There has been a lot of controversy about the recent transportation proposal that was unfortunately voted out of the House of Representatives with the votes of a handful of metro Republicans and many liberal DFLers.
We, as rural legislators, joined our rural DFL colleagues, Representatives Lyle Koenen (DFL-Clara City), Kent Eken (DFL-Twin Valley), Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth), Frank Moe (DFL-Bemidji) and Mary Ellen Otremba (DFL-Long Prairie) in voting "NO" on the Erhardt amendment. This amendment hurts rural Minnesota by raising our gas taxes by 50% or 10 cents per gallon and then outrageously changes the funding formula to take money that would go to rural highways and gives it to the metro area for transit funding. Millions of dollars that would otherwise go to rural Minnesota would be taken from our pockets and transferred to the metro area for bus, rail and other transit projects.
Thank goodness Governor Pawlenty is sticking up for the taxpayers and rural Minnesota in promising to veto this very unfair proposal. We are hopeful in getting a fair and balanced transportation package assembled in the legislature, but not at the expense of our rural roads and treating our taxpayers in an unfair manner.
Please contact Governor Pawlenty at 1-800-657-3717 and thank him for sticking up for rural Minnesota.
Representative Dean Urdahl