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Dayton gets feisty, calls Republican transportation plan ‘pure fantasy’

Gov. Mark Dayton showed his testy side Friday when he criticized Republican lawmakers for their transportation proposal.

At a press conference, he said the GOP plan to fix roads and bridges by using $200 million from the projected state surplus was “pure fantasy.”

The governor’s own proposal to pay for road and bridge repair is to raise nearly $6 billion over ten years by increasing the gas tax and license fees.

Dayton scolded the Republican leaders for their plan, saying: “That’s not a solution. That’s not a short-term solution, that’s not a long-term solution, and it demonstrates that they don’t understand the problem, and they certainly don’t have any serious interest in finding a real solution.”

While he was at it, Dayton also attacked the Minneapolis Park Board, which has slowed the Southwest light rail transit project with a legal challenge.

He said their action may jeopardize federal funding for project.”If I’m in the position of a federal allocator and I’ve got a dozen other communities that are vying for this same money that are cohesive on their goals and are ready to go, it’s pretty obvious to me that these shenanigans are going to place Minnesota’s proposal back at the end,” he said.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 01/10/2015 - 11:32 am.

    Transportation Funding

    I have to agree with Dayton on this one. When you need an extra billion dollars per year on top of the current budget just to keep up with road repairs, doing a one-time boost of $200 million just doesn’t cut it.

    A couple of other items to consider:
    1. At the same time the Republicans want to drop in $200 million, they want to slash the transportation department budget to $750 million.

    2. Republican legislature wants to build more roads in outstate Minnesota, which will take more money to construct and even more funds to maintain.

    I’m not sure where they think all the magical money is going to come from, but this looks like more of the tactics Pawlenty used: borrow from Peter to pay Paul. Maybe the state GOP will get serious about governing and we can get some real work done. So far though this doesn’t meet even that minimal standard.

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