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Author Archives: Charley Shaw

Bell tolls for the gas tax

DFL legislative leaders have taken a proposed increase in the state’s per gallon gasoline tax off the table. Although nothing at the Legislature is ever truly dead until adjournment, the fate of the gasoline tax appears to be sealed, according to news reports and the House and Senate transportation chairs.

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Zelle floats bonding for transportation

Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration on Thursday for the first time floated an idea to House and Senate transportation negotiators for funding highway construction. Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle told the House and Senate transportation conferees that $300 million in trunk highway bonding would be a way to pick up the pace on improving the state’s transportation infrastructure.

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House and Senate are divided over truck weight increases

The House and Senate are at odds with each other in conference committee over raising the allowable truck weights for freight loads on Minnesota roads. In a proposal that pits the aggregate industry against the railroad industry, the Senate has proposed to increase weight limits for freight hauling trucks on state and local roads from the current 80,000 pound limit.

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Senate Legacy bill is headed to the floor

The Senate Finance Committee has passed its Legacy bill to the floor. Sportsmen and conservation groups favor the Senate's bill because it is limited to the recommendations of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. The House adds projects that weren't vetted by the council.

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Senate revives gas tax during floor session

In the latest in a number of about-faces on transportation this session, the Senate cracked open the omnibus transportation bill on the floor and inserted a gas tax increase to pay for road and bridge projects and a sales tax increase in the seven-county metro area for transit projects.

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