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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Paul Torkelson (R)

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RELEASE: House passes proposed constitutional amendment to fund roads and bridges

Thursday, May 17, 2018
ST. PAUL, MN—Seeking to build on the historic transportation investments made in the 2017 budget session, the Minnesota House passed legislation (HF4437) Thursday on a bipartisan 76-54 vote sponsored by State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) that would constitutionally dedicate existing sales tax revenue from auto parts to statewide road and bridge construction.

“Anyone driving around our state knows our roads need more work, and it takes money to do that,” Torkelson said. “It's my hope that this fall, voters can decide if it makes sense to use taxes already being collected from the sales of auto parts in order to continue this road and bridge prioritization. If they vote favorably, we not only will improve our transportation infrastructure but also support thousands of good paying union jobs across our state and put people to work.”

If approved by the Minnesota House and Senate, voters would decide this November whether or not to redirect the already-collected sales taxes to road and bridge repair on state, county, township, city and small town projects.

“Last year we approved a law to utilize existing tax collections to fund road and bridge repair, and the result is a multi-billion dollar investment over the next decade,” Torkelson said. “This is the logical next step, as we always seem to have trouble finding needed resources as they are always in competition with other portions of the state budget. If voters decide to set aside this revenue, we can assure that it will be spent on roads and bridges.”
Torkelson was joined by House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, and supporters from a broad coalition of groups including labor, business, and agriculture at a press conference Thursday morning urging support for the bill. You can watch highlights from that availability here.