Lawmakers asked to rethink flood aid

Associated Press

ST. PAUL -- It's back to the drawing board for legislative leaders trying to craft a flood-relief plan that could get aid to northwestern Minnesota yet this fall.

House Speaker Steve Sviggum and Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe presented a $35.4 million proposal Monday to Gov. Jesse Ventura, who asked them to take another look at it.

Ventura is concerned with $13.1 million the leaders had proposed taking from money the Legislature left as a budget reserve last session.

Recent state revenue forecasts show that the money might not be available, so Ventura asked them to pare the amount to $10 million and take it from existing programs.


He also asked them to remove specific provisions in the plan for where that money should go, giving the administration more flexibility to spend money where it is needed.

The remaining $18.3 million would be borrowed and paid back over a number of years.

Sviggum and Moe said they'll try to come up with a new plan to present to Ventura this week but said it won't be easy. They trimmed millions of dollars from state-funded programs earlier this year to balance the budget.

Still, they hope to agree on a plan and have the governor call them back into a special session as early as next week.

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