Financing in place for Capitol office project; site work to begin Wednesday
August 5, 2014 — 3:54pm
Minnesota's Management and Budget office announced Tuesday that it completed a $85.4 million bond sale to fund construction of a new office building for state senators next to the Capitol.
The state Department of Administration announced shortly after that preliminary work would start at the site on Wednesday. That could include asphalt, tree and curb removal; installation of barriers, fences and partitions; and heavy equipment delivery.
Plans call for the building to be ready for senators to move in prior to the 2016 legislative session. Planners of the roughly $90 million project, to which taxpayers are contributing about $77 million, say it will both ease crowding concerns during the ongoing, massive renovation of the Capitol building; and provide needed long-term space for state senators and their employees.
The project has become a frequent target of criticism by Republican politicians, who have called it unneeded, and tried to wield it politically against Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative Democrats.
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Gov. Mark Dayton and House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, ended about two hours of talks today with a joint news conference, saying negotiations on a final agreement before a planned special legislative session are progressing. They said they agreed on a few issues, declining to specify which ones, while remaining far apart on others.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said Wednesday that Senate Democrats would support whatever special session deal that their fellow DFLers, Gov. Mark Dayton, is able to strike with GOP House Speaker Kurt Daudt.
State Auditor Rebecca Otto, whose office audits 59 of 87 Minnesota counties among other responsibilities, said a technical glitch in the state government finance bill that passed in the final hours of the legislative session could leave those counties without any auditing.