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

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Minnesota House Expected to Approve Transportation Budget on Monday

Friday, April 26, 2019

St. Paul, MN – The Minnesota House of Representatives is expected to approve a new transportation budget on Monday that makes honest and responsible investments to fix our state’s 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-.”

A fact sheet is available for download here.

“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. Nearly half of all Minnesota vehicles would qualify for lower tab fees. The budget also brings the motor vehicle sales tax in line with all other sales taxes (from 6.5% to 6.875%).

For the first time, the transportation budget establishes an ongoing funding stream for over 700 small cities (with a population under 5,000), who have historically been excluded from dedicated transportation funds.

“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 know that we get what we pay for, and 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.

“Our sustainable long term budget will serve Minnesotans wherever they live whether its a farmer getting goods to market; a worker getting to a job, a senior citizen who needs to get to a doctors appointment, or a college student getting to class,” said Representative Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis), Chair of the Transportation Finance and Policy Division. “This is a chance to invest in a system that is built for the future, while also maintaining and preserving our transportation infrastructure today.”

After the Minnesota House and Senate approve their respective transportation budgets, lawmakers from each chamber form a conference committee to reach agreement on a final version.