Senate Bill 2044 would authorize up to $160 million in bonds to renovate the state Capitol.
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the legislation Wednesday.
Yellow barricades and scaffolding are up around the building now because of pieces falling from the façade.
Lawmakers say rusted and crumbling pipes beneath the building have resulted in raw sewage leaking into the basement.
Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman is the author of the bill.
Senator Bingman says, “This building is the people’s house, and it is important that it be a functional building where they can participate in our state government without fear of injury.”
However, lawmakers are divided on the subject.
Opponents of the bond issue say a pay-as-you-go approach would avoid creating new debt for the state.
Senator Bingman says we can’t afford to wait and the building is an embarrassment.
He added, “The time has come to get it done now before it costs us even more down the road.”
The bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee with a vote of 20-1 and now moves to the full Senate.