State must pass bonding bill

When the Legislature returns, it should be the first order of business this session.

In early May, some Minnesota legislators said the passing of a bonding bill might signal the early adjournment of the legislative session.

The State House, Senate and Gov. Tim Pawlenty each had their own versions of the bill on the table. Though each chamber and Pawlenty said “No” to several requests and nobody was willing to fulfill the University’s request entirely, the passing of a bill seemed imminent.

And then, nothing happened. Senate members pitted the bill against one another like children playing with toys in an attempt to gain on other initiatives. The squabbling only produced a lack of confidence in our Legislature and an unfortunate hold on current and future construction in the state.

And so, a year later, buildings such as the University’s Kolthoff Hall continue to sit without renovation, directly impacting the resources available to students who have been paying more every year to attend this institution.

Plenty of other stakeholders have also suffered because of the Legislature’s ineptness. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and the Northstar line are a couple.

There is no question that passing a bonding bill should be the first order of business this legislative session.

Sadly, much of the “work” done in the last session is irrelevant now because of a revamped Legislature, inflation and each stakeholder’s needs.

But it seems many of the groups that presented bonding-bill requests care less about fulfilling their individual needs and more about simply getting something passed.

Approximately 30 different groups have come recently together to lobby for a bill. This is unusual, but it sends the message.

For the University, among others across the state, the Legislature must pass a bonding bill early this session.