The Minnesota House and Senate must now work out their differences after both passed major transportation funding bills late last week. The House bill would direct six billion dollars over ten years to roads and bridges and the Senate bill just over half that much. But that’s the least of the problems facing Republican legislative leaders and Democratic Governor Mark Dayton, who all pretty much agree a major infusion is needed for transportation, but can’t agree on where the money should come from.
Republicans propose redirecting existing revenue. Democrats respond that takes money from schools and human services. Republicans say the budget surplus is large enough to handle it all.
House GOP transportation point-man Paul Torkelson from Hanska is urging the governor to get involved in negotiations early-on. “I’d like to get this done in one shot,” Torkelson says. “I’m not really very interested in veto bait, thank you.”
More of Torkelson’s comments: