ST. PAUL, MN—After months of negotiations, Democrats announced Thursday their intention to walk away from special session talks over an impasse on Southwest Light Rail. The controversial project, which is facing multiple lawsuits and has a jury trial expected to begin in 2017, was the last remaining obstacle of disagreement for a special session to re-pass the tax bill vetoed by Governor Dayton and a major transportation & bonding bill that would benefit communities across Minnesota.
Representative Glenn Gruenhagen (R- Glencoe) issued the following statement:
"I am very disappointed that the Senate DFL and Governor Dayton were unwilling to set aside their absurd spending demands for SouthWest Light Rail, a project that currently faces legal challenges and would almost certainly cost the state millions of dollars every year in operating cost shortfalls," said Gruenhagen. "Even though both sides were in agreement on 99% of the policies addressed in negotiations, the DFL decided to sacrifice tax relief, transportation funding and infrastructure projects throughout the state on the altar of SouthWest Light Rail. This is inexcusable, and should show Minnesotans exactly where Democratic priorities lie in our state."