Tuesday, February 5, 2013
The pair of bills offer substantially different financing options for the project, but would both see millions of dollars go to the Metropolitan Council.
Two different funding options for the Southwest Light Rail Transit (LRT) line are being considered at the Capitol, after being introduced by Sen. Melisa Franzen (DFL-Edina) Monday morning. Senate File 257 and Senate File 258 both appropriate millions of dollars in bond proceeds to the Metropolitan Council to make the 15-mile light rail route a reality, though they do offer dramatically different amounts. SF 257 would provide $118 million for the project, fully covering the remainder of the state contribution toward the project. SF 258 would provide $37 million. "It is time to move this project forward," Franzen said. "The business community, cities and residents are all on board. We need the Legislature to step up and make an investment …
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Mike Freeman suggested some fixes to state law that would keep guns from people he thinks shouldn’t have them.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-District 46) and Rep. John Lesch (DFL-District 66B) are pushing for five changes to state law that they say would keep guns from people who shouldn’t have them. At a press conference Thursday, Freeman spelled out the following recommendations included in the legislation that’s been introduced: Watch the three men speak about the proposal in the video above. Hearings on the proposal are scheduled for next week in the House and the end of February in the Senate.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Election Day is bringing in a Legislature that should be more supportive of LRT.
For the past couple years, the road ahead for the Southwest Light Rail Transit was uncertain. It faced steeped opposition from leaders in the Republican-controlled Legislature who oversaw key transportation committees. Shakopee Rep. Michael Beard, the former Transportation Policy and Finance Committee chairman, once even said he wanted to stop the project "in its tracks." But all that changed Tuesday night when the DFL took control of both the House and Senate—sweeping in more light rail supporters and handing the reins to a party that’s historically been a bigger backer of public transit. “The bottom line is we didn’t get anywhere (before), so it’s pretty significant to us,” said Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman, chairwoman of …
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
The District 44 senator criticized his colleagues’ decision to leave Southwest Light Rail Transit out of the bonding bills approved Monday.
Both chambers of the Minnesota Legislature left Southwest Light Rail Transit out of the bonding bills the House and Senate approved Monday. During the Senate debate, Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-District 44)—who represents Golden Valley, Hopkins and St. Louis Park—criticized opponents of the project for ignoring infrastructure that he argues is essential. Light rail supporters wanted the Legislature to set aside $25 million that was to be part of a $125 million total state contribution to the Southwest project. Latz argued that money would leverage millions more in federal funds, which includes a federal share of $625 million. “And while there are those who have, it appears, a moral objection to transit funding—especially rail funding—the fact is …