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Lobbying pressure remains strong for a second bonding bill. A mixture of interests that saw projects vetoed in first bill are back at the Capitol making their pitch to lawmakers.

Vetoed projects backers push for second bonding bill

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis has come down to St. Paul to lobby three times since Gov. Tim Pawlenty stripped funding for the St. Cloud civic center in the bonding bill.

Kleis is among a handful of municipal, environmental and transit interests that are trying to generate support for a second bonding bill.

In his visits with lawmakers, Kleis, who is a former GOP state senator, said a second bonding bill isn’t out of the question.

“There’s discussion. Nobody is closing the door,” Kleis said.

House Capital Investment Chair Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, would like to put another bonding bill together. Yesterday, she introduced three “message bills” that contain projects that were vetoed by Pawlenty. Pawlenty signed $680 million in general obligation bonds to pay for construction projects and other initiatives.

Hausman said the state has $1.7 billion in bonding capacity, of which the $680 million signed by Pawlenty is only a portion.

“I think there is a lot of bonding capacity. The trick would be how you pass a second bill and get 81 votes,” said Hausman, referring to the supermajority that’s needed in the House to pass a bonding bill.

Senate Capital Investment Chairman Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, told the Pioneer Press that he wants to wait until a new administration takes office next year to craft the next bonding bill.

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