Blogs

Come to the Capitol Feb 23  

Transportation Day is Feb 23 details here

Job Creation and Transportation Infrastructure  

A press conference highlighting the connections between investment in transportation infrastructure and job creation was held Monday, October 24. This conference was held in anticipation of Governor Dayton's 2011 Job Summit that will be discussing Minnesota's economic growth and job creation strategies. Monday's press conference focused on the ability of transportation projects to get people working on the transportation system businesses need to move people and products, featuring the Minnesota Transportation Alliance's Roadmap to 2040.

Below are some articles detailing the press conference:

"It’s jobs, jobs, jobs at the Capitol," The Daily Globe

"Jobs summit in St. Paul seeks common ground on growth," The Pioneer Press

 "Senate GOP seeks business tax cuts, regulation moratorium," The Star Tribune

Press Release by The MN Transportation Alliance: Business and Community Leaders Encourage Transportation to Play a Significant Role in Minnesota’s Jobs Creation Plan

Roadmap to 2040  

Long-range transportation plan

Download here

End of the Gas Tax?  

 

   As the country once again faces a deadline with respect to authorization for federal surface transportation funding of September 30th, some interests are advocating that the authority to collect the 18.4 cent per gallon federal fuel tax (and other fees that are deposited in the Highway Trust Fund) be allowed to expire.  An expiration of this authority will cost the country’s transportation system about $100 million per day.  Clearly any failure to extend SAFETE-LU will be disastrous for Minnesota.  

Fortunately, Grover Norquist announced today that he does not view an extension of the existing gas tax as a tax increase or breaking the anti-tax pledge. See story here

We hope the issue of extending the current federal gas tax will not be controversial. This editorial from the New York Times sums up the situation well:

 

News from Washington  

UPDATE: President Obama signed a bill to increase the debt ceiling.  This includes cuts over the next 10 years, however what these cuts are is unclear.  The next step is to create 2012 fiscal budget bills, including the transportation bill, where the cuts will become apparent.  

The FAA shut down continues and looks like it won't be resolved until August recess is over.

The news out of Washington has been dominated by the negotiations over raising the nation’s debt ceiling prior to August 2nd.  The impacts of this debate for transportation are not clear – but with major cuts proposed for all “domestic discretionary spending” transportation is likely to be hit in the efforts to reduce the federal deficit- which will clearly be part of any deal to increase the debt ceiling.

Mn/Dot Letter Honors Contracts  

 

 

 

Contractor Claims  

 

The language in the recently passed State Government Finance bill is proving tricky.  It states “No appropriation under this or any other law, regardless of when enacted, may be used to pay or settle judgments for damages by contractors or third parties arising out of, or related to, the government shutdown of July 2011.” (Section 57.5-57.7)  However, Mn/Dot has already expressed that they would be taking and honoring contractor claims.  Mn/Dot is expected to release a letter stating that its departments will honor claims despite what bill says.  No letter has been received as of Friday, July 22 morning. 

Check out the Alliance End of Shutdown page here

End of the Shutdown  

Yesterday Governor Dayton called the legislature back into session at 3:00 p.m. in order for legislature to pass a new two-year budget based on the agreement reached last week between the governor and legislative leaders.

After about 12 hours of work, the legislature adjourned at about 3:45 a.m., sending 12 bills to the governor’s desk. In addition to the budget bills, the legislature passed a capital bonding bill, legislation the Transportation Alliance had been promoting all session and after the government shutdown. The Alliance sent information to every legislator with a list of bridges that could be repaired or replaced in 2011 with about $76 million in state bridge bonds.  In addition, we urged legislators to pass funding for local roads, transit ways, transit facilities, ports and rail improvements.

The Final Capital bonding bill totaling $497.578 million contains