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RELEASE: Governor Dayton ends special session talks over light tail train
ST. PAUL, MN—After months of negotiations, Governor Dayton announced Thursday his intention to walk away from special session talks over an impasse on Southwest Light Rail. The controversial project, which is facing multiple lawsuits and has a jury trial expected to begin in 2017, was the last remaining obstacle of disagreement for a special session to re-pass the tax bill vetoed by Governor Dayton and a major transportation & bonding bill that would benefit communities across Minnesota.
Representative Anna Wills (R- Rosemount) issued the following statement:
"It's incredibly disappointing that the Governor and Senate Majority leadership were unwilling to set their spending demands for SouthWest Light Rail aside to pass meaningful tax relief and infrastructure funding for Minnesotans," said Wills. "Both sides of the aisle came to a consensus on all other issues discussed in negotiations; the only sticking-point was Light Rail train funding. As a legislature, we should try to do the most good for the most people possible, and this is an example of Governor Dayton clinging to pet projects instead of prioritizing the well-being of the vast majority of Minnesotans. Existing Light Rail lines costs taxpayers millions of dollars every year in operating cost short falls, and the SouthWest Light Rail project specifically is facing legal challenges. It is so disheartening that the Governor was willing to cut negotiations short over that one funding proposal."
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