He states that at the beginning of the 2013 session, DFL leaders were given credit for changing House rules to try to prevent legislative shenanigans on the House floor and promote more transparency.
"Maybe you were then as surprised as I was when it came to light that buried within the Democrats’ $2.1 billion tax increase bill is a provision containing lease-purchase financing to construct a $90 million legislative Taj Mahal for the Minnesota Senate," Drazkowski writes.
He then cites a St. Paul Pioneer Press article by Bill Salisbury about how funding for the new building was tucked inside the 379-page tax bill and passed with very little debate. He adds, "So much for transparency. Yet another wasteful spending provision tucked into a bill in the dark of night when no one is watching. Keep in mind; nearly half of the senators already have offices in the State Office Building across the street from the Capitol."
Bakk has said he wants senior senators and staff to stay in the Capitol even after the new building is built, according to this Minnesota Public Radio story. House members and their staff are based in the existing State Office Building.
Drazkowski concludes his update by writing, "Unfortunately current and future hardworking Minnesotans are going to be on the hook for this $90 million proposal, added by Democrats at the last minute in order to further expand the kingdom of government."