding package should not have been passed months ago.”
He said a patchwork of projects was passed that “mostly benefitted Republican incumbents, while leaving next to no investment for other regions of the state like Duluth.”
Reinert said he was disappointed that the planned multi-modal transit center, improvements to Wade Stadium, and the American Indian Learning Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth did not make it on the bill.
He said the $6 million needed for the transit center would have brought $20 million in federal grant money that expires at the end of the year.
“Wade Stadium is a landmark in Duluth and an important contributor to our local economy, yet it too was left unfunded in spite of the city’s commitment to match any state investment dollar for dollar,” Reinert said.
He said the American Indian Learning Center at UMD would have freed up classroom space, allowing UMD to offer more courses for all enrolled students.