This week, the House is staying busy passing our omnibus budget bills. We will be having our first Saturday session of the year tomorrow, and will continue the long floor sessions next week as well.
The big item this week was the passage of the Road and Bridge Act of 2015 with bipartisan support on a 73-59 vote. The Republican approach puts $7 billion toward roads and bridges over the next 10 years without increasing the gas tax on hardworking families. As the Vice Chair of the House Transportation Committee, I'm proud to have worked with Chair Kelly and other members of the committee on a plan that fits with the priorities Minnesotans care about.
Minnesotans agree by wide margins that they want roads and bridges prioritized without a harmful gas tax increase. Our plan listens to those concerns, and will help fix 15,500 lane miles of road, 330 bridges, and provides funding to small cities.
Our plan is the only plan that provides funding to cities and towns with fewer than 5,000 residents to help them fix their roads as well. Potholes are an issue for Minnesotans in cities of all sizes, so it's important that we give smaller cities, who may not have it in their budget to fix local potholes, help to ensure smooth roads for their citizens to drive on.
Our plan also provides additional dollars into the Corridor of Commerce account to help advance projects like our Highway 14 project.
We will continue working with the Senate and the Governor, and try to convince them that this is the plan and the approach Minnesotans want us to take. Our plan includes dedicated funding, adequately addresses the agreed-upon need to ensure quality roads and bridges, and does it without taking more money from families. We think this is a win/win approach.
Please continue to send me your comments and questions as we reach the last few weeks of session. You can reach me any time by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-5368. You can also follow my updates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repjohnpetersburg.
Have a great weekend,
State Representative, District 24A