Lawmakers ask judge to order roadwork in shutdown

Posted at 12:52 PM on July 13, 2011 by Paul Tosto (0 Comments)
Filed under: Roads and transportation

From MPR's Dan Olson:

Two key Minnesota GOP lawmakers today asked Judge Kathleen Gearin to order work to resume on many of the state's shuttered road projects.

Minnesota House transportation committee chairman Mike Beard and Senate transportation committee chairman Joe Gimse told the judge that spending state money during the shutdown for upkeep and rebuilding of roads fits within her order of keeping critical core functions operating during a government shutdown.

"They are subject to erosion, to wear and tear and to damage as they stand at this moment, particularly vulnerable because the projects are not completed and the drainage and weather protection is not intact. To allow that to continue impinges on the public safety and that's the argument we'd make."

Judge Gearin told the lawmakers her order allows for emergency repair and inspection of roads and bridges during the shutdown. She said it is not the role of the court to be the transportation commissioner. Gearin took the request under advisement but said it's the Legislature and the governor's job to agree on a budget that will allow government spending to resume.


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