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Assistant Majority Leader Melissa Hortman was named to the joint House-Senate Conference Committee on Transportation today, an appointment that reflects her expertise on the issue. The committee will iron out the differences between the different transportation bills passed by the House and Senate. Hortman said that she would use her seat on the Committee to advocate for increased investment in Minnesota's deteriorating transportation system.
"Its an important time for transportation in Minnesota. Its time to get the job done," Hortman said. "I am thrilled to be appointed to this committee because I believe there is common ground, I am hopeful we can find a compromise that everybody can be happy with."
Conference Committees are plum appointments because they shape the final bill that will be voted on by both houses and sent to the Governor. The Transportation Conference Committee consists of only five members from the 134 member House and an equal delegation from the Senate. Seats on Conference Committees are usually reserved for very senior members but Hortman, who is only in her second term, was chosen because of her knowledge of transportation issues.
"My constituents are very concerned about transportation," she said. "They are tired of wasting hour after hour stuck in traffic."
Congestion on Metro roads has increased over 1500% in the past 20 years. The average Twin Cities commuter now spends over forty hours per year in stuck in traffic.