The following is an editorial from the Mankato Free Press.
The roads in Minnesota crumble every day as commuters and business drivers sit in unnecessary traffic jams while the leadership at the state Capitol has a response that is underwhelming at best. To do nothing.
The lack of a comprehensive compromise on transportation seems even more troublesome given all sides were agreeing on the major issue. Republicans in the House, Gov. Mark Dayton and Senate Democrats all saw the need for a significant transportation investment. They only disagreed on how to pay for it.
In a realistic world of get-it-done government, this shouldn’t have been that difficult. There’s still time. A group of House and Senate DFLers have proposed a plan that offers some compromises on paying for roads. Their plan is not the end all, but it’s a start.
They’ve suggested reducing their gas tax proposal so it takes a third less revenue and is a more traditional 10 cents per gallon tax versus a 6.5 percent wholesale tax. They’ve offered to use some sales tax money from auto parts, as the Republicans proposed, to fund the plan.
Yet, it appears the leadership at the Capitol, Republican Speaker Kurt Daudt and Dayton have said there is no longer time to deal with the complicated issues involved. Rep. Clark Johnson, DFL-North Mankato, and a member of the House Transportation Committee, had recently told The Free Press Editorial Board that a compromise with the Republicans on the road funding and tax bill might be something that could work.
Let’s try it. Democrats keep saying they’re willing to compromise on issues like tax relief for farmers on school taxes and tax relief from the statewide business property tax for small businesses.
It sounds like a good start. This can’t be that hard if we just have the political will to do it. We’re sure our astute leadership and their colleagues have the brainpower to come up with a deal. Dayton and Daudt have to step up here. Let’s not make the excuse that there is not time.
If not now, when?
Reprinted with permission.
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