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State Representative Paul Torkelson

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Posted: 2017-05-24
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Press Release

RELEASE: House approves historic investment in roads & bridges


 
ST. PAUL, MN—On Wednesday, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved the Transportation Omnibus bill, Special Session House File 3, on a vote of 74-54. The bill represents the largest investment in roads and bridges in a decade, putting billions toward the state’s transportation needs over the next ten years without raising the gas tax or license tab fees.
 
“This historic transportation deal is a victory for Minnesotans who have waited for years for legislators to come together to fund our roads and bridges," said Rep. Paul Torkelson, R-Hanska, Chair of the House Transportation Finance Committee. "We showed Minnesotans we can make major investments in our transportation infrastructure using existing funds. I'm grateful for the involvement of the governor's office and legislators on both sides of the aisle who came together to make this agreement a reality."
 
The proposal uses transportation-related state tax revenues to invest billions into roads and bridges over the course of the next ten years. Key provisions in the transportation bill include:
  • $16 million in FY18/19 for Small Cities Assistance Program for cities under 5,000
  • $25 million to fund over 97 bridges on MNDOT's priority list
  • Statewide investment in roads: $102 million in trunk highway, $48 million for counties, $15 million for cities
  • Ensuring that state funding will not be used to cover for operating costs of the proposed Southwest Light Rail
“Minnesotans have made clear that they wanted us to prioritize roads and bridges, and Republicans have delivered on this critical priority,” said House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown. “Representative Torkelson's leadership has been pivotal to passing this historic legislation which represents perhaps the largest investment Minnesota has ever made in roads and bridges without a tax or fee increase."
 
Now passed by the House, the agreement is expected to pass the Senate and will go to the governor’s desk for a signature. The bill is part of a Special Session agreement struck by House and Senate leaders and Governor Dayton to finish the 2018-2019 biennium budget.

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