Lawmaker Says There Is More To Bonding Than Floods

Flood-prone cities found 2011 to be frustrating in the Minnesota Legislature.

Although committee hearings for flood-prevention funding bills were held early on, the Senate never voted on a bill and the House defeated one. House Capital Investment Chairman Larry Howes, R-Walker, was not shocked after the defeat since he knows that small, targeted bills like that are hard to pass.

As rumors floated on the last night of the legislative session that a so-called bonding bill could arise again, Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, said that preventing flooding is not the only need around Minnesota.

In Moorhead, she said, buying out flooded homes and building flood-prevention structures are important, but so is funding to repair the city’s higher education institutions. Duluth, she said, needs sewer work.

A larger bonding bill is needed “to deliver some of those incredible needs,” Hausman said.

A bonding bill could come up in a special legislative session, but House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, said the focus will be on passing a balanced budget, with everything else taking a back seat.