Senators Pederson, Fischbach Talk Bonding Bill, Vikings Stadium, Jobs [AUDIO]
ST. CLOUD --
A bonding bill during this legislative session is still way down on lawmakers' list of priorities. However, State Senator John Pederson of St. Cloud says he thinks there will be one this year.
Pederson sits on the Senate Capital Investment Committee, which is in charge of crafting a bonding bill. He says, if it happens, he'll work to get both of the St. Cloud projects included.
Bonding bills are traditionally done only in even numbered years. However, the State Legislature has been passing bonding bills every year recently.
Vikings fans are still watching and waiting to see if the State Legislature can work out a new stadium deal. While on WJON this (Friday) morning, Pederson says there's going to have to be a lot of work done before he can support any state funding going into the bill.
Pederson says he's disappointed that most of the discussion on this issue has happened through the media, and not face-to-face with lawmakers.
Pederson sits on the committee that would first deal with a Vikings stadium.
The fight to keep and attract new jobs has begun. Earlier this week Wisconsin's Governor put up signs along Minnesota's border that said "open for business". A not too subtle nudge to Minnesota business owners to move to his state. State Senator Michelle Fischbach of Paynesville says she's not taking the move too seriously, but jobs are definitely one of the State Lawmakers big priorities this session.
Most Republicans ran their election campaigns last fall with an emphasis on what they call "improving Minnesota's job climate".
Local Government Aid:
It didn't take long for State Lawmakers to start talking about making cuts to Local Government Aid. Earlier this week House Republicans laid-out a proposal that would make the L-G-A cuts made in 2010 permanent. It's part of a proposal that would trim $1 billion from the state's budget deficit.
St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis was in St. Paul yesterday (Thursday) lobbying against those cuts.
Meanwhile, State Senator Michelle Fischbach says Senate Republicans are working on a similar bill to extend those cuts. She says she supports the current extension, but she doesn't want local governments to be hit twice.
The state is facing a overall budget deficit of $6.2 billion.