Minnesota leaders this week highlighted the state’s critical need for increased transportation funding:
- County officials told the state legislature on April 11 that they have done all they can to raise local transportation funds, and that new revenue is needed from St. Paul. Read More.
- Later that day, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (Democratic-Farmer-Laborer Party) and Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle inspected an aging bridge in order to bring awareness to the state’s transportation funding needs. Read More.
- Minnesota Senate Democrats released a budget plan April 13 that includes a gas tax increase to fund state transportation maintenance and improvements. Read More.
- The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) issued a press release April 14 stating that there were 44 fewer transportation construction projects and $70 million less in funding for the 2016 construction season when compared to last season. Read More.
The state is facing critical transportation funding needs. On Nov. 5, MnDOT determined the state’s transportation funding shortfall has increased by $3.8 billion to $16.3 billion over the next 20 years. The previous plan, which examined the 2014-2033 period, reported a transportation funding gap of $12.5 billion. Transportation advocates are hoping that lawmakers can reach an agreement to address this shortfall and create long-term transportation funding this legislative session.
Reactions from Minnesota:
“Forecasts for state transportation revenue show that our need is quickly outstripping the available resources. Minnesota’s roads, bridges, and transit networks form the backbone of our economy. Our plan would provide the resources we need to create a 21st Century transportation system and build an economy that works for all Minnesotans. I urge the Legislature to pass a long-term, sustainable funding solution this year.” – Lt. Gov Tina Smith, MnDOT Press Release
“What we need now is a long-term vision for Minnesota’s transportation system. It’s all in the arithmetic. Our needs are outpacing our revenue projections. If we don’t increase the revenue, we cannot plan for good, capital investments. Our system will continue to degrade and not provide the necessary support our economy needs.” – Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle, MnDOT Press Release
“Stop the partisan fighting and let’s just get out and get this done. We know it’s got to be constitutionally dedicated because if not, next year when we’re in the hole, transportation (funding) is going to get cut off because children, elderly — that’s all going to be first. And then our roads are really going to take a beating.” – Blue Earth County Commissioner Vance Struehrenberg, the Post-Bulletin