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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dale Lueck (R)

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More on increased funding for roads/bridges

Friday, June 09, 2017

Dear Neighbor,

The historic investment to improve our roads and bridges stands as a major accomplishment this legislative session.

In my last email update I mentioned that $254.4 million in funding from the bonding bill will go toward improving roads, bridges and rail crossings. That is only part of the transportation story.

This biennium’s transportation finance bill also includes $300 million in new funding. The bill provides the largest investment in roads and bridges in a decade, putting billions toward the state’s transportation needs over the next 10 years without raising the gas tax or license tab fees.

This effort is largely supported by legislation I worked on which directs auto and truck repair sales tax revenue (we already pay) toward roads and bridges. Just a few of the key provisions include:

  • $16 million in FY18-19 for Small Cities Assistance Program for cities under 5,000
  • $25 million to fund over 97 bridges on MNDOT's priority list
  • Statewide investment in roads: $102 million in trunk highway, $48 million for counties, $15 million for cities
  • Township roads receive $4 million for FY18-19 and the Highway User Tax Distribution Fund increase in FY18-19 is $2.6 million for town roads and $1.4 million for town bridges.
  • Ensuring that state funding will not be used to pay the operating costs for the proposed Southwest Light Rail

Local counties will see significant increases for county state aid highway funding, including:

  • Aitkin County will receive $4.9 million in 2017 and nearly $1.4 million in increased funding over the next four years.
  • Crow Wing County will receive $6.8 million in 2017 and nearly $2 million in increased funding over the next four years.

As noted above, cities with populations of fewer than 5,000 residents also receive an additional $16 million for road projects. Here are some examples of how this benefits cities in the district over the next two years:

  • Aitkin: $38,292
  • Crosslake: $79,320
  • Crosby: $42,644
  • Cuyuna $16,046
  • Deerwood $17,492
  • Emily $46,308
  • Fifty Lakes $33,982
  • Fort Ripley $12,454
  • Garrison $16,168
  • Hill City: $20,5300
  • Ironton $17,486
  • Manhattan Beach $9,082
  • McGrath $10,500
  • McGregor $14,492
  • Riverton $11,84
  • Tamarack $8,212
  • Trommald $11,687

The citizens of Minnesota made it clear they wanted the legislature to make road and bridge funding a priority. The state budget we passed and the governor signed does just that. I am pleased to see that after several years of hard work, we were able to work together with the governor on a long term transportation funding plan.

We continue to try to work with the governor on his recent attempt to extinguish the people’s voice through their elected representatives. Unfortunately, his unprecedented action to defund the operation of the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate likely will have be resolved in court.



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