It was a busy week at the legislature as Republicans released our long term transportation proposal and the second deadline for bill to be heard in committee was Friday.
Transportation Plan Unveiled
On Monday, House and Senate Republicans unveiled our comprehensive, future-oriented transportation proposal that will invest $7 billion in Minnesota’s roads and bridges over the next ten years without raising taxes.
The Road and Bridge Act of 2015 creates a special fund called the Transportation Stability Fund that collects existing proceeds from dedicated tax revenues and deposits them into accounts for each of their dedicated purpose. There are five accounts that would dedicate a combined $3.078 billion over ten years:
Road and Bridge Account – revenue from existing sales tax on auto parts
Metro Capital Improvements Account – revenue from existing sales tax on rental vehicles
Small Cities Account – revenue from existing rental vehicle tax
Greater Minnesota Bus Services Account -revenue from 50% of existing Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax
Suburban County Highway Account – revenue from 50% of existing Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax
In addition to these dedicated funds, our proposal uses $1.3 billion in Trunk Highway bonds, $1.2 billion from realigning MNDOT resources, $1.05 billion in General Obligation bonds, and $228 million in General Funds.
Our plan is in contrast to Governor Dayton and Democrats’ plan that would increase the state’s gas tax by 6.5 percent. Under their plan, rural Minnesota drivers could expect to pay an extra $180 per year – and that number would increase every time the price of gas rises.
According to a recent KSTP-TV poll, 75 percent of respondents are in favor of our plan that would fulfill Minnesota’s transportation needs without raising taxes.
We have brought forward a common sense, thoughtful solution to our infrastructure needs and I am hopeful that Governor Dayton and Democrats will show a willingness to work with us on promoting a fiscally responsible solution to our transportation needs.
Bill Receives Hearing Before Committee
On Tuesday, in the Agriculture Finance Committee, House File 1613 received a hearing. This bill appropriates funds to the state’s noxious weed and invasive plant species assistance account.
This account provides money for the state’s noxious and invasive weed program to work with local governments and landowners to protect the environment, public health, public roads, crops, livestock, or other property in Minnesota from the injurious impacts of noxious and invasive weeds.
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Have a great weekend,