Monday, March 03, 2008
More than 600 deteriorating bridges across Minnesota would be replaced under a $1 billion capital investment proposal made by Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Monday.
Nearly 40 percent of the borrowing, or bonding, plan is devoted to transportation, Pawlenty said, a record amount.
..."The state has $790 million worth of locally deficient bridges," said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, who leads the Senate Transportation Committee. "We have another $1 billion in deficient bridges at the state level."
Pawlenty, he said, "is trying to fool the public into thinking that we can use the state's credit card one more time to cover his political career. The amount of politics that gets played out of the governor's office is repulsive and this is just one more example." (Patricia Lopez, "Pawlenty's plan borrows big for bridges, roads", StarTribune, Jan 14, 2008.)
The Senate Capital Investment Committee unveiled and then passed its plan Tuesday night.
The panel included more than $300 million for college building projects, $70 million to help build a Minneapolis-to-St. Paul light rail line and $80 million for hockey arenas in Bemidji, Crookston, Duluth and St. Cloud.
There's also nearly $100 million for state parks, trails, flood-control projects and other natural resources improvements and tens of millions more for sewer and water systems, landfill cleanups and other pollution control projects. (AP, Minn. Senate Considers $1 bn Public-Works Bill, Feb 28, 2008)
So we can't use the credit card for roads because that is "covering Pawlenty's political career", but we can use it to build $80 million worth of hockey arenas? When your paycheck is a little short, do you a) use the credit card to buy groceries, or b) coerce money from your neighbors and then use your credit card for steak tartar?
And not only that, it looks like Sen. Langseth wants to ask the credit card company to up the limit!