ST. PAUL – State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Nelson Township) said he voted in favor of a transportation funding proposal on the Minnesota House floor recently because it prioritizes improved road funding even in these tight economic times.
“Even though Minnesota is facing a projected $5.1 billion deficit, rural Minnesota transportation needs will continue to be met under this proposal,” Torkelson said.
Torkelson noted that under the proposal, state highway spending would increase by $120 million, and local road investments would increase by over $126 million. Greater Minnesota transit would also increase by $1 million.
In order to help reduce government spending, the bill deletes general fund appropriations for metro transit. Torkeslon noted that many of these reductions occur by adjusting general fund appropriations for the added revenue provided by increased Motor Vehicle Sales Tax receipts.
In other words, instead of using general fund revenue to help subsidize fares for people who travel on the Minneapolis light rail system, more of those funds will be used for programs like schools and nursing homes.
“This transportation bill is fiscally responsible and recognizes that Minnesota’s roads and highways are truly our state’s top transportation priority,” Torkelson said.