Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More on the Governor's bonding proposal

Pawlenty outlined the need to fund roads and bridges in his bonding proposal. By vetoing the 2007 Transportation Bill that would have funded a majority of these project by increasing the gas tax, Pawlenty is keeping important bonding bill money from areas that really need it and have no other rational source for funding.

We have a funding mechanism in place to assist in maintaining our state's infrastructure, specifically our states roads and bridges. Raise the gas tax. According to Article 14, Section 10 of the Minnesota Constitution, all proceeds of the gas tax go to our state's roads.

Perhaps Jason Lewis, Marty Seifert, Tom Emmer, Dean Urdahl and others ought to read this document. Instead, they perpetuate the myth that the gas tax proceeds will be eaten up by mass transit.

So Pawlenty's plan to bond for our state's roads and bridges takes needed money from higher education. It takes money away from public safety. It takes money away from our state's environmental needs.

It represents Governor Pawlenty trying to make up for a bridge that collapsed on his watch, while he ignores other areas of need in Minnesota.

Senator Tarryl Clark gets it.
But local governments might not have the money available to match funds for so many projects at once, or have the planning work ready, said Sen. Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud.

"We need to look at projects that can get under way quickly and can jump-start the economy, and while I agree that roads and bridges are important, I'm not sure it's practical to put three times as much money into them as what locals have requested."

A comprehensive transportation funding bill is needed to make progress on the state's infrastructure, Clark said.

And the news today got even better!

"Minnesota is in a recession." Minnesota state economist Tom Stinson.

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