The first meeting of the conference committee on transportation will be this afternoon. The legislative staff has laid out the House and Senate transportation bills side by side, and there is almost no agreement. As one lobbyist pointed out, even the name of the bill is different.
We continue to lobby for a bi-partisan solution which takes ideas from both the House and Senate, but which provides sufficient funding for Corridors of Commerce to see a way to finish expanding U.S. Highway 14 within the next ten years.
The general word at the Capitol is that passage of a transportation bill will depend on whether the House and Senate strike a deal between an increase in the gas tax and a corresponding tax cut. Governor Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Bakk and Speaker Daudt will be fishing together this Saturday at the opener on Lake Vermillion. Perhaps they may reel in a way to finish U.S. Highway 14. Fix 14 now!