Republican lawmakers unsuccessfully attempted to limit spending on temporary housing for Gov. Tim Walz, after the state agreed to pay more than $17,000 on monthly rent for Walz's family while the governor's residence is renovated.
State government officials signed a nearly $330,000 lease agreement to rent a house in Sunfish Lake for a year and a half during the project.
"This is more expensive than the Upper East Side of Manhattan, for crying out loud. So this is a Manhattan solution to a Minnesota problem," Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia, said Thursday in a committee hearing.
Nash proposed an amendment to the state and local government finance bill that would limit monthly rent payments for a temporary residence to $2,500. Democrats rejected the move.
Rep. Ginny Klevorn, DFL-Plymouth, called it a "gotcha amendment" and said she wants to see the "mythical" home that costs less than $2,500 a month, meets security needs and can be used as a ceremonial space.
Department of Administration staffers who leased the Sunfish Lake home said they struggled to find a place that could be secured and was close enough to the State Capitol. They ultimately landed on the nearly 8,000-square-foot lakeside residence, about 15 minutes south of downtown St. Paul.