Assistant Majority Leader Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) issued the following statement today in response to the release of the February Budget Forecast:
"Last fall, Minnesota voters decided to increase the state's transportation budget by constitutionally dedicating the motor vehicle sales tax to fund road and transit projects. The MVST Amendment will add some additional resources to the transportation pot. Unfortunately, the February Forecast confirms the November numbers showing that motor vehicle sales will slip, resulting in a significant revenue loss. The MVST Amendment, while a good first step in dedicating more money to our transportation needs, is just one small piece of the funding puzzle.
"Our transportation system needs new investment. In fact, $1.7 billion in new money is needed annually to adequately fund our infrastructure. Just last week, Congressman Oberstar told the Legislature that new investments in transportation must be made or Minnesota risks losing millions in federal matching funds.
"This all adds up to a strong need for new transportation funds. I am confident my colleagues will join me in supporting legislation that will provide the funds necessary to build and maintain a better transportation network which will increase safety, decrease congestion and reduce pollution."