MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Just weeks before the new Minnesota Senate Office Building is scheduled to open, some senators may not want to move in.
The $90 million structure behind the State Capitol will be ready in January for all 67 senators to move into new offices, but not everyone is happy about it.READ MORE: St. Paul School Board Chair Jeanelle Foster Recovering From COVID
Republicans who opposed the building all along are questioning the need to move out of their current offices and into new ones.
“This is a perfectly fine office space that we have,” Republican Minority Leader Sen. David Hann said. “It’s perfectly functional. Our constituents know where we are. It works just fine. We’re all together, we’ve got our staff, we’ve got everything we need, we’ve got cheaper parking.”
Republicans have officed in the beloved old State Office Building for almost 40 years, affectionately known as S.O.B.
Republican-leaning groups ran campaign ads in 2014 against the building and the $90 million it cost to build it.
But even though that fight is over, Hann says some senators may not want to go along with new building plans — at least not right away.READ MORE: What Is Proper Fall Clean-Up Etiquette? And What Methods Are Best For Your Lawn?
“The money’s been spent, the building has been built,” Hann said. “We can’t undo that.”
Hann says he will ask his caucus members to decide on the move, but not to expect unquestioning cooperation.
When asked if he will attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony when the building opens, Hann was deadpan.
“I doubt it. I don’t know when it is, but it’s not on my calendar, let’s just put it that way,” Hann said.
Curt Yoakum, a spokesman for the Department of Administration — which is managing the building construction — says Senate Republicans have not conveyed to them any concerns about moving in when the building opens Jan. 1.
“The department’s focus is to make sure all 67 offices are ready on time and that the movers are in place to facilitate the transition. We have been working on those issues with the Senate and will notify senators as dates are finalized,” Yoakum said. “The plan is to move all Senate member and staff offices in January. The S.O.B space is currently allocated to the Senate and we would expect that any issues concerning office locations upon completion of the new facility would be handled by the Senate.”MORE NEWS: Online Learning Apps Helping Kids Catch Up From Pandemic-Compromised School Year
No one can force Republicans to make the move. If they stay in their old quarters, each senator will have two offices, two doors with two name plaques and two parking spaces.