Transportation bills pass, starting the real Minnesota talks
Maybe the third time is a charm.
That is the hope of Minnesotans who are tired of dodging potholes and daily fighting other road and transit woes.
The state House and Senate have approved Republican-written transportation funding bills that greatly vary from what Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton wants. But despite having passed their legislation, it is more of a beginning.
“We have to start somewhere,” House Transportation Chairman Paul Torkelson, R-Hanska, said Friday, March 31.
He said that with House, Senate and governor proposals all completed, “now is the time to get together.”
And, he added, he does not want to sent Dayton a bill that is not acceptable. “I would like to get this done in one shot. I am not very interested in veto bait.”
It is a story that Minnesotans now have heard three years in a row: Dayton and other Democrats want a gasoline tax increase while Republicans prefer to divert sales taxes on transportation-related purchases to roads and bridges.