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Forum staff reports, Published February 11 2010

Taxpayers League faults bonding bill

Phil Krinkie, president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, criticized the Minnesota Senate on Wednesday for the $1 billion bonding bill the Senate approved Tuesday.

Krinkie, a former Republican state representative, singled out the bill’s chief author, Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, stating that Langseth “obviously doesn’t realize the state has run out of money.”

A statement released by the league containing Krinkie’s comments called the Senate bill “fiscally irresponsible.”

Langseth said the bonding bill passed by a 52-14 vote, which he said shows it received bipartisan support.

He added that much of the work the bill would fund will need to be done eventually and with construction bids coming in 15 to 20 percent lower than expected, it makes sense to have the work done now, Langseth added.

When it comes to the state’s debt load, Langseth said Minnesota ranks 42nd among the states in terms of per capita debt.

The bill would fund projects such as college and university repair projects, new buildings and flood prevention, with much of the latter going to communities in northwest Minnesota.

The Taxpayers League of Minnesota Web site describes the organization as a nonpartisan, nonprofit grass-roots taxpayer advocacy organization that fights for lower taxes and limited government.