St. Paul, Minn. – Following the introduction of Senate File 2, the Senate Republican proposal on transportation funding, DFL Senators issued this statement:
“I am disappointed in the Senate Republicans’ initial transportation proposal. There are no new ideas in this bill. It is the same shifts and borrowing we see year in and year out from Republicans. If enacted, important resources for public education, health care for senior citizens and property tax relief will be short changed. It would be much more than what other states devote in general fund spending for transportation,” said Senator Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis), the ranking minority member of the Senate Transportation Policy and Finance Committee.
Senator Jim Carlson (DFL- Eagan) continued, “Every reputable and credible analysis tells us how much we’re falling short and what kinds of transportation we need to build to meet Minnesotans’ needs. We’ve heard from countless county commissioners, county engineers, mayors and business leaders that anything short of a long-term, dedicated funding solution is unacceptable. We aren’t even keeping up with what we have. I cannot fathom why the Republicans would include no plan for adequate long-term funding, shift resources away from the general fund, and try to solve the problem by borrowing through trunk highway bonds.”
Senate DFL Caucus Assistant Leader Susan Kent (DFL- Woodbury) added, “SF 2 makes no mention of transit, even after a number of Republicans have expressed their support for a robust bus system to support the growing metropolitan area. This bill leaves behind seniors, young people, those looking to get ahead by accessing those places where the jobs and educational opportunities are. It ignores urgent appeals from the employers looking to attract the best and brightest workforce of the future.”
Senator David Tomassoni (DFL- Chisholm) closed with, “I’m troubled by the raid on those funds paid by off highway vehicle users: ATV riders, snowmobilers, off road motorcyclists, and others, that short changes the important trail development and maintenance and environmental protections for which those funds are intended.”