For more information contact: Peter Grafstrom 651-296-5524
SAINT PAUL, MN – Late Tuesday night, Minnesota House Republicans passed a Transportation package by a vote of ___. At a time when $12 billion of investments are badly needed for the state’s road and transit infrastructure, House File 4 provides $6.6 billion of that amount. The bill also drastically cuts the amount of transit services, but does so only in the Twin Cities metropolitan core. Upon voting against the bill, Rep. Mariani released the following statement:
H.F. 4 drastically cuts funding to Metro Transit by $110 million, causing bus service to decline by 23% by 2019. “It’s really disappointing when we see this kind of partisanship when we have a statewide problem,” said Mariani. “These cuts to bus service mean less access to jobs, more congestion, and hundreds of layoffs for Metro Transit – that’s bad for the Twin Cities and bad for our state’s economy.”
“In addition, using General Fund money for roads, as opposed to dedicated taxes, isn’t something we should do because that money is used for schools, health care – the human infrastructure of our state. We shouldn’t be pitting roads against kids, and certainly not when we have a $2 billion surplus,” said Mariani, referring to the $300 million of payment shifts in H.F. 4.
H.F. 4 provides only $5 million towards the $328 million in needed rail safety improvements related to the dangerous, increased use of oil being moved on trains through our neighborhoods. “People in my district are part of the 326,000 Minnesotans who live in the danger zone of an oil train disaster. They continue to see more and more unsafe oil trains roll by – sometimes feet – from their homes. But by not expecting train corporations to pay for increased safety, this bill only addresses 1.5% of the unsafe train intersections and at that rate, we’ll never see things get safer.”