2015 - A Critical Year for Transportation

Transportation, not environment, tops Inhofe's priorities for 2015  Tulsa World

“Transportation and infrastructure are going to be the first thing out of the chute,” he says.
If there is one thing Inhofe cares about more than environmental regulation, it’s transportation. 

For years he has fumed about Congress’ inability to pass a long-term surface transportation bill.
In many cases, fellow Republicans have held up the transportation bill because of the cost. 

Inhofe says the “true conservative” position is to properly fund and maintain the system.

Dayton's to-do list: Transportation, education take priority  Pioneer Press

Gov. Mark Dayton is preparing to go all in on a highway-and-transit upgrade package that could cost drivers a dime or more extra on a gallon of gas and metro shoppers a nickel more on every $10 taxable purchase, a trade-off the Democrat described Monday as vital to a transportation network he sees as choked and crumbling.

Dayton said his formal proposal is still being refined, but he called it one of his top two agenda items for the upcoming legislative session.

As Dayton spoke, he drew a cheat sheet from his pocket with calculations about various funding mechanisms, including a new wholesale tax on gas that is emerging as the cornerstone of his plan.

Higher Minnesota taxes? State legislators undecided  InForum

In most years, Republicans could be expected to reject any tax increase proposal. But some in the GOP, including a leader or two, say there could be tax increases for priority items such as nursing homes and transportation. Democrats in general are much more open to raising taxes to fund new or expanded programs.

“I don’t think this is the time of year you rule out taxes,” said Rep. Paul Torkelson, R-Hanska. “This is the time you throw all the spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks.”

House speaker-designate Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, has left the door open, if only slightly, for new tax revenues.