UPDATE: Minn. Senate panel approves $77M Senate building - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Minn. Senate panel approves $77M Senate building

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Senate Rules committee has approved a $77 million proposal for a building to house the state's 67 senators.

The House Rules Committee approved the plan Friday. It's about $13 million cheaper than the original proposal the Senate Rules Committee approved earlier this year. Delaying one parking lot, making another user-financed and halving the number of conference rooms enabled state Department of Administration officials to cut the plan's cost.

Panel Republicans on Monday questioned the cost and the planning of the new building. They said it seemed to be a waste of money because it duplicated space that already existed.

The proposed Senate building is part of a bipartisan-supported $273 million project to renovate the Capitol. Construction of the new building is scheduled to begin on July 1.

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