Predictable end for business incubator funds

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2001

It was no doubt a disappointment when Gov.

Tuesday, July 03, 2001

It was no doubt a disappointment when Gov. Jesse Ventura took out his well-worn veto pen Saturday and crossed off $100,000 for the Albert Lea business incubator. But it couldn’t have been too hard to see it coming, and it’s clear the effort to build the incubator will continue in force despite the governor’s action.

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It’s hard to argue with Ventura when he starts picking off projects he says are too local in focus to warrant state funds. He sees it as black or white: It’s either a local project or a state one – no in-between. He did the same thing last year, vetoing a handful of bonding projects he said should have been funded locally. But last year, lawmakers had the luxury of reconvening to override his vetoes; with their backs against the wall and a government shutdown looming this year, that was not an option.

While one could argue that a business incubator in Albert Lea would help the state as a whole, this is basically a local project, designed to help the local enonomy. Using Ventura’s criteria, his action seems justified.

Legislators will try again next year. And they stand a better chance of getting such funding passed in a bonding year, like the next session, since Ventura also expressed problems with how this year’s incubator bill was funded.

Whether or not they succeed next time, it looks like funding will continue to pile up until the project becomes reality. A good portion of the needed funds have come from local sources, or from grants and other assistance.

In the end, that’s what matters.