Governor Mark Dayton told top Republican lawmakers late Wednesday afternoon that he wants measures that could kill Southwest Light Rail in the Twin Cities taken out of a transportation funding bill. The governor said, “I won’t begin negotiations on a transportation bill unless those sections are removed.” And Dayton says if a bill reaches his desk with those provisions included, he’ll veto it. Republican leaders have not immediately responded, but did say earlier they do not oppose mass transit funding but there are much more cost-effective ways than light rail.
A transportation bill is *not* mandatory, but if the dispute over light rail torpedoes the legislation, neither Democrats nor Republicans would get funding they say they want for roads and bridges.
Here are part of Gov. Dayton’s comments from his Wednesday p-m media availability: