A two-and-a-half billion dollar infrastructure spending package – touted as a top legislative priority for 2020 by the DFL-controlled Minnesota House – fell short of the necessary three-fifths supermajority of votes needed to pass Saturday.
With a final count of 75-58 along party lines the measure missed by a scant six votes.
According to the Session Daily, HF2529 was a spending bill aimed to fund “hundreds of capital investment projects, potentially creating thousands of jobs around the state” by creating more than 2.03 billion in general obligation bonds.
The legislation added another $495.9 million of “additional appropriations” for a total of price tag of $2.52 billion.
With 2020’s legislative deadline looming, lawmakers took to the floor Saturday in a last-ditch effort find the half-dozen votes they needed to send the package to the Republicans-controlled state senate.
However, soon after the debate began, Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City) articulated the Republicans’ concerns.
“This bill is higher than we on this side [of the aisle] can support,” Urdahl said. “We still have to pay for it. We need to be responsible and cognizant of that. It’s my fervent hope that an accommodation can be reached so that we can act on a bill in special session. Or tomorrow.”
House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) added, “I think everybody knows we’re going to be back here in three weeks, so it’s not the end of the world.”
After the vote was recorded, House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) was visibly aggravated in an online press briefing, saying of Daudt that [DFLers] have “extended so many olive branches to Kurt Daudt that we’ve given his and entire olive tree” and that he “hit a new low” with his characterization that the bond proposal was not bipartisan.
“It’s time for Daudt to lead, follow or get out of the way,” she said.
The House has until Sunday to pass a measure before the legislative deadline.
Watch Saturday’s floor session:
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Photo “Minnesota House of Representatives” by House Staff Photographer Paul Battaglia.