ST. PAUL, Minn. – President Obama appeared today in St. Paul’s Union Depot to call for a four year, $302 billion federal transportation package. The comprehensive package would increase funding for national transportation needs through corporate tax reforms. Currently the Highway Trust Fund, an 18.4-cents-a-gallon tax on gasoline to pay for the federal share of spending on roads, is on pace to go insolvent in August, creating a major crisis for the nation’s roads, bridges and transit system.
Senate Transportation Committee Chair Senator Scott Dibble (DFL – Minneapolis) and House Transportation Committee Chair Representative Frank Hornstein (DFL- Minneapolis) released the following statement on President Obama’s proposals.
“President Obama’s call for a new approach to transportation is a necessity if we want a high-quality transportation system to get people to jobs, goods to markets and improve our quality of life. Traditional methods of finance, like the Highway Trust Fund, no longer meet the needs of what a 21st century transportation economy demands.
The same is true of Minnesota. We are facing a multibillion dollar funding shortfall just to keep up with what we have – even more if wants to compete in the modern economy. This problem is being felt in our urban centers, our rural highways and in every corner of the state. If we do not find a way to address this, we will be setting our state up for failure.
This year, we must create a comprehensive solution to Minnesota’s transportation needs. By investing in our transportation needs now we are guaranteeing safety on our roads and expanding economic opportunity, for businesses and families.”