Pared-down Transportation bill passes the House

The Minnesota House passed a $126 million transportation budget bill Tuesday that cuts $41 million from current general fund levels.

One of the biggest sticking points for Gov. Mark Dayton and Democrats in the transportation bill the governor vetoed in May was cuts to the Metropolitan Council, which operates Metro Transit.

The newest proposal slashes the Met Council’s funding by $52 million, less than half the cut proposed in the original GOP budget. Met Council officials said Tuesday that they wouldn’t have to raise fares to cope with the cut, something that was considered when deeper reductions were on the table.

Two dissenters spoke against the bill, which passed the House 71-56. Former Transportation Committee Chair Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, criticized “backfilling” the Met Council’s budget with money from other state funds.

“The speculative nature of this bill reflects the speculative nature of this budget overall,” said Rep. Terry Morrow, DFL-St. Peter.

The state transportation budget is $4.74 billion, and state general fund dollars make up only a tiny portion of that whole.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by David Greene on 07/19/2011 - 11:21 pm.

    Yeah, but that “tiny portion” goes almost entirely to transit. What Republicans are in fact saying is that they’re more than happy to make cuts to transportation — as long as it doesn’t involve cutting road funding.

    Actually, it’s a fine demonstration of just how efficient our transit systems are. We can move a whole lot of people for a lot less money than roads.

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