Court: Knoblach needs bond for Senate building suit

The Minnesota Court of Appeals said today that a former lawmaker trying to stop construction of a new Senate Office Building has to post an $11 million bond by next week to keep the lawsuit alive.

The Court of Appeals said delaying construction of the building could result in millions of dollars in increased costs. A three-judge panel ordered former state Rep. Jim Knoblach to post the bond to shield the government from those additional costs.

The state was seeking a higher amount.

The panel ruled that Knoblach has to post the bond by May 27 or the lawsuit will be dismissed. A hearing will be held on June 10 if Knoblach posts the bond.

Knoblach's lawsuit claims lawmakers violated the state constitution last year when they approved the financing for the $90 million building in a larger tax bill. A judge rejected the claim, but Knoblach is appealing. The state wants to start construction on July 1.

UPDATE: Knoblach says he's going to appeal the ruling.

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Knoblach's attorney, Erick Kaardal, said there's enough time to rule on the case before the July 1 groundbreaking.

"How can the people in a populist state with taxpayer standing get their constitutional objections heard if the court is going to assess extraordinary numbers like $11 million for a surety bond when there is enough time to decide the case?"

Kaardal said they'll likely drop the suit if the Supreme Court doesn't rule in their favor. (You can read Knoblach's release below)

Here's the ruling:

Here's Knoblach's response: