Pawlenty foresees deal on Minn. construction bill

Published 12:18 pm Friday, February 5, 2010

ST. PAUL (AP) — Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty anticipates being able to strike a deal with legislative Democrats on a bill that would finance public construction projects.

Pawlenty offered his initial views Friday on a pair of $1 billion proposals introduced a day earlier in the Legislature. While both exceed Pawlenty’s own plan by more than $300 million, the governor says the sides appear close enough in the early going to work something out.

On his weekly WCCO Radio show, Pawlenty criticized the Democratic-crafted borrowing plans for failing to include money for an expansion of the state’s sex offender treatment facility. Pawlenty wants almost $90 million for that.

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Pawlenty also took issue with their plans for arts buildings and other projects with a local flavor.

Lawmakers say they will move quick to get a final bill to Pawlenty. He can cut out projects he doesn’t like using his line-item veto authority.