Lawmakers Pass Bonding Bill
The Minnesota Vikings Stadium proposal was not the only thing lawmakers tackled Monday. The House approved borrowing $496 million as part of a bonding bill.
Republican Senator, Jeremy Miller of Winona, says the money will go towards statewide construction, including work on campus buildings, bridges and roads, flood mitigation and renovations to the state Capitol building.
Campaign Money Is A State Record
Last week we learned that Govenor Scott Walker had raised over 25 million towards his recall campaign. A state record by most accounts. And if you think that number is high, Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign says you have seen nothing yet.
Most of the money coming in, according to McCabe, is coming in from out of state donor's who cannot even vote in today's recall primary election.
Dogs Used To Find Bugs
(AP) Minnesota is enlisting dogs in the battle to prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture hopes trained sniffer dogs can become a new line of defense against the invasive pests, which threaten ash trees across the state and across the country. The department is partnering with Working Dogs for Conservation, which has experience in detecting invasive species and has found encouraging results in training dogs to find ash wood material and emerald ash borers. Officials demonstrated the dogs' capabilities at the Ramsey County compost site in Arden Hills on Tuesday, and said the dogs may be ready to start sniffing mulch piles, yard waste sites, and commercial vehicles as early as July. The beetles were first detected in Minnesota in St. Paul in 2009.
Gas To Energy Underway In Onalaska
A gas to energy project with Gundersen Lutheran and La Crosse County allows gas from the landfill to be put to good use. Methane gas that was being burned off at the county landfill is captured and used, through a system of pipes, to heat the Gundersen Lutheran Onalaska Clinic and Support Services Building. And it is bringing big money to the area.
Corey Zirecki is Director of Envisions at Gunderson Lutheran. He says in the first two years of their Envision program, Gundersen was able to improve energy efficiency by 25 percent for a savings of $1.25 million annually.
Vikes Deal In The Works
(AP) A Minnesota Vikings executive says state lawmakers could sink a stadium deal by making it too hard on the club. Team vice president Lester Bagley made the comments Tuesday as the Senate prepared to vote on a stadium financing proposal. A day earlier, House members approved a stadium deal but added $105 million to the team's share. Bagley says stadium opponents will do all they can to derail the deal. He points to a Twins ballpark bill that cleared the Legislature in 2002, only to fall apart. It took the team another four years to win legislative support for a workable bill.