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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL)

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RELEASE: House DFL Majority Announces New Transportation Budget

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

St. Paul, Minn. – The House DFL Majority today announced a new transportation budget that makes honest investments to fix our roads, bridges, and transit. The American Society of Civil Engineers rated Minnesota’s roads as “D+” on their most recent infrastructure report card. Bridges received a “C” and transit was awarded a “C-.” Members of the public can find a copy of the budget posted on the Transportation Division webpage, which is listed online at house.mn/committees.

 

A fact sheet with more information is available for download here.

 

“Our transportation budget makes tangible, honest investments that will improve the lives of all Minnesotans, no matter where you live or what you look like,” said Rep. Frank Hornstein, Chair of the Transportation Division. “Minnesotans are not well served by driving on roads and bridges that are more than 50 years old. It’s time to be responsible and fix our crumbling infrastructure.”

 

The cornerstone of the House DFL Majority’s transportation budget is a gas tax increase phased in over four years to pay for honest investments for roads and bridges. At five cents per year over four years, it raises nearly $600 million in Fiscal Years 2020-2021 and $1.1 billion in Fiscal Years 2022-23 in constitutionally-dedicated revenue that cannot be spent on anything else.

 

“Minnesotans expect our transportation system to be safe, modern, and efficient, but our roads are crumbling, our bridges are structurally deficient, and our transit system is under-developed,” said House Speaker Melissa Hortman. “The Minnesota Values Budget makes significant, honest investments to address the safety risks posed by our aging infrastructure and improve our transit system.”

 

The House DFL Majority’s transportation budget reverses destructive Republican budgeting that shifts more than $400 million in general fund dollars meant for schools, health care for seniors and people with disabilities, and other social safety net programs that Minnesotans depend on to live dignified lives. Instead, it raises those revenues honestly. In addition to a gas tax increase phased in over four years, the budget raises approximately $461 million in new revenue through changes in tab fees in Fiscal Years 2020-2021 and more than $650 million in Fiscal Years 2022-23. Minnesotans with older cars will see a reduction in tab fees. The budget also brings the motor vehicle sales tax in line with all other sales taxes (from 6.5% to 6.875%).

 

“Instead of Republican plans to pit regions against each other or pull money from other budget areas like health care and education, House DFLers are proposing a comprehensive, long-term solution to our transportation needs,” said House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler. “Minnesotans understand that these investments are needed to deliver a safe, sustainable, and modern transportation system.”

 

The House DFL Majority’s transportation budget prioritizes better access to transit for Minnesotans who need to get to work, school, and other public places. It funds honest investments in transit by raising approximately $400 million in Fiscal Years 2020-2021 from a half-cent metro-wide sales tax increase.

 

“Minnesotans expect us to maintain and improve our transportation system because it keeps us safe, it creates good jobs, and it makes our state a better place to live,” said Rep. Brad Tabke, Vice Chair of the Transportation Division. “We can’t continue with the band-aid solutions for the potholes, deteriorating bridges, leaving transit users behind, and hope for a dependable solution.”

 

The new transportation budget receives a public hearing today at 12:45 p.m. in Room 10 at the State Office Building. A video replay of this morning’s entire announcement is available here. A high-resolution photo of the announcement is available here.


 

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