DFLers and Republicans are at odds over whether or not a Bonding Bill is a Jobs Bill. The two sides are also at loggerheads over whether or not long-term spending through bonds is a prudent fiscal decision. The cost of spending for a government backed General Obligation bond is 30-years in length and the cost born comes with a debt-service component to be paid the bondholder. This interest backed security gives government the leverage to borrow into the future for projects buildable when shovel-ready and the money to pay for the capital expense is paid for through a bond purchase.
The House, which is where spending bills start presented its bonding bill on Saturday. Capital Investment Division Chair Mary Murphy (DFL03B, Hermantown) brought forward HF2529 which appropriates almost $2.03 billion in general obligation bonds, and a additional $495.9 million appropriations, for a grand total of $2.52 billion. It has been roundly argued in this time of a pandemic a large bonding bill may help jumpstart the economy once our state is fully back up and running. In spite of the legislation containing a provision in his own district House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-31A, Crown) called for opposition to the bill as too costly.
The failed to receive the 3/5ths supermajority receiving a vote of 75-58 falling 6 votes short.
The Senate Capital Investment Committee Chair David Senjem (R-25, Rochester) brought forward SF3463 with an $998 million price tag. This failed on a recorded vote of 38-29 vote. With Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09-Nisswa) blaming the DFL and saying, “This is the last train leaving the station for bonding,” said Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake). “It’s disappointing that we couldn’t come together tonight on this responsible, important bill. All four leaders and all four caucuses- including Senate Democrats- and the Governor, have to work together for Minnesota.”
The inability for Senate Republicans to bring forward a bill exceeding $1 billion is an example of how the two sides see the world in dramatically different ways.