GOP Senate Passes $5.8 Billion Transportation Bill with $180 Million to Met Council &
Mass Transit a Huge Raise
Vice Chair Rep. Petersburg Promises No Transit Bills in 2017 House Transportation Omnibus Bill
This article is about the mass transit bills (Light Rail and Bus Corridors) that four of our Washington County GOP State Legislators attempted to sneak into the Republican transportation (roads and bridges) omnibus bills in the House and Senate. They crossed the aisle and joined 29 democrats in this effort. Thankfully, for the tax payers, their efforts to pass one over on the voters by hiding mass transit funding into road and bridge funding bills failed. If they respected the legislative process they would have put their bills through committee, personally defended the need to be funded by the entire state, and put them up as stand alone bills on the floor. They attempted to bypass all these checks and balances and sneak them into an omnibus bill as is common practice by the opposing democrat party. They could still try to sneak their bills into another omnibus bill like the capital investment. But we'll see.
All citizens benefit from state funded roads that are supported by Transportation omnibus bills. Not only for personal transport; but also delivery of goods and services. Mass transit (light rail and bus rapid transit) do not benefit the residents of the state. At best, mass transit only serves immediate residents along the short length of the corridors that are usually less than 20 miles long in Minnesota. They don't deliver goods and services and they don't transport you if you have more than you can carry in your arms. Generous estimates state that only 4% of just Twin City metro commutes are by Mass Transit. Statewide, less than a fraction of 1%. So why should tax dollars meant for roads and bridges go to fund transit lines that statistically very few people use? This is why republicans legislators do not allow transit bills to be hidden inside transportation omnibus bills. Yet four of our legislators broke with their fiscal conservative party principles and attempted to fund wasteful transit spending and worst, in this manner.