ST. PAUL, Minn. – Republicans in the Minnesota Senate blocked a bill for $1.5 billion in public works projects statewide. The bill won a majority of 33-32, but bonding bills require a 60% threshold to pass. The issue, said Republicans leaders, was not whether the projects proposed by Democratic Governor Tim Walz were worthwhile. Nor was it reluctance about borrowing. Then why the GOP opposition? Republican leaders said that Democrats hadn’t consulted them sufficiently on a broad range of other issues. In other words, the 60% requirement was being used as leverage to get Democrats to yield on other issues, notably the Republican version for tax relief from the state’s budget surplus. The surplus is growing and now is projected at a whopping $19 billion.
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