Transportation Funding Debate

Last week was a big week for the transportation funding debate.  Governor Dayton proposed a ten year plan that uses new revenue and bonding to address $11 billion in transportation projects.  New revenue for roads and bridges comes from applying the sales tax to sales of gasoline at the wholesale level and increased tab fees.  New revenue for metro transit comes from an increase in metro area sales tax.

Sunday’s Star Tribune ran a story which outlined the proposals from the Governor, the DFL controlled Senate, and the GOP controlled House.  The story featured a nice quote from Rep. Brian Daniels (R, Faribault) highlighting the need to finish U.S. Highway 14.

Advocates for the U.S. Highway 14 Partnership met with Commissioner Zelle, Senate Transportation Chair Dibble and House Transportation Vice Chair Petersburg on Thursday.  All were very interested to hear stories about the economic importance of U.S. Highway 14 to the region.  They also acknowledged the importance of getting the job done.

Action:  The U.S. Highway 14 Partnership has a Lobby Day planned for Thursday, February 12 from 11:00 to 4:00.  The most important thing we can do to get Highway 14 fixed is to keep making noise and being heard.  Please RSVP to Carolyn Jackson at .

Action, part 2:  The Partnership has a bill in both the House and Senate, HF0282 (Petersburg)/SF0241 (Jensen) with two committed chief authors.  This bill funds Corridors of Commerce with both cash appropriation and bond proceeds, so the projects can move forward with both construction and planning.  If you have not yet thanked Rep. Petersburg or Sen. Jensen for authoring the bill, please take the time to do that.

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