DFLers in the Minnesota Senate have put their foot on the gas to accelerate their plan to invest in roads, bridges, and transit. Minnesota roads haven’t seen a comprehensive investment since legislators overrode Governor Pawlenty’s transportation veto after the 35W Bridge collapse in 2008. And last year, despite a budget surplus, Republicans said, “our way or the highway,” refusing to compromise to pass a long-term, sustainable transportation plan, and pumping the brakes on any new funding.
According to MnDOT, the state faces a big roadblock with a funding shortfall of over $16 billion over the next 20 years. This problem is compounded by the lack of investment made in our transportation infrastructure in recent years, and the growing demands on our aging transportation network.
Minnesotans in every area of the state need to be able to rely on a transportation system that works for everyone. While it’s likely Republicans will continue to oppose any middle-of-the-road compromise on a transportation bill, here’s hoping that they don’t bring talks of a comprehensive, long-term transportation plan to a screeching halt again this session.