KEYC - Senate Republicans Outline Transportation Plan

Senate Republicans Outline Transportation Plan

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ST. PAUL, Minn. -

Senate Republicans have outlined their priorities for transportation to fund billions of dollars in road and bridge repairs without raising the gas tax.

Legislation unveiled today would tap a mixture of existing taxes on car parts and other automobile expenses, federal grants and borrowing to drum up $3.6 billion over the next decade.

The plan is calling for replacing or repairing 8,800 miles of roads and 200 bridges. 

Senate Democrats immediately criticized the plan as falling far short of what's necessary, including its lack of funding for mass transit projects.

Republicans say their main concern is fixing aging and failing infrastructure.

Senator John Jasinski (R-Faribault) said, "We in outstate Minnesota are funding 50 percent of the operating costs of these light rail projects and really don't have any input. So if the CTIB [Counties Transit Improvement Board] are coming up with these plans and South West Light Rail is an example, if they're coming up with the program or the plan for it and we as tax payers have to fund 50 percent of that operating cost, that's where people get concerned."

Jasinski, who vice–chairs the transportation committee says Highway 14 and Corridors of Commerce funding will be in the bill.

The Legislature has failed for several years to finalize a long–term transportation funding plan.

--KEYC News 12