No more excuses: Transportation must be our priority

St. Paul, Minn.—Many DFL Senators renewed their push for investing in transportation at a press conference today to show their support for this important bill. The following Senators have released statements of support for passing a comprehensive, stable transportation package, a Senate DFL Caucus session priority: Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook), President of the Senate Sen. Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul), Assistant Majority Leader Katie Sieben (DFL-Cottage Grove), Deputy Majority Leader Sen. Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis), Sen. Jim Carlson (DFL-Eagan), Sen. Greg Clausen (DFL-Apple Valley), Sen. Kevin Dahle (DFL-Northfield), Sen. Melisa Franzen (DFL-Edina), Sen. Vicki Jensen (DFL-Owatonna), Sen Alice Johnson (DFL-Blaine), Sen. Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury), and Sen. Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood).

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook):

“No more band-aids. Minnesota needs and deserves to have a transportation network that keeps up with the pace of business. Our plan provides a long term, comprehensive, and stable course for investing and rebuilding our roads, bridges, and transit networks. We have included transit in our plan because it is important for our state’s workforce recruitment and adds to the longevity of our transportation infrastructure,” Bakk said.

President of the Senate Sen. Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul):

“Transportation funding solves the long-term problem of updating and maintaining our infrastructure, so why would we continue to keep using short-term fixes?” asked Senator Sandy Pappas (DFL – St. Paul) “Cities across Minnesota need a long-term comprehensive funding solution, and they need it now.”

Assistant Majority Leader Sen. Katie Sieben (DFL-Cottage Grove):

“Everyone benefits from a safe and robust transportation system — families, farmers, small businesses, and our state’s largest employers. The Senate’s Transportation bill is comprehensive and provides a dedicated solution to funding our road and bridge repairs over the long-term. This is the right choice for Minnesota.”

Deputy Majority Leader Sen. Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis):

“For many of my constituents and low income workers across Minnesota, access to efficient and affordable transportation is a key piece of the pathway out of poverty. The longer a low wage worker has to commute to their place of work, the less likely those workers are to be able to escape the cycle of poverty. Building an economy that works for everyone means we must repair, improve and expand our transportation and transit infrastructures,” Hayden said. 

Sen. Jim Carlson (DFL-Eagan):

A comprehensive, sustainable transportation bill is good for our economy. For hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans, transportation is how we get to our entire lives. Our historically strong transportation system is one of the reasons Minnesota has had a successful economy in the past, but we need to maintain and improve our transportation network to stay competitive into the future. Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has found that for every $1 of investment, $1.92 is produced in direct or indirect economic output within two years. Everyone benefits from a safe and robust transportation system — families, farmers, small businesses, and our state’s largest employers. This is not a partisan issue: roads, bridges, and transit deserve to be a priority for all of us.

Sen. Greg Clausen (DFL-Apple Valley):

“Building a world-class transportation system is one of the reasons Minnesota has had a successful economy, and we need to maintain and improve our transportation network. To accomplish that, we must pass a responsible, prudent, and sustainable transportation bill this year. Everyone benefits from a safe and robust transportation system — families, farmers, small businesses, and our state’s largest employers.”

Sen. Kevin Dahle (DFL-Northfield):

Roads and bridges form the economic backbone of greater Minnesota. We have a responsibility to invest in these crucial economic corridors – not just now, but well into the future. Long-term projects deserve dedicated long-term funding, not budget shifts and gimmicks. Investing in transportation supports rural communities across Minnesota by providing access to jobs, education, and other important destinations, not to mention our elderly population. Our population is aging, and it’s important to remember that rural Minnesotans need transit, too. Ensuring adequate transit service exists throughout Minnesota helps more of our aging population live independently.

Sen. Melisa Franzen (DFL-Edina):

“Making strong investments in our transportation network is a necessary step to continue to grow Minnesota’s economy. By supporting our roads, bridges, and transit network with a comprehensive transportation bill that includes dedicated and sustainable funding, we can make sure Minnesota continues to be an attractive state for businesses and for employees to live and commute in. One-time money may help start some projects but they won’t finish them. I am open to any ideas brought to the table including bonding, general fund or dedicated revenue. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to find a bipartisan solution to the long-term transportation needs of Minnesota.”

Sen. Vicki Jensen (DFL-Owatonna):

“No matter where you live in Minnesota or the station you are in life, everyone benefits from a safe and robust transportation system. We need to understand the challenges each area is facing and the methods they are choosing to solve them. Investments in our infrastructure are more important than ever and they’re not just about math and the art of compromise; they’re about how we want to live right now and what we leave for the next generation.”

Sen. Alice Johnson (DFL-Blaine):

“Building a world-class transportation system is one of the reasons Minnesota has had a successful economy, and we need to maintain and improve our transportation network through comprehensive funding,” said Senator Alice Johnson (DFL – Blaine). “In order for our communities and economy to thrive, we must ensure our roads and bridges are safe to drive on, our transit network can handle the growing demand, and our businesses are not incurring unnecessary costs.”

Sen. Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury):

“It is inefficient-and ultimately more costly- to use short-term fixes for our long-term transportation needs. Minnesota needs a sustainable, comprehensive funding solution that will ensure our roads and bridges are safe to drive on, our transit network can handle growing demand, and our businesses do not incur unnecessary costs. The Senate Transportation bill represents progress and a dedication to our state’s long-term success.”

Sen. Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood):

“Our world-class transportation system is one of the reasons Minnesota has had a successful economy, but we need to maintain and improve our transportation network to stay competitive. The Senate Transportation bill recognizes the need for a sustainable, long-term funding plan to help care for our aging roads and bridges, and addresses new transit needs as our communities continue to expand.”

Sen. Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis):

“My area knows all too well the consequences of failing to maintain the funding and investments our transportation network needs. I do not want to see Minnesota fall behind. We need a comprehensive transportation bill that can provide safer roads, bridges and multimodal paths so our economy and people keep moving forward. Minnesotans deserve a transportation network that works for everyone.”

Senate DFL