As the legislature works to assemble a final state budget agreement, Senator Dan Hall (R-Burnsville) will serve on the conference committees for the transportation budget bill. Conference committees, which each include five members of the House and five members of the Senate, are responsible for working out a compromise on differences in the bills passed by both bodies.
“Transportation funding is one of the most crucial issues facing the state this biennium,” said Senator Hall. “I am honored to be able to play a role in these negotiations and look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to figure out a deal to fund our roads and bridges. While our proposals are different, particularly when it comes to the gas tax and tab fee increases, I am hopeful that we can reach a compromise that doesn’t tax our middle class but still invests billions into our transportation needs.”
Last week, the Minnesota Senate passed a $6.63 billion transportation funding package that invests in the state’s transportation infrastructure – without a gas tax, sales tax, or license tab fee increase – and protects existing transportation funds from being spent on non-transportation government programs. Notably, an attempt to incorporate the governor’s massive gas tax and tab fee increases into the bill failed without a single vote of support. Every member of the Senate, including 32 Democrats, voted against the Governor’s transportation plan.
Conference committees will begin meeting this week and will continue until an agreement is reached. After a conference committee has passed compromise legislation, both legislative bodies must vote to approve the agreement before sending it to the governor for a signature or veto. The legislature is constitutionally-mandated to adjourn by May 20.