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State Representative Nick Zerwas

433 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-4237

For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522

Posted: Mar 23 2015 5:56PM
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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Legislative Update (3-23-15)


Dear Neighbor,

Minnesota families rely on our state’s road and bridge infrastructure to get their kids to school and themselves to work everyday. In order to ensure that our roads and bridges are safe and functional for Minnesotans, House Republicans set out to deliver a real, long-term solution that addresses our crumbling roads and bridges without putting increased burden on Minnesota families.

On Monday, House and Senate Republican leadership unveiled a comprehensive, future-oriented proposal for improvements to Minnesota’s roads and bridges. Our plan invests $7 billion in transportation improvements over the next decade without raising taxes. This ten-year approach prioritizes road and bridge infrastructure through; immediate repair of roads in Minnesota communities; highway improvements for commuters and commerce; and reliable, long-term finding without raising taxes.

The Road and Bridge Act of 2015 creates a special fund called the Transportation Stability Fund that collects existing proceeds from dedicated tax revenues and deposits them into accounts for each of their dedicated purpose. There are five accounts that would dedicate a combined $3.078 billion over ten years:

  • Road and Bridge Account – revenue from existing sales tax on auto parts

  • Metro Capital Improvements Account – revenue from existing sales tax on rental vehicles

  • Small Cities Account – revenue from existing rental vehicle tax

  • Greater Minnesota Bus Services Account – revenue from 50% of existing Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax

  • Suburban County Highway Account – revenue from 50% of existing Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax

In addition to the dedicated funds provided by the newly created Transportation Stability Fund, our plan uses $1.3 billion in Trunk Highway bonds, $1.2 billion from realigning MNDOT resources, $1.05 billion on General Obligation bonds, and $228 million in General Funds.

A recent poll conducted by KSTP shows that nearly 75 percent of Minnesotans favor our plan of investing real dollars into roads and bridges right now without increasing the burden on Minnesotans. Conversely, only 43 percent support Governor Dayton and Democrats’ plan to levy a new 6.5 percent tax on gasoline, with a minimum 16 cents/gallon increase.

Additionally, I have introduced and am co-author on two bills that address our transportation needs on a local level.

House File 490, which I introduced earlier this session, appropriates money for improvements at the intersection of Highway 101, U.S. Highway 10, and U.S. Highway 169 in Elk River.

House File 201, which I am a co-author, allocates money for a lane expansion on Interstate 94. Expanding I-94 will significantly enhance the safety of traffic flow while making it easier for commuter and commercial traffic to get to their destination. I’ve been advocating for this change for many years including during my time on the Elk River City Council.

I have also introduced legislation this session and am a co-author on an additional bill that makes adjustments to school equity funding. I’ve been working hard on this issue since I was first sworn as a member of the House in 2013 with local school district officials to ensure that the Elk River and Big Lake School Districts receive fair and equitable funding.

As always, you can reach me at rep.nick.zerwas@house.mn. To contact me by phone, call (651) 296-4237. Mail can be sent to Rep. Nick Zerwas, 433 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, Minnesota 55155.

Sincerely,

Nick

Minnesota House of Representatives  ·   100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, MN   55155   ·   Webmaster@house.mn