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Bonding bill hits latest snag

Sen. Keith Langseth of Glyndon, from left, and his aide Kathy Blair listen to Commissioner Tom Hanson of Minnesota Management and Budget before a Wednesday legislative meeting about public works projects. Tribune photo by Don Davis

ST. PAUL -- It is time for Minnesota House and Senate leaders to get on the same page, the Senate's chief public works negotiator says.

Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, went into a Wednesday meeting exp-ecting negotiators to agree on a framework of a new public works funding plan, but his House counterpart said after the meeting that negotiators have yet to agree on what should be in the bill. That was news to Langseth, who said the two sides were within $5 million out of a $1 billion measure. He said he sees the next step as getting leaders involved.

Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, hurried through the Wednesday meeting, allowing little committee discussion. She said that she expects the bill to receive a final vote next week.

Hausman and Langseth agree the public works bill, funded by the state selling bonds, would include Gov. Tim Pawlenty's top priorities, including expanding a Moose Lake sex offender facility. But, Hausman said, she is not sure her leaders can agree to that.

Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.