House Passes Bill Allowing $690 Million Bridge Over Scenic Minn. River

"The House [Thursday] morning voted to allow a $690 million highway bridge over the federally protected St. Croix River, ending decades of legal and legislative wrangling and setting in motion what would be the largest bridge project in Minnesota history."

"The bill (S. 1134) from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) passed 339-80, easily surpassing the two-thirds majority needed under a procedure known as suspension of the rules, which does not allow any amendments. It passed the Senate by unanimous consent in January.

The bill, which exempts the bridge from protections under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, was opposed by 64 Democrats, including Minnesota Reps. Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison, who argued the project is a boondoggle that will siphon funding away from other critical bridge projects."

Phil Taylor reports for Greenwire March 1, 2012.

Source: Greenwire, 03/02/2012