Mondale: When it takes three years to order buses, and you're making decisions five years out, it's very difficult not to have that clarity.Now, Governor Ventura is offering mass transit that clarity in the form of a new so-called "multi-modal transportation fund." Ventura proposes dedicating half the money raised by sales taxes on cars - that's $250 million a year - to the fund, which would in turn be spent on a mix of transportation projects.
Some rural legislators have expressed concern that the recent Department of Transportation study that will guide how much of the fund's money is spent tends to favor "regional centers" like St. Cloud at the expense of smaller towns in more isolated areas.
Ventura: The days of a highway-only transportation program are over. We are committed to creating transportation choices. This plan aggressively addresses improvements that must be made to our existing highway system, and it provides dollars to expand our existing metro and greater Minnesota transit systems.The constitutional dedication of the money to the multi-modal fund would require the voters' approval this fall.
Molnau: Actually, I think the Republicans came out with the initiative first, so I'm glad he's following along.And although Molnau welcomes an overall increase in transportation funding, she's skeptical about what she sees as an "imbalance" in the plan.
Molnau: I think it's weighted very heavily toward the metro area and transit, so I think that's the weighting.Some rural legislators have expressed concern that the recent Department of Transportation study that will guide how much of the fund's money is spent tends to favor "regional centers" like St. Cloud at the expense of smaller towns in more isolated areas.
Pawlenty: We have significant concerns about cost-overruns and the process of management of the proposed current light-rail line.Ventura has heard the implied threats against the Hiawatha line, possibly his proudest achievement during the 1999 legislative session, and he warned Republicans not to use it against him during the current transportation debate.
Ventura: The discussion has been and continues to be hurt by those who want to use it as a forum to fight old battles and attempt to undo old agreements.Ventura is also trying to sweeten the deal for Republicans by combining his transportation plan with a kind of tax cut. The other half of the sales taxes on cars would go toward lowering annual license tab fees, capping them at $75 dollars.