Minnesota Report

The passage of HF670 on Monday on a vote of 91 to 43 may bolster some who envision the possibilities for passage of a bill for the first time in three years, but because of the realities in the Senate, its not likely.

As we scrutinize the 21 Republican Representatives who voted for the bill. (Reps Deb Kiel (R-01B, Crookston), Roger Skraba (R-03A, Ely),  Natalie Zeleznikar (R-03B Fredenberg Township,) Spencer Igo (R-07A, Wabana Township) Jeff Backer (R-09A, Browns Valley) Ron Kresha (R-10A, ) Mary Franson (R-12B,) Bernie Perryman (R-14A, St Augusta), Dean Urdahl (R-16A, Grove City) John Petersburg (R-19B, Wasec ), Joe Schomacker (R-21A, Luverne), Bjorn Olson (R-22A, Fairmont) Peggy Bennett (R-23A, Albert Lea) Patricia Mueller (R-23B, Austin) Greg Davids (R-26B, Preston), Nolan West (R-32A, Blaine), Patti Anderson (R-33A, Dellwood), Danny Nadeau (R-34A, Rogers), Mark Wiens (R-41A, Lake Elmo), Shane Hudella (R-41B, Hastings) and Jim Nash (R-48A, Waconia), we didn’t ascertain any common thread. This is because, only one Republican Senator, Sen Glen Dornick (R-23, Brownsdale) had both House members Bennett and Mueller, support the bill.

One thing is clear, Republican Bonding Committee Lead Urdahl, did deliver more than the 11 votes necessary from his side of the aisle to pass the bill.

When we looked at the corresponding Senators, again nothing clearly corresponds to a logical rationale for seeing a pathway to their support. There are few Senators who are known to work across the aisle, one of the few is Sen Jim Abeler (R-35, Anoka), who voted for the Attorney General’s Budget and Felon Voting Rights restoration.

We have stated unequivocally, since last legislative session about the logic and possibility for a cash bill to be the best solution, mainly because of the use of onetime money. A $3 billion Cash Bill passes with only the need of a Simple Majority.

Because the Senate is not up for reelection in 2024, one would think voting for a Bonding Bill to be an easier vote, but the continued partisanship makes such a choice very unlikely. Ultimately, this also means there is little need to consider projects in Republicans districts in the final bill.

One factor that lent common sense into the Republican House member’s support is the reality, there are not a lot of businesses clamoring to bring large projects into Greater Minnesota and a Bonding Bill, as a jobs bill, is one of the few ways to make such endeavors occur.