End-of-legislative session deadlock affecting bonding request, local government aid for city of Austin

Prospects are dimming for a special session to pass tax cuts and state budget updates as the summer campaign season is starting to take hold.  End-of-session deadlock also left a bonding bill for state public works projects high-and-dry, including the city of Austin, which was seeking $20 million in bond funding toward completion of its $80+ million wastewater treatment facility renovation and expansion project.  Austin City Administrator Craig Clark spoke with KAUS News and stated that because a bonding bill has not been passed, the city’s utility customers will have to absorb more of the financial burden for the work to be done..

Clark went on to state that the legislature’s inaction on a bonding bill will force the Austin City Council to make some tough decisions moving forward…

Clark added that a planned increase in state aid to cities, or Local Government Aid, also fell by the wayside, which will put more of a burden on property taxpayers in the city of Austin….

There has been talk of a special legislative session to deal with such issues as a bonding bill and local government aid to cities and counties around the state, as Governor Tim Walz met virtually with legislative leaders recently, but there appears to be little progress toward a special session to also pass tax cuts and a supplemental budget using part of the state’s massive surplus.  The governor says they’re close to a deal, but Senate Republicans disagree, saying that the biggest thing their constituents are concerned about is record-high gasoline prices.   The governor says leaders will try for a meeting again this Friday after committee chairs have a chance to talk.