ST. PAUL (AP) -- It's all or nothing when it comes to funding for a new lab and office for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Gov. Jesse Ventura and a top aide said Tuesday.
Ventura and Public Safety Commissioner Charlie Weaver said separately that the project will not go forward unless it is fully funded in this year's bonding bill.
''I don't build parts of buildings, I build them all,'' Ventura said.
That would mean legislators have to come forward with $58 million for the new building proposed for St. Paul. It was the biggest single-ticket item in the $400 million bonding proposal Ventura submitted before the session started.
When he signed a crime prevention bill motivated by Katie Poirier's Moose Lake abduction, Ventura warned lawmakers that he needs the proper tools to enforce it. He considers the BCA lab one of them because the agency has outgrown its current space.
A conference committee is in the process of assembling the bonding bill. The project is fully funded in the Senate version, but the House bill includes about $30 million for a new lab only. House Republicans have said the current BCA space can be renovated to serve as the agency's administrative office.
Weaver said that won't work.
''If they split it up, we won't take it,'' he said, adding that the lab alone would cost $43 million and the remodeling project would run about $9.2 million.
House Speaker Steve Sviggum said it would be difficult for the Legislature to come up with full funding if Ventura sticks to a figure of $400 million for the bonding bill because the Senate has approved $550 million in projects.
House Capital Investment Chairman Jim Knoblach, R-St. Cloud, reacted coolly to the all-or-nothing threat.
''We're trying to work with them,'' he said of the Ventura administration. ''But that's ridiculous.''
Knoblach said that the House proposal would still double the amount of space for the BCA.
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