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For Immediate Release: July 27, 2016
Contact: Carolyn Jackson
Partnership Asks Legislators For Action: Pass the Bonding Bill in Special Session
OWATONNA—Advocates for the expansion of U.S. Highway 14 from Rochester to New Ulm met today to review the 2016 legislative session and call for a special session.
“We came so close to making progress at the Legislature,” said New Ulm Mayor Bob Beussman, President of the U.S. Highway 14 Partnership. “The bonding bill had money that could be used for land acquisition and planning for Highway 14—that money is needed to make Highway 14 ‘shovel ready’ and closer to completion. There needs to be a special session to pass that bonding bill.”
When the Partnership met in January, the State of Minnesota was facing a billion dollar surplus. The U.S. Highway 14 Partnership called on its legislators to direct some of the surplus to Highway 14. Dodge County Commissioner Steve Gray, who serves as vice president of the Partnership, said, “In January we asked our legislators to fund at least land acquisition for Highway 14. They listened, and put cash that could be used for Highway 14 in the bonding bill. Now, we just need to see that bill pass.”
Looking forward to 2017, the Partnership also discussed the upcoming election and hopes for a long term, comprehensive transportation funding bill. “It’s not enough that our legislators hear that Highway 14 is important,” said Beussman. “They need to know that, with our help, they must find a way to pay for four lanes, New Ulm to Rochester, and maintain the sections that have already been completed.”