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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL)

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Release: Minnesota House Concurs with Senate on Southwest Light Rail Project Audit, Sends to Governor

Thursday, March 17, 2022

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – This afternoon, the Minnesota House of Representatives concurred with the Minnesota Senate on legislation requiring the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) to conduct a special review and program evaluation of the extension of the Green Line, commonly known as the Southwest light rail (LRT) project. 
“We’re one step closer to delivering transparency and accountability to a project that has a history of cost overruns and delays” said Rep. Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis), House Transportation chair and author of the legislation. “I look forward to the Governor signing this important bill into law.”

Under the legislation, the OLA will examine the reasons for project delays and cost increases, whether the schedule and costs were properly managed, and whether the Met Council gave sufficient scrutiny to route decisions and design choices that have changed project plans and costs. 

The OLA will evaluate current practices on cost estimating, contracting, negotiations, management, and hirings resulting in cost overruns or cause schedule delays. The legislation also requires the OLA and the Met Council to perform a cost-benefit analysis of the project and analyze the level of financial risk of further changes. Rep. Hornstein’s bill will also make the OLA structure recommendations on how the Met Council and Hennepin County can avoid overruns and delays, mitigate risks, assure quality, and increase transparency.