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Pawlenty: 'We can work with' bonding bill

Gov. Tim Pawlenty sounds like he will accept parts of the public works funding bill headed to his desk.

"The bonding bill that is coming my way is a bill we can work with," Pawlenty told reporter Dave Olson of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead this morning after surveying Moorhead flood-prevention activities.

He said "there will be some trimming involved," but indicated $63.5 million earmarked for flood projects will be preserved. He would not elaborate on the areas that need some trimming.

A House-Senate conference committee Tuesday night adopted a nearly $1 billion bill, to be financed by the state selling bonds, that included everything Pawlenty wanted, although fell far short of fully funding one of his priorities.

Pawlenty had wanted $89 million to expand a Moose Lake sex offender treatment center, but lawmakers gave him just $47.5 million, saying that his administration has refused to provide information about why that much money is needed.

The full House and Senate are to vote on the bonding bill Thursday, expecting Pawlenty to veto individual items he does not want.

Pawlenty suggested spending $685 million for public works projects, ranging from fixing college buildings to building trails, far less than the $1 billion the conference committee accepted.

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.