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The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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College students do not typically shop sustainably when fast fashion is quick and easy.
Opinion: Society has made us cheap
Published June 13, 2024

Transportation funding in spotlight

The bill is designed to put funds toward building and maintaining Minnesota’s infrastructure.

State legislators began discussing an $8.4 billion transportation funding bill on Tuesday, the first day of Minnesota’s legislative session.

The package, which resembles a bill vetoed by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty last year, was proposed by DFL senators on the Transportation Committee.

Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, said the bill is designed to build and maintain the state’s infrastructure and that he expects the House and Senate to approve the bill.

“The only way that we’re going to come out of this session with a transportation bill is to override the governor’s veto,” Murphy said. “He’s made it very clear that’s the only way it’s going to happen.”

To override a veto, two-thirds of both houses must support the action.

Murphy said the plan, which could be on the governor’s desk by the end of February, would also create 33,000 new jobs in the state.

Pawlenty’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

It seems like most people agree something needs to be done to increase transportation funding. However, the current political atmosphere in the state could make passing this bill difficult, said Frank Douma, assistant director of the State and Local Policy Program at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

survey methodology

The Environmental Issues Survey was conducted from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, 2007. 923 students responded for an overall survey response rate of 16.1%. The margin of error for the sample is 2.95%, reported as 3% for simplicity.

Additional information about the survey, including a description of the survey methodology and data reporting, can be found on The Minnesota Daily Survey Research Department Web page: survey/survey.php

Questions about the survey can be directed to Dana Adams, director of survey research at The Minnesota Daily. [email protected],
(612) 627-4080 ext. 3846.

“It’s all rolled up in the relationship between this Republican governor and the leadership of this Democratic Legislature,” he said. “They don’t trust each other.”

One of the legislation’s most controversial points is the proposal to increase the gas tax, which has remained the same for 20 years.

The proposal would raise the gas tax by two cents directly following its passage and by another three cents this fall. The current gas tax is 20 cents per gallon.

The proposal would also increase license-tab fees.

“It literally tries to make up for 20 years of no increase in funding, all at once,” Douma said.

Murphy said the state’s gas tax is constitutionally dedicated to be spent on roads and bridges.

According to the Minnesota Daily Environmental Issue Survey, 61 percent of students oppose raising the state’s gas tax.

An annual Metropolitan Council survey showed transportation as the top concern of metro-area residents in 2007.

Among Twin Cities residents who were concerned about transportation, 40 percent suggested improving or increasing mass-transit services.

Metropolitan Council Chairman Peter Bell said bus ridership is at a 25-year high. He also said the council would like to build on its bus and rail systems.

However, Bell also said the council’s ability to expand its transit system depends upon what the Legislature does with a funding package.

“I am convinced that we will get a bill,” Bell said.

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