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Minnesota Legislature Sends Governor $1-Billion Bonds Bill

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A $1-billion bonding bill set to fund university and public-works projects in Minnesota is now on its way to Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R). The House approved the the measure on Feb. 15, several days after the Senate version passed. The governor has threatened to veto unless the reconciled measure is reduced by the time it reaches his desk. Dave Semerad, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota, says the funding would provide a much needed boost to the state’s construction market, just in time for the winter thaw. A separate bill sponsored by the Building Jobs Coalition also passed the Senate and seeks to enliven activity in design and construction by stimulating private investment. The bill includes a loan guarantee program and a variety of tax credits and would extend building permits previously approved but set to expire. Pawlenty has termed the current bill “unaffordable and irresponsible,” according to published reports, and has proposed his own $685-million plan.

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