OUR OPINION: BONDING BILL
While we don't automatically reject the idea of a bonding bill this legislative session Gov. Mark Dayton took the wrong tack when he placed emphasis on the jobs this legislation would create.
The bonding bill's merit should be judged on more pertinent questions. Is this project necessary? Is this repair or rehabilitation essential in order to preserve a valuable state asset? How much bonding can the state afford at this time?
This is not a jobs bill. Any additional temporary jobs that result from this are a secondary consideration. We think a limited bonding bill - one with an emphasis on projects that are important and can start immediately - is justified.
One project that may not be shovel-ready but is worth state investment is the $51 million physics and nanotechnology building planned for the University of Minnesota. This construction project would replace an 80-year-old building and help solidify the university's standing in an important field.
The specific dollar amount of this year's bonding bill - and it's likely there will be one - is subject to change. This will be a bargaining chip when the Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic governor get down to brass tacks and come up with a solution to the $6.2 billion budget shortfall.