Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bonding and jobs 

Sen. Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin.
One bill that�s already in conference committee is the bonding bill. The bonding bill is expected to create more than 3,600 jobs in the construction phase by spurring infrastructure improvements across the state, and even more ongoing jobs will be created once renovations and facilities are completed. It�s a key area where we can spend a little money to make even more money in the future and put Minnesotans back to work. Unless Minnesota makes important investments in economic development initiatives and other job-growing policies, we will not recover from this recession or have an opportunity for success in the future.

But it hasn't worked, as the data above show. There has been no increase in construction even in the areas most likely to add jobs with government money.
The Senate bonding bill weighs in at a whopping $329 million while the House version is a �slimmed down� $248 million. Both bills greatly exceed what the State Management and Budget Office pegs as the maximum remaining bonding capacity in order to keep the State within a 3 percent debt service payment limit.

Under normal legislative procedures major bonding bills (public construction projects financed with state general obligation bonds) are dealt with in the even year sessions. But never wanting to miss an opportunity to spend the State further into debt, DFL majorities in both the House and Senate want to use the recession as an excuse to create �public works� jobs at taxpayers� expense.
And while the whole construction industry is on its back, we have a local legislator proposing a bill to create a new board for a state residential building code. That'll help, Larry!

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