2 for 3 good start

Published 10:03 am Thursday, March 29, 2012

Daily Herald editorial

It is asking too much to expect both houses of the Legislature, and the governor, will agree on something as complex as how much money the state should borrow for capital projects. So getting two out of the three in agreement looks successful, so far, for Austin’s attempts to secure $13.5 million from the state to help finance an expansion of the Hormel Institute.

The Minnesota Senate yesterday released its list of projects which it believes the state should support, including on the list the full amount that Austin and the Institute have requested. The governor also recommended the full amount, and the House plan would provide $9 million. The varied versions of this year’s bonding bill still must wend their way through the full legislative process, but initial support from the governor and Senate suggest that the Institute project has widespread support.

Email newsletter signup

That is as it should be. A quick review of the economic development projects that the Senate bill would find show that few, if any, would have the far reaching impact of an Institute expansion — a project that would add about 125 good jobs for the Austin area.

Getting the Institute expansion on the state’s front burner has been the result of hard work from area lawmakers, Institute staff and many others. It will be a good thing for the region if this good start translates into funding enough to complete the project as planned.