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Reader Opinion: Are Lueck, Heintzeman waving the white flag?

The 2015 legislative session has just started and it appears Reps. Dale Lueck and Josh Heintzeman are giving up when it comes to fixing our state's transportation infrastructure. As a rural legislator, I know how important our roads and bridges a...

The 2015 legislative session has just started and it appears Reps. Dale Lueck and Josh Heintzeman are giving up when it comes to fixing our state's transportation infrastructure. As a rural legislator, I know how important our roads and bridges are to residents and farmers.

During the campaign, Reps. Lueck, Heintzman and Republican allies committed to fixing our state's crumbling roads and bridges. But their new leader, Speaker Kurt Daudt, has already admitted Republicans "may not be able to solve this on the long-term basis." And the so called plan that Republicans offered certainly isn't a fix.

HF 4 would spend just $200 million in new, one-time money on transportation over the next two years. That might sound like a lot, but it would only allow us to build about 130 miles of rural two-lane highways, or 40 miles of four-lane highways. Minnesota has 140,000 miles of roadways.

Projections have shown that our state needs $6 billion over the next 10 years just to maintain our state roads and bridges and reduce congestion. For comparison, the DFL-led legislature invested $743 million in transportation over the past two years - an amount that Republicans called inadequate.

To make matters worse, the House GOP's top legislative priority is to cut taxes for corporations. Rather than truly fixing our crumbling roads and bridges, Republicans want to send hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to corporations - the same tired, failed policies of the past.

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Cutting businesses taxes won't boost Greater Minnesota's economy or provide greater economic security for Minnesota families. Will Reps. Lueck and Heintzeman stick with their party boss's plans that favor corporate special interests over rural roads and bridges or will they make good on their promise to fix our state's transportation system? Only time will tell.

Paul Marquart

State Representative

Deputy Minority Leader

District 4B

Related Topics: TRANSPORTATION
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