Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)

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mulad
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Re: Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)

Postby mulad » February 28th, 2019, 11:18 am

The governor's proposed budget was released this week: https://mn.gov/governor/budget/

Is this mostly a "bonding bill"? I've really only been looking at the transportation section. I'm not sure how much is usually directly appropriated vs. being paid through bonds.

I've mostly been focused on the $11 million proposed for the Northern Lights Express, 2nd daily Twin Cities to Chicago train, and possibly other stuff. I think that's more than we've seen for intercity rail in at least a few years, but it still seems really low, especially if NLX is virtually ready to go after an extended study period, and the 2nd daily train really should be ready to go even if it's been dragging on forever too.

I sent a note to my local representatives recommending $155 to $235 million, based on probably needing $110 million in local dollars for a $550m NLX (20%/80% local/federal split), $25 to $50 million for a 2nd daily train (kind of pulled out of thin air based on $100m to $200m ranges I've heard of, which could be split 3 ways between MN, WI, and the feds; or perhaps paying just for a couple sets of rolling stock), and $20 to $75 million for a Northstar extension (50%/50% split of a $40 to $150 range I recently saw in the news).

I also recommended setting up a funding mechanism for a sustained $100m to $200m annually, which I think would be a pretty good level over the long term (probably eventually becoming repair and operating subsidy funding rather than used for expansion, though hopefully it could set up something extending in several directions and then work on electrification on a 2nd pass before it went almost totally steady-state...).

Of course, if there are plans for a budget addition that's not so bonding-heavy, maybe I'm complaining about nothing, but I feel like at least those three projects should be considered for pretty substantial funding over the next 2-4 years so we can move on to other stuff.

mulad
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Re: Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)

Postby mulad » March 1st, 2019, 2:53 pm

Interesting note in here that Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman (DFL) would like to see a bigger bonding bill than the governor, in the range of $3 billion rather than $1.3.

https://www.minnpost.com/state-governme ... t-surplus/

tmart
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Re: Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)

Postby tmart » May 24th, 2019, 10:59 pm

Here's the transportation funding bill that came out of the special session. AFAICT there's no funding for transit expansions except Northstar. Not terribly surprising, but deeply embarrassing and disappointing nonetheless.

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Re: Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)

Postby alexschief » May 25th, 2019, 7:37 am

There is supposed to be a $500 million bonding bill (that nobody has seen yet, feels like the legislature has traded acrimony for secrecy) where the D Line might be funded. But again, it's crunch time and nobody has seen this bill. Frustrating.

Tom H.
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Re: Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)

Postby Tom H. » May 25th, 2019, 9:44 am

Startribune is reporting that the borrowing bill got punted to next session, likely due to Kurt Daudt's objections.

Link

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Anondson
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Re: Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)

Postby Anondson » May 25th, 2019, 10:52 am

Continued evidence of bad faith concern trolling by the “bus instead of LRT” GOP leadership.

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Re: Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)

Postby Bakken2016 » May 25th, 2019, 10:53 am

Anondson wrote:Continued evidence of bad faith concern trolling by the “bus instead of LRT” GOP leadership.
They only want regular fixed route service, anything more than that they could care less.


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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)

Postby VacantLuxuries » May 25th, 2019, 12:02 pm

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, began Friday balking at the idea his caucus would vote to suspend the rules, saying one-day special session would leave too little time for legislators to fully review the bills.
"I'm appalled that legislators would do this. It's my trademark strategy, they should at least ask me or pay me royalties."

tmart
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Re: Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)

Postby tmart » May 27th, 2019, 3:22 pm

Bakken2016 wrote:
May 25th, 2019, 10:53 am
Anondson wrote:Continued evidence of bad faith concern trolling by the “bus instead of LRT” GOP leadership.
They only want regular fixed route service, anything more than that they could care less.


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I don't see any evidence they want even that. Given the events of the past few years I think it's best to assume the MN GOP's comments on specific details of transit (mode choice, etc.) are always being made in bad faith. To the extent that they express support for any plan or mode it's simply because it's the cheaper of two alternatives being proposed, and when the time comes to fund one of those alternatives they consistently refuse to.

Shouldn't let the DFL off the hook either; with the Governor's Mansion and the State House they have leverage and are clearly prioritizing other spending over transit. They let Daudt fall back on "bonding bills are hard" too easily, instead of hammering on the real damaging impacts (congestion, emissions, housing, economy, etc.) this continuing obstructionism has.

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Re: Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)

Postby DanPatchToget » May 27th, 2019, 3:59 pm

^Gonna have to agree with tmart. If there are any Republicans who support better transit they're either not in office or they don't put in even the tiniest effort to get these improvements funded.


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