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LETTER TO EDITOR: Murdock: Clarification is in order

To the editor

I appreciate that Rep. Alice Hausman of St. Paul recently took time from her busy schedule to send a letter to our local paper, but I would like to provide some clarification regarding my votes on the capital investment "bonding" bill.

Rep. Hausman chairs the House's Capital Investment Committee, which is responsible for drafting the bonding bill that funds construction projects throughout the state. I figured it was my duty to let her know I could not support a bill of more than $700 million at a time when we already face a $1 billion budget deficit. I met with her face-to-face in her office and told her that borrowing $1 billion is not the responsible thing to do, that we needed something more affordable.

So, when Rep. Hausman's committee kept bringing $1 billion proposals to the floor, I voted against them to negotiate a more priorities-based bill with the focus on worthy projects like the Perham incinerator expansion.

My vote was against all the pork and general lack of priorities in Rep. Hausman's bill. She underfunded military and veterans, but did find money for cultural centers, a snow-making center and a sculpture garden in Minneapolis. The majority party even realized the bill was unacceptable and refused to send it to the governor's desk until they made some additional changes.

In the end, Gov. Pawlenty eliminated most of the frivolous spending and retained the important things like more than $5 million for the Perham incinerator. That's a plan that we all could have voted for in good conscience had Rep. Hausman provided us with the opportunity.

Rep. Mark Murdock