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Republicans want state Senate building killed

ST. PAUL -- Republican senators say they want a proposed Minnesota Senate office building plan canceled.

Some will have a chance to talk about it and vote against it Wednesday, when the Senate Rules Committee is supposed to decide whether construction will begin. The Democratic-controlled committee is expected to produce enough votes.

However, the House Rules Committee also needs to approve the building, and there are more problems expected in that panel.

The proposal calls for a $63 million Senate office building and $27 million in new parking facilities.

Supporters say the building is needed so all senators can be housed near one another, rather than many in a building farther way, and to provide larger meeting rooms to accommodate more citizens. They also say that a new building could ease the need to find space to relocate state workers during a multiyear Capitol building renovation.

Republicans are critical that Democratic leaders folded building project approval into last year's tax bill.

“Taxpayers of this state do not need to spend $90 million to fix a two-year problem," said Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria.

Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, said he wants the project delayed to allow a district court to hear a case against it.

“There is no reason the Senate Rules Committee should take action on this project with a court hearing only a week away,” Hann said.

- FNS Minnesota Capitol Bureau