There is still a lot of uncertainty over a special session and transportation, but Governor Dayton has confirmed that he continues to support Highway 14.
The Governor’s Office returned our calls this week about a special session. His staff told us that transportation continues to be a part of the negotiations, and the Governor supports both roads and transit. It is unclear which direction talks will take: whether it means the transportation portion of the bonding bill will be corrected and expanded, or whether there will be a separate transportation bill. Ideally, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor want a long-term, comprehensive transportation bill, but no one knows whether that will happen in a special session.
The Governor’s Office made a point of stressing support for the U.S. Highway 14 project Rochester to New Ulm. They told us that the Governor always includes Highway 14 in transportation discussions, saying “It needs to be done.”
It is significant that the Governor continues to make Highway 14 a priority. If there is funding available, whether through earmarks or otherwise, we believe that he and MnDOT will honor their commitment to Highway 14. They recognize the need—now lawmakers need to provide the funds to FIX 14 NOW!