ROCHESTER, Minn (KTTC)- Rochester residents have generally taken advantage of every opportunity to speak with Destination Medical Center leaders, and Wednesday, with the inclusion of the chair of the House Tax Committee, the public was once again seeking answers.
If there was a theme to be taken from Wednesday's Post-Bulletin Dialogues at the University of Minnesota-Rochester, Mayor Ardell Brede may have said it best.
"I was with them this morning and, as they say, things not only change from day to day but it seems to change from hour to hour on a lot of this."
Key legislators and city leaders hoped to answer as many questions as they could regarding the DMC legislation, giving perspectives from both sides.
"For the medical piece, we've got," says Dr. Bradly Narr with Mayo Clinic. "Nothing from the state to pay the Medicade bills. That's a lot, Representative Lenczewski, a lot."
Rochester Representative Kim Norton felt the political push-back immediately when she introduced the bill in the House.
"The first thing that happens when you roll that plan out is somebody steps on it and says 'This is terrible, I don't like it. Why do you think you're special?' It's a bit of an eye-opening experience, I think they would tell you."
One guest many in the room came to see is Representative Ann Lenczewski from Bloomington, the chair of the House Tax Committee, and someone who has given the bill significant resistance.
"And as much as Mayo or any other large company in Minnesota would like to tell us what to do, they don't get to. That's just a fact. And we all in a democracy should want it that way. We shouldn't want Medtronic to be able to tell the legislature what to do, or General Mills, or Target, or SuperValu or anyone else. We want to hear eachother."
The audience left UMR once again wondering what will come of the legislation, but reassurances were made.
"This is all a storybook," says Senator David Senjem, a Republican from Rochester. "As we go through this process, what really matters is getting this bill into conference committee and then getting that out and back to the floor. When we do that, I think we are going to have Destination Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota."
There are six weeks left in the legislative session, and many question whether that is enough time to pass a bill that will change Rochester forever.
A lot of the questions revolved around topics that are just not known because of the nature of the legislative process.
The precedent is set by other projects that took 7 to 10 years to pass, but those who were at the front of the room want to make history by getting it passed this year.
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