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RELEASE: Democrats choose politics over people, end special session talks over light rail train

Friday, August 19, 2016

ST. PAUL, MN—After months of negotiations, Democrats announced Thursday their intention to walk away from special session talks over an impasse on Southwest Light Rail. The controversial project, which is facing multiple lawsuits and has a jury trial expected to begin in 2017, was the last remaining obstacle of disagreement for a special session to re-pass the tax bill vetoed by Governor Dayton and a major transportation & bonding bill that would benefit communities across Minnesota.
Representative Bob Dettmer (R- Forest Lake) issued the following statement:
"I'm extremely disappointed that Governor Dayton and Senate Leadership chose to throw away tax relief and important transportation and bonding projects throughout the state in favor of SouthWest Light Rail funding," said Dettmer. "It's disheartening that even though House GOP and Senate DFL leadership, as well as Governor Dayton, agreed on 99% of the other provisions discussed, Democrats held strong to a project that is currently facing legal challenges and would likely waste millions in taxpayer dollars every year in on-going operating cost shortfalls. It's unfortunate that the SouthWest Light Rail was the Democrats' number one priority, and not the wellbeing of Minnesotans."