Ventura: Read the law; it's very clear: bonding pays for projects of statewide or regional importance, not local.In a pre-recorded video played for reporters and state officials, Ventura outlined his $462 million capital investments budget, and he started by stating his intention to change what he sees as the pork-barrel mentality of past bonding bills.
Ventura: I know that when I was mayor of Brooklyn Park and there were things we wanted to do within our city, the first thing everyone wanted to do was, "Well let's talk to state legislator and get the state to pay for it."Local projects do not fare well in Ventura's bonding package. He says no to everything from Ada's $69,000 request for an outdoor recreation complex, right down to Willernie's request for $74,000 to renovate its city hall.
Miller: The quality of life that we have in Minnesota is the result of the accumulation of all of these projects, and everything has an impact, I think, on the state in one way or another. And I suppose regardless what you do in a capital nature, it's local, because it's being built somewhere, at a local level.Arts organizations and groups that do social work also get very little in the governor's bonding plan. Marcia Avener, public policy director for the Minnesota Council of Non-Profits, says she's especially disappointed by the lack of money for things like low-income housing.
Avner: A proposal in the year 2000 that ignores housing, children, immigrants, minorities, is so lean, that it is mean.The governor's definition of projects of statewide significance seems to favor buildings for state agencies, such as his $58 million plan to build new offices and a modern crime lab for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and $65 million for repairs on other state buildings, as well as $5 million for the Minnesota Zoo. He also favors large-scale environmental projects, such as $29 million to clean up the Minnesota River, and money for nature trails and other Department of Natural Resources projects.
"A proposal in the year 2000 that ignores housing, children, immigrants, minorities, is so lean, that it is mean."
-Marcia Avener, public policy director for the Minnesota Council of Non-Profits
Knoblach: I do think the governor is going a little bit too far when he says that everything has to have an absolute statewide interest. I think there is a place for regional projects, but I do think that we can pass the bill, we're just going to have to change people's mindset a little bit.That may take some doing. Bonding bills require a two-thirds super-majority vote to pass the House and Senate, and the traditional method for creating that sort of a bipartisan coalition has been to spread bonding projects around as many legislative districts as possible. Without that incentive, state legislators may find themselves less eager than usual to let the state borrow money.