ST. PAUL, Minn. - A former Republican lawmaker is suing Gov. Mark Dayton and the state of Minnesota trying to block the construction of a new office building for the state Senate.
Jim Knoblach says Thursday the $90 million building is a "glaring waste of money." His lawsuit claims the Legislature's Democratic majority violated the state Constitution by authorizing it in their tax bill, which is not the typical route for approving large building projects.
Knoblach represented the St. Cloud area in the House from 1995 to 2006. He says he's funding the lawsuit with his own money. Knoblach admits he only has a case over the way the building was approved, not on whether it's a worthwhile project.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk responded to the Knoblach's legal action Thursday afternoon.
"This lawsuit does not contain any legitimate concerns. The legislation authorizing construction of the new legislative building adjacent to the Capitol was included in the public finance section of the tax bill. Public finance provisions have been an established component of tax bills for decades, " Bakk said in a written statement. "I fear the only result of this suit will be the waste of taxpayer resources on legal expenses and the potential costs associated with delaying the construction project. "
Right now the state's 67 senators are split up between two buildings.
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