After strong opposition to its construction, Minnesota Republicans say they won’t move into the new $90 million senate building when it is completed, reports Minnesota Public Radio News.
Republicans are not calling it a protest, and Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie told MPR that many members don’t see the need for an immediate move.
“Moving is very disruptive, I mean it’s a lot,” Hann said to MPR. “It’s probably going to take a lot to move people around. We know we’re going to have to do it again after the election. So unless there’s a need to get us out of here, I don’t think people are all that fired up to go through that disruption and that cost.”
The cost of the building has been a point of contention for since the project began, and pro-Republican campaigns characterized the building as an example of Democratic waste in last year’s elections, reports the Pioneer Press.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook said to the Pioneer Press that the announcement from Republicans amounts to little more than a political statement.
"This is exactly the kind of short-term political gamesmanship that Minnesotans have no time for," Bakk told the Pioneer Press.
Bakk told the Star Tribune that other state entities are planning on moving into the space and the holdout by Republicans will end up costing Minnesotans.
But, Hann told the Star Tribune that he was surprised by Bakk’s remarks.
“This is news to us and contrary to what we heard from the Department of Administration. As soon as Sen. Bakk lets us know who the new tenant is and when they are moving in, we will move to the new building,” Hann told the Star Tribune.