It’s back to the drawing board after Gov. Dayton vetoes transportation bill

The Senate passed the transportation bill on Monday afternoon, and Gov. Mark Dayton swiftly vetoed it.

In his veto message, the Governor stated, “I found the bill for roads, bridges, and transit disheartening and wholly inadequate. Based on this bill, despite rhetoric to the contrary, transportation does not appear to be one of the top priorities for Republicans.”

The Governor calls for a long-term approach to funding, including new constitutionally dedicated funding such as a tab fee increase.

Negotiations resumed today. Legislative leaders voiced shock that the Governor has asked for new revenue for transportation.

There has been a question raised about some policy language on Corridors of Commerce. We have been talking with legislators and MnDOT to ensure that Highway 14 continues to be well placed to receive Corridors of Commerce funding. The biggest issue is whether there will be enough money in the program to make any progress. The vetoed version of the transportation bill appropriates $300 million spread across the state (plus $25 million/year in cash). The costs to complete the remaining sections of Highway 14 are estimated at $69-$117 million for the New Ulm to Nicollet portion and $152-$193 million for the Owatonna to Dodge Center portion.

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