Update from MNHouseGOP: Senate Democrats’ Sink $700 Million in Road & Bridge Funds for Light Rail

This is the latest installment from Susan Closmore, Director of Public Affairs for the House Republican Caucus regarding the bonding bill that the Senate failed to act upon. 

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Hello everyone,

 Here are some quick points regarding the Senate Democrats’ decision to sink the bonding bill earlier tonight.

 Our bonding bill passed off the House floor with broad, bipartisan support (91-39) and would have funded regionally critical projects including:

  • $60 million for Highway 23 New London to Paynesville
  • $45 million for U.S. Highway 14 Owatonna to Dodge Center
  • $30 million for U.S. Highway 10 Hanson Blvd. to Round Lake Blvd.$
  • 40 million for Land acquisition U.S. Highway 14 Nicollet to New Ulm
  • $34.5 million for City of Moorhead Railroad crossing separation
  • $20 million for Cliff Road and I-35W Improvements
  • $25 million for Interstate 35W/CSAH 3 Transit Access Project
  • $20.5 million for Interstate 694/Rice Street Interchange
  • $14.7 million for rail grade crossing separation in City of Red Wing
  • $11.9 million for rail grade crossing separation in Anoka County
  • $12.5 million for Small Cities Road Assistance, a new program established by House Republicans in 2015, brings biennial total to $25 million

IF YOU REMEMBER ONE THING: Senate Democrats made a choice to hold funding for our roads and bridges hostage for an expensive train in Minneapolis, and in the final moments of session, sunk a bonding bill that included projects to fix some of Minnesota’s most regionally important projects including Highway 14, Highway 10, and Highway 23. House Republicans will continue to fight for the vast majority of Minnesotans who rely on our road and bridge infrastructure.

 Senate Democrats even admitted on Twitter that they killed the bonding bill over Southwest Light Rail. Senator Ron Latz from St. Louis Park, who earlier this year signed a letter to Senator Bakk threatening to withhold support for a bonding bill unless Southwest was funded, tweeted following the vote:

Despite Democrats’ last-minute, political maneuvers, House Republicans are proud to have prioritized middle-class families by passing more than half a billion dollars in tax relief for farmers, college graduates with student loan debt, veterans, and more; generational reforms to improve quality-of-life for Minnesota’s aging adults and historic levels of education funding.

 Have a good night,

Susan Closmore

Director of Public Affairs

House Republican Caucus

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