Editor's Note: The following is a joint press release from DFL Reps. Ryan Winkler and Steve Simon. The two voted against a proposal today that would have allocated $221 million for Capitol building improvements. The plan ultimately failed.
Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives rejected a $220 million bonding bill that funded the restoration of the Minnesota State Capitol instead of important economic infrastructure projects throughout Minnesota.
Rep. Steve Simon (DFL – St. Louis Park) and Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL – Hopkins) voted against the bill. Rep. Winkler says the bill doesn’t provide the statewide and regional investments that Minnesota needs.
“Minnesota needs a comprehensive bill that invests in Minnesota’s statewide infrastructure,” said Rep. Winkler. “A $775 million bonding bill will provide significant, long-term economic benefits to our entire state.”
Rep. Steve Simon says that significant regional projects have been left out of the majority party’s bonding bills.
“The most glaring example of an economic development project left out of the infrastructure bills is the Southwest Light Rail Transit Line,” said Rep. Simon. “This is a significant project that will bring long-lasting jobs and new businesses to the west metro. We need to work across party lines to build the infrastructure that our communities and businesses need for long-term economic success.”
Rep. Winkler adds that this bill is not the right approach to fixing the State Capitol.
“All of us believe the Capitol is a state treasure that must be fixed, but we have a long list of important regional bonding projects — like the Southwest Light Rail Line — and it doesn’t make any sense to tie up $220 million when most of that money won't be spent for years,” said Winkler. “The Capitol should be a part of a much larger bonding bill that invests in a stronger economy.”