House backs spending for jobs

House backs spending for jobs Click to Enlarge Photo:

Apr 16, 2013 at 7:58 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) The Minnesota House has approved a package of new spending on programs aimed at creating jobs.

The House approved its omnibus jobs, commerce and housing bill on Monday night by a vote of 75-57. The Democratic-sponsored bill would boost spending at the Department of Employment and Economic Development in the next two years by more than 50 percent compared to the previous two.

The bill's author, Rep. Tim Mahoney of St. Paul, says it's a new approach to promoting employment by spending more on job training, grants and loans to small businesses, scholarships and apprenticeships. The bill spends $140 million on jobs and economic development programs and boosts spending on the affordable housing programs by $22 million.

Republicans criticized the bill for shifting money out of the private sector and into government programs, though a handful of Republicans voted for the measure.

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