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RELEASE: Garofalo announces Zip Rail compromise that protects taxpayers

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SAINT PAUL, MN—Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, announced Tuesday that he has reached an agreement with Zip Rail advocates on legislative language that protects taxpayers but leaves the door open for private funding for the proposed high-speed rail line between the Twin Cities and Rochester.

Under the agreement, no tax dollars would be used to fund rail construction, land acquisition, rail car purchases, or the operation of the line itself, while still allowing the project to move forward if it can be funded privately.
"I want to thank Zip Rail advocates for their willingness to compromise and am confident that the agreement reached will protect taxpayers from the financial costs of the Zip Rail proposal," Garofalo said. "I believe this agreement can be a template for future proposed commuter rail proposals moving forward."
Garofalo has been an outspoken opponent of the Zip Rail proposal, introducing legislation last year, and again this session that would block MnDOT from using tax dollars to move forward with the project.
Garofalo said he would introduce the compromise language legislation in the coming week.