State officials moved a bit closer Tuesday to the launch of a major renovation of Minnesota Capitol building.
Gov. Mark Dayton and other members of the Capitol Preservation Commission approved spending up to $150,000 for pre-design work for the project.
The panel also adopted guiding principles for the renovation that focus on architectural integrity, building function and safety. Lawmakers have not yet approved the full project, which is estimated to cost more than $200 million.
Dayton says the cost is daunting, but he says the current deterioration of the Capitol is adding urgency to the discussion.
"It will be more expensive to do it five years or 10 years from now. That's a guarantee. So if we do it, let's do it right," Dayton said.
Legislators have come close to approving Capitol renovations before, but Republican House Majority Leader Matt Dean say he now believes there is the political will to follow through with the project.