Sen. Murphy expressed his disappointment in Gov. Pawlenty’s May decision to veto a bonding bill, which provided funding for public works projects throughout Minnesota.
“This bonding bill would have provided economic opportunity and built projects all over the state,” said Sen. Murphy. “That the governor would arbitrarily veto the whole bill is simply a tragedy.”
The $334 million bonding package provided funding for emergency relief, transportation projects, environmental protection, infrastructure improvements, and economic development.
“By issuing this veto, the governor is sending a clear indication he wants a train wreck at the end of session and he wants to blame it on the Legislature,” said Sen. Murphy.
The bonding bill provided funding for the planning and study of several transitways, rail lines, and $30 million for local bridge improvements.
“With this veto, the governor is ignoring the safety of our local bridges and completely disregarding the investment needed to move these transit projects forward,” said Sen. Murphy. “This is especially troubling considering that southeast Minnesota has over half of the state’s bridges outside of the metro area. Of those bridges, the vast majority is deficient and need to be replaced.”
Sen. Murphy also expressed concern that this veto could be a sign of trouble for his transportation funding bill.
“I’m beginning to think that the governor will veto our product, no matter what it is. Instead of issuing threats, he should be working with us on developing a compromise,” said Sen. Murphy. “We’re still waiting for him to come to the table and talk with us about how we can address our state’s real and growing transportation needs, Murphy said in a May press release.”
As the Senate chair of the Transportation Conference Committee, Murphy received a letter from the governor where he clearly stated that he would support no tax increases to meet Minnesota’s transportation funding needs. He directed the conference committee, if they wished to make progress this session, to adopt his borrowing plan to fund transportation.
Murphy responded that he and other legislators were willing to work with Pawlenty to craft "a sensible and fair solution to our state’s transportation funding crisis."
Minnesota has $1.7 billion in annual unmet transportation funding needs.
" A lack of investment in our transportation infrastructure will have disastrous effects for our state – leading to increased congestion, increased danger on our roads, and the loss of economic opportunity for our businesses," Murphy said in May.