Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Thursday a bill raising the gas tax to pay for road construction would face a certain veto.
The House legislation includes several other tax increases as well. Gov. Pawlenty has threatened to veto a gas tax increase, and the votes in both chambers fell short of the margin required to override a veto.
Democrats in the Minnesota Senate have made their position clear on the need for a large state investment into roads, bridges and transit.
They passed a transportation funding bill Friday that includes a 10-cent per gallon gas tax increase, setting up a showdown with Gov. Pawlenty.
A few Republicans in the House have already voted in support of the bill. But for DFL lawmakers, the prospect of a veto override still appears out of their reach.
Federal funding for the project could hinge on a smaller pricetag for the 11-mile rail line, scheduled to go on line in 2014.
Two DFL legislators and a group representing dozens of Twin Cities mayors are backing a sales tax increase to pay for transportation projects in the seven-county metropolitan area. Gov. Pawlenty says he doesn't like the plan.
The powerful House Transportation Committee chair said billions of federal highway dollars are available to the state but are going unused.
In the name of highway safety, lawmakers are debating bills to
increase the use of seat belts and child booster seats and cut down
on behind-the-wheel phone calls.
The chairman of the Senate Transportation
Committee doesn't plan to hold confirmation hearings anytime soon on Department of Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau,
suggesting she could face rejection if he did.
Minnesota vehicle owners come out pretty well in Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposed budget. As expected, he does not propose raising the gasoline tax or license tab fees. But some people worried about repairing roads and bridges, and building transit, have some issues with the governor's proposals.
Money collected from the 20-cents-a-gallon state motor fuels tax has flattened out after decades of steady increases. Some politicians say the state needs to explore an alternative.
After years of big budgets for road and bridge construction, state spending on transportation is headed for a sharp drop off.
Declining gas tax revenue and road and transit needs await the 2007 Legislature.
With gas prices at about $2.70 a gallon in
Minnesota on Tuesday, a Republican lawmaker is proposing that the
state temporarily lift its 20-cents-a-gallon gas tax to help
relieve pain at the pump.
What will the Legislature do about transportation and transit this session?