Capitol office space fight could run $680,000 per month tab

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A fight over office space between the House and Senate could delay renovations at the Minnesota Capitol, running a tab of $680,000 per month.

The final phase of the Capitol renovation project is called Work Package 4. The package was supposed to be approved Wednesday morning by the Capitol Preservation Commission, but it's now delayed by the office space fight. Officials say an agreement on office space is needed by January 22 or else the cost of the renovation will balloon by $680,000 per month.

"We're having some discussions about how many conference rooms we need," Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said. "Do we have joint rooms that both the House and Senate can use? How many might be offices?"

The argument comes as the state is already constructing a new multi-million dollar office building for senators directly across from the Capitol. Sen. Bakk believes some senators will have offices in both buildings. That alone has sparked another partisan debate about why senators need to be in the Capitol at all anymore.

"In my opinion, you build a new office building for the senators, that's where they should be," Senate Minority Leader David Hann said.

Gov. Dayton insists it's not a partisan or political issue at all -- it's just a disagreement about space.