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Dayton threatens veto of huge construction bill over sprinklers

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Gov. Mark Dayton is threatening to veto a massive $846 million capital improvements bill over home sprinklers.

Dayton supports new legislation that would require sprinklers inside new homes of a certain size. But some lawmakers have sought to block the proposed requirement because it adds to home construction costs, the Associated Press notes.

Dayton says that if lawmakers try to block the requirement as part of the broader bonding bill, he will veto it, noting at a news conference Monday that he "will not have something rammed down my throat.”

The governor's first veto threat of the year came as a bit of a surprise to legislators and set up a showdown with lawmakers, who this week are wrapping up the year's legislative session, the Star Tribune noted. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said Dayton had not told him about his hard-line stance, the newspaper reported.

The sprinkler provision is a very small provision buried in the sweeping bonding bill that would borrow money to pay for capital construction projects all over the state, from college buildings and sewer systems to theaters and bridges. Check out descriptions of proposed projects on a Senate website here.

The Senate has proposed spending an additional $200 million in cash, in addition to the proposed $846 million in borrowing, to fund additional construction projects.

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