Rochester's Mayo Civic Center expansion would get less funding than expectined in the proposed $800 million public works bill under an amendment proposed by the bill's author.
House Capital Investment Committee Chairwoman Alice Hausman's amendment would reduce the amount the civic center would get by $5 million to $30 million. The city had originally asked for $37 million from the state to help pay for the 188,000-square-foot addition.
Rep. Kim Norton, DFL-Rochester, said she is disappointed to see the reduction. She said the reduction has to do with a feeling among some lawmakers that Rochester has already gotten more than its fair share with $400 million of state dollars heading to the city for Mayo's Destination Medical Center initiative.
"It's disappointing but given what we're getting it's hard to complain," Norton said.
The bigger question is whether Democrats have the votes to pass the bill. Bonding bills require a supermajority to pass. That means DFLers have to convince some Republicans to back the measure. One way of doing that is to include projects in Republican districts.
But the civic center funding isn't enough to make Rep. Mike Benson, R-Rochester vote for it.
"There is not a chance I am going to vote for an $800 million bonding bill this session," he said. "They are going to add $3 billion of new taxes and fees on hardworking Minnesotans. Are we going to stack another $1 billion on top of that?"