House GOP Upped Budget for Capitol Furniture $2 Million

Ornate DoorThe Democrats are the party of spending taxpayers money according to the Republicans, right?  Not really.  Especially if you think you’re keeping the spending on the down low, it seems.

In this year’s legislative session, the House Republicans “quietly pushed to bump up the furnishings allocation by $2 million, or 45 percent.” the Associated Press reports.  In addition to more “historically compatible furniture in spaces, higher-end upholstery, refinished hardwood flooring rather than carpet in leadership offices” there’s that $10,000 for a door on House Speaker Daudt’s office suite. (That must be some door.)

Speaker Daudt’s position is this is “to take it back as close to 1905 as we could.” If that’s the case, why did they bury the increase in a borrowing plan that “emerged just days before it was voted on in a June special session”?

As WCCO reported:

“Emails and other agency documents obtained under a government records request the AP made in late June reflect how top aides for Daudt approached state officials about going beyond the original scope. In response, the officials prepared estimates: $1 million to go from mid-range to high-end seating in committee rooms and other parts of the Capitol; $20,312 to refinish oak floors in four leadership offices rather than laying down carpet; and $10,033 for the door and custom hardware.

While the estimates were discussed internally, agency officials spoke in broader terms about $1.3 million in extra costs for upgraded features. Daudt said the GOP opted to set aside $2 million in case bids come in higher. “If we don’t need it, we don’t need it,” he said.

By comparison, the construction budget for the new Senate Office Building — a major priority of Bakk’s — projects about $4.6 million will be spent on desks, tables, chairs and other furniture and fixtures. Senators will move in early next year.”