Public works bill trimmed

Flood prevention and recovery projects will be fully funded, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty trimmed a public works funding bill, saying legislators want to spend too much.

The bill originally proposed spending $361 million, with $300 million coming from funds the state would borrow. The governor cut one dozen projects totaling $85 million.

"The size of the bill was too big," Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung said.

Many of the projects vetoed have merit, Pawlenty wrote in a letter to lawmakers late Saturday, but they should be considered in 2010 as part of a larger public works bill.

The remaining bill is responsible and focuses on maintaining existing infrastructure and leveraging matching federal funds, Pawlenty said.

Much of the money in the bill is going to repair state buildings, especially at colleges and universities.

The bonding bill provides $54.8 million for flood prevention projects, mostly in the Red River Valley. Another $17.6 million in cash and borrowed money will be used for flood recovery, in a large part matched by federal funds.

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