To: Governor Dayton
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re: Remember all those pieces of paper you signed last spring?
Yesterday, you told MPR News in re the new $90 million Senate Palace that Tom Bakk rammed through at the literal last possible moment of the last session…:
“I think the building itself is necessary … We’re talking about a project for the next century,” Dayton told reporters Wednesday. “But I think the price tag on it, and appearance of it, are a little high.”
Er, Governor Dayton? You signed the appropriation into law.
Or at least we presume it was you, and not Carrie Lucking moving your hands.
That presumption looks weaker and weaker these days.
Dayton said he wants a more modest, less expensive version and planned to share his concerns soon with Senate leaders…The new building is needed to make up for the square footage lawmakers will lose once the renovation of the Capitol is complete, Bakk added. Under present Senate arrangements, the majority party is housed in the Capitol while the minority is housed in the State Office Building. Bringing Democrats and Republicans together under one roof is important, Bakk said.
Here’s a solution. Mere blocks from the Capitol lies downtown Saint Paul. It’s got a 30% vacancy rate – and I suspect that’s even higher in the gulch between Cedar and Jackson streets, where there is virtually nothing living (thanks, largely, to DFL policies).
Why not move the Senate into the old USBank building? Or 375 Jackson? The Hamm? Alliance? The Big Red One?
Or maybe Macy’s? That’d seem…appropriate.
PS to Governor Dayton: Nancy Pelosi was being just a little bit flippant, I think, when she said “you have to pass it to see what’s in it”. It technically is your job to know what you’re signing into law.