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GOP governor candidates oppose Senate building

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ST. PAUL - Five Republican governor hopefuls joined Thursday in criticizing plans to construct a Senate office building.

The proposed $63 million building, part of a $90 million package that would include parking facilities, would be home to Senate offices and committee meeting rooms. It was included in a tax bill last year pushed by legislative Democrats and signed by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.

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Dayton's office has asked for more space in the Capitol, which Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook, has said would displace some senators and staff who now are in the Capitol.

“Given the amount of additional space Mark Dayton and Democrats are planning for themselves in the Capitol renovation project, the palatial Senate office building project clearly serves politicians over people and has been dismantling public trust in government," former Rep. Marty Seifert said.

Added Rep. Kurt Zellers: "Gov. Dayton and the Democrat-controlled Legislature’s inability to understand basic math is topped only by their desire to spend taxpayer money on wasteful and unnecessary projects."

The building will be constructed if the House rules committee approves it. So far, House members have been reluctant to do that. Dayton has called the building too fancy and "unMinnesotan."

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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