Bakk: Not going home 'without the Capitol being done'

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  • May 20, 2013 - 8:16 PM

With the legislative session in its final hours, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said Monday night he will not end the session until they pass a measure to pay for a State Capitol restoration.

“It appears the House was willing to go home without the Capitol, but that’s just not acceptable to me,” said Bakk, DFL-Cook. “I was not going to go home without the Capitol being done.”

House Republicans were able to defeat a $800 million borrowing package that included the Capitol renovation and a raft of other projects.

House Democrats have been trying to cobble together a stripped-down measure with only the Capitol and a few other projects that the GOP could embrace.

In a procedural quirk, state borrowing measures must originate in the House. Overnight, the Senate took the unusual step of passing a state borrowing proposal to pay $132 million for the state Capitol restoration.

The House rejected the measure, starting a frantic round of backroom meetings between legislative leaders to broker a deal.
Bakk said he won’t pass another budget measure until a Capitol restoration proposal is complete.

That will set in motion a frantic final few hours to finish the session by the mandatory midnight adjournment.

“This building has got to get taken care of,” Bakk said, standing in the nearly-empty Senate chambers.

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