Minnesota Capitol building

Minnesota Capitol building

Last Thursday, the state House of Representatives’ 80-50 vote was one vote short to pass a $221 million bonding bill to fix the crumbling 107-year-old Minnesota Capitol building.

The bipartisan Minnesota State Capitol Preservation Commission had asked for $241 million to fix the Capitol, which requires massive interior and exterior work.

The roof is caving in on their heads, and representatives won’t fix the building that, more than anything, represents Minnesota.

If anything is symbolic of a broken process, this is.

Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL-St. Paul) was quoted in Session Daily that “we have the broader needs across the state. I would argue there is another whole set of needs, projects ready for construction right now that will support jobs.” She said there is support for the Capitol restoration, but pushed for a larger bonding bill that would encompass other projects. Democrats had supported a single $775 million bonding bill.

There are many other worthy projects throughout the state, but politicians shouldn’t add a Capitol bonding bill to a less palatable bill just to get it passed. If anything deserved to be voted on separately for funding, this did.

Minnesota’s Capitol is not a project to play politics with. It’s a priority.

There are local ties to the original Capitol construction. Chaska banker George DuToit served on the Board of State Capitol Commissioners, responsible for overseeing the building’s design and construction. Chaska brick was used in its construction.

Proper credit should be given to Carver County representatives Joe Hoppe and Ernie Leidiger for voting to restore the Capitol Building and continuing a local legacy of supporting “the people’s house.”

A new bill is being sent to the House floor with funds to repair the State Capitol, but now it’s mashed together with other bills.

Let the politics begin again.

Prom returns

A “Welcome back” is in order for Chaska High School’s prom. The last local prom was in 1993 at Hazeltine National Golf Club, where it returns this Saturday.

We’re happy to see the students back. It didn’t make sense to limo everyone off to Minneapolis, when there are great venues in our own backyard.

In the last few years, there have been many such efforts to connect the school and local community, and boost hometown pride for the Hawks — notably Homecoming coronation in City Square Park.

The most recent example was the Pride of Chaska BBQ Bash last Friday, which attracted 325 people and raised money for Chaska High School athletics and activities.

Keep up the nice work.


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