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District Six MN DOT Report

 I attended a presentation by the new Commissioner of Transportation, Thomas K. Sorel and District 6 staff of the transportation plans for coming years. They explained that the moneys allocated by the legislature would primarily be used for bridge repair and that although their would be some forward movement on pending projects it would be […]

Early Childhood Education – 2008

 This has been called one of the most productive legislative sessions we’ve seen in many years. As you know with the tremendous work of members and staff we were successful in passing increases for transportation, education and nursing home workers. We balanced a $1 billion budget deficit, and passed property tax relief, as well as […]

End of session and beyond

 The 2008 session ended in the midst of the State’s celebration of its 150th birthday. This photo shows the rare occasion where the chandelier of the rotunda was lit. Saturday’s session began at 10:00am and ended at 4:30am the next day. We started up again later on Sunday at 1:00pm. As you might imagine I […]

Information on the Bonding Bill

 On Monday afternoon, April 7, 2008, Governor Pawlenty used the line-item veto 52 times to trim the bonding bill to $717 million – a reduction of 13%. Basically the Governor vetoed thousands of jobs that would have been created all around our state at the time when Minnesota’s economy needs the extra boost. The line-item […]

“Legislature is earning high marks for efficiency”

 That is the headline of a March 14 editorial in the Rochester Post-Bulletin.  The Legislature has accomplished more in one month than some Legislature’s handle in an entire session and we have just begun. Some of the accomplishments are: The first comprehensive transportation package in 20 years. Early passage in the House of a Capital […]

Congestion Relief and Improved Safety on MN Roads

 With the recent creation and passing of the 2008 Transportation Bill we can look forward to improved safety and relief of congestion on our Minnesota roads. A new report released from MnDOT says traffic congestion has increased for the first time in four years. The survey shows 305 miles of congested freeway in the metro […]

Misleading statements about the Transportation Bill override

 A new television ad getting some airing recently has given rise to a misleading statement regarding the deficit and new funding generated by the 2008 Transportation Bill. To set the record straight you need not look very far for evidence to debunk this statement. The issue: Does raising the gas tax affect the current billion-dollar […]


 On Thursday the House passed a bill setting up a compensation fund for the victims of the I35W bridge collapse.  The fund amount is $39,320,000 and the bill requires careful monitoring and reporting of the payouts.  During the day on Thursday, several of the proposed amendments failed, one of which would have defined the catastrophe […]

2008 Transportation Bill

 The 2008 Legislative session has seen, for only the 15th time (9 of those in the Ventura administration) since 1939, a gubernatorial veto. The transportation override means there will be new, dedicated funding for transportation maintenance and projects for years to come. We have known for many years that our transportation infrastructure has suffered from […]