ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — It’s something you don’t see every day at the Capitol. State lawmakers are asking Washington not to send almost $1 billion in aid.

Minnesota House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a 10-year, $2 billion transportation bill that eliminates operating funds for the Southwest Light Rail Transit line.

Minnesota is eligible for $895 million in federal funding for the Southwest LRT line in Minneapolis and the western suburbs. But Republican critics are trying to stop the train in its tracks.

Eighty-four Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao opposing any more federal funding for the project, calling it “counter-productive” to Minnesota’s best interests. They say the magnitude of their concerns, including the size and cost of the project, are so great they’re willing to let the money go unspent.

“I look at the fact that 40 percent of what the federal government spends is borrowed money.  I mean we just have to start to recognize that we just can’t look to the federal government to keep funding wants and wishes that we have,” Rep. Linda Runbeck with the House Transportation Policy Committee said.

The bill authored by Republicans uses a mix of existing budget money and some borrowing to pay for roads. One interesting item: Republicans want to assess a $75 annual fee on owners of electric cars. Most of us pay for roads with a tax on gasoline. Electric car owners would be asked to pay a little also.

[graphiq id=”fPGP0XLaox7″ title=”The United States Transportation” width=”600″ height=”566″ url=”″ link=”” link_text=”FindTheHome | Graphiq” ]

Comments (2)
  1. So very nice to see the Pubics moving us backward in time! I can hardly wait until we progress all the way to 1950 again.

  2. John Hillan says:

    Politicians promote road construction over federal money projects because of “CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS “. Few companies do road construction, and those that do send bribes through Lobbyists to local politicians to select them for lucrative road projects. Light rail helps the poor who just happen to vote democratic. To refuse almost 900 million dollars of federal government money to pay for light rail and ignoring our states expansion is short sighted at least and hypocritical at best. The GOP is the “What’s in it for me”? type of politicians who should be voted out of office. They are the worst of the worse. The Public be dammed.

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