Sen. Kiffmeyer's Column

Subhead: 
Senator
Mary Kiffmeyer
Although the 2014 session does not start for another six weeks, there are a number of hot issues that are currently being worked on at the Capitol.  Here are my thoughts on one of these pressing issues: the construction of a new Senate Office Building.
Earlier last week, Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL) forced a vote in the Senate Rules Committee to approve the construction of a new $90 million Senate Office Building.  He did this despite there being a district court case currently pending against the construction of this project. 
I strongly object to this unnecessary and expensive new building. But the fact is simply that the DFL legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton were so determined, they ignored all proper legislative process to get it done.   It was  inserted into the tax bill in 2013 at the very last minute without any public input or testimony. 
We don't need a fancy crystal building towering over the capitol with heated underground parking, weight rooms and beautiful new offices for senators to look across University Ave at the Capitol.
To make it even worse, their funding proposal to pay for the building over the next thirty years calls for a ‘finance on the go' structure. This will require the legislature to appropriate money for the building every biennium.
That is out of the norm in how the legislature has previously funded large capital projects in Minnesota and puts taxpayers in a risky position in the future. Reminds me of the proposal from Gov Dayton on paying for the stadium. 
As always, do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions about this or any other legislative issue.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions about MNSure or any other legislative issue.
State Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer 123 State Office Building 100 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55155 Phone: 651-296-5655 E-mail address- sen.mary.kiffmeyer@senate.mn

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THE BIG LAKE LIONESS ANNUAL GARAGE SALE drew plenty of shoppers to Lions Park Saturday morning. The Lioness Club has been serving the Big Lake Community for 31 years. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

TREE EXPERT Gina Hugo works for the Sherburne County Soil and Water Conservation District.