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Continued: Pawlenty proposes $897 million bond plan

  • Last update: January 18, 2006 - 12:04 AM

"They depend on us to do things for them," Langseth said.

Pawlenty has been announcing individual elements of his bonding bill over the last 10 days. One new piece that surfaced Tuesday was $21 million for the Minnesota Zoo, which would allow for upgrades and the next phase of its master plan. Pawlenty said he also wants $10 million for the Red Lake School District, which had requested $55 million. The $10 million, he said, "is to signify that we want to work with the Red Lake Nation, but ... we need to get the plans in sharper focus."

Debt service on Pawlenty's bonding request would cost taxpayers only $6 million next year, but nearly $50 million by the 2008-09 budget period, said Finance Commissioner Peggy Ingison. That's because bonds are issued slowly and the debt service grows over time, she said.

The state's November economic forecast originally had built in a bonding bill of $560 million, she said, but increases in the state's revenue projections allowed for a bigger one.

Of the Senate DFLs higher figure, Pawlenty said he thought his proposal was "enough" but did not outright say he would veto a larger bill. "We're looking for ways to work with the Legislature on this," he said.

While they are not part of the bonding proposal for the coming year, Pawlenty said he also wants proposals for a Gophers football stadium and a Twins baseball stadium to pass the Legislature this year.

Staff writer Mary Jane Smetanka contributed to this report. Patricia Lopez • 651-222-1288 Dane Smith • 651-292-0164

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