Will the Mayo proposal make it?

Published 9:21 am Tuesday, April 2, 2013

By Tom Scheck
Minnesota Public Radio News

ST. PAUL — When Minnesota lawmakers return to the state Capitol today to focus on a two-year budget, they’ll also weigh whether to approve the Mayo Clinic’s request for $500 million to support its $3 billion expansion plan.

Supporters of the project say state financing for roads, bridges, parking garages and other improvements would ensure that the hospital and clinic system cements its future in the Rochester area.

Email newsletter signup

Lawmakers say they want to help the hospital and clinic system grow, but some have concerns about the size of its funding request and the overall financing plan. That has key lawmakers asking for an alternative proposal.

Among those requesting a different approach is state Rep. Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington. She is concerned that if the Legislature approves the request, the Mayo Clinic and Rochester would receive special treatment that no other community receives.

“It feels like, at least on this side, that we’re at a stall right now,” she said. “I want them to know that we’re not saying ‘Over our dead bodies.’ We’re just saying that if the Legislature loves this we’re going to have to figure out a way to pay for it like anything else around here.”

The hospital and clinic system plans to pay for its expansion by using a portion of future sales, income and property tax revenue in the Rochester area.

To continue reading this story visit Minnesota Public Radio News by clicking here.