DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values

TAG | transportation



Economic Snapshot: May, 2015

20150519transportationChristian E. Weller and Jackie Odum posted the following on the Center for American Progress website on May, 29, 2015:

The economy has been growing slowly for almost six years, but Americans still feel economically insecure. Policymakers need to strengthen economic growth by boosting infrastructure investments in roads, bridges, and schools; making sure that job growth continues to increase by abandoning ill-advised austerity measures at all levels of government; raising the minimum wage to make sure that those who have a job can actually make a living; making it easier for people to join a union; enacting paid family leave policies; and targeting more policy efforts at the most economically vulnerable.

It is clear that economic security will not happen with wishful thinking or even with stronger economic growth alone. Policymakers need to build on the progressive successes of the recent past in order to make growth a reality for most American families.

You can read the original post here.

During this legislative session, the House GOP passed legislation ensuring that adequate maintenance of our state’s roads and bridges will again get “a lick and a promise.” With the budget surplus we have, the House Republican majority felt corporate tax giveaways were more important than getting goods to market safely — or children to and from home, school and activities for that matter.

It was so bad that a large coalition of businesses and organizations called Move>>MN put on a 3-day “Duct Tap Tour”. You can read more about that here.

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Rep. Selcer’s April 28, 2015 Update

Yvonne_SelcerDear Neighbor,

We have been hearing many budget bills on the House floor recently, and will continue to pass pieces of the budget this week. I want to provide you with a brief update of each piece of legislation.

E-12 Education

With a $2 billion surplus, investing in education should be one of our top priorities. Unfortunately, the House majority has brought forward an education budget that increasing education funding by less than a 1 percent. We have heard from districts across the metro that class sizes will grow and teachers will be laid off as a result. I spoke about this issue Saturday on the House floor, when the bill was passed. To watch my speech and hear more, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COlcg_BRHKw.

Civic and business leaders agree that Minnesota is a great place to live and work because we have one the best educational systems. But it won’t stay that way if we can’t provide schools funding at times when the economy is strong, especially after years of cuts and budget shifts. It is my hope that a more reasonable and sustainable proposal comes back from conference committee.  I am happy to report that there are some good provisions in the education bill, such as increased investment in early childhood education and concurrent enrollment opportunities for our high school students so they can earn post-secondary credits while in high school.  Hopefully we can build on these bipartisan investments in conference committee.

Public Safety

The legislature was able to work productively this session in the area of public safety and crime prevention. The resulting bill includes $250,000 to combat terrorism in Minnesota, stemming from the recent ISIL recruit arrests. The bill also includes additional resources to combat human trafficking and child abuse. I supported this bipartisan bill.

State Government Finance

The state government bill was passed on Friday, which unfortunately shifts millions out of pension funds, creates unfunded burdens and eliminates limits on campaign spending and contributions from PACs and lobbyists. This provision is especially troubling to me, as I believe we need more disclosure and less outside spending in our elections.

Environment & Natural Resources

On Friday, we also passed the environment and natural resources bill. I voted against this proposal because I felt that it threatened Minnesota’s clean water and breathable air, as well as the accounting shifts and gimmicks included. The environment bill shifts nearly $60 million out of the fund we use to clean up closed landfills, takes money from the school trust, and gives up on fighting aquatic invasive species by cutting millions from prevention efforts.  I have concerns about the funding shifts in this bill and the troubling trend of this accounting in the House majority’s budget.

Higher Education

Monday, the House passed the higher education on a nearly party line vote. This bill reverses the tuition freeze currently in place for all Minnesota students at public colleges and universities and will increase the costs of higher education for students and parents.  There is absolutely no funding included to help our University of MN students with skyrocketing tuition. With a budget surplus, I think we should prioritize student debt and tuition relief for students and their families.


Unfortunately, the transportation bill raids some funds the Minnesota Department of Transportation holds in reserves for emergencies, such as harsh winters or natural disasters.  There is also a great deal of shifting of funds and borrowing used to fund various transportation needs.  We need to have a serious discussion about which additional funding streams we may want to dedicate out of the general fund to transportation, and how we will handle that additional strain on the general fund, which funds education and health care, during the next inevitable economic downturn. I have serious concerns with this funding and voted against the proposal.

Jobs & Energy

Last Thursday, the jobs and energy bill was passed. Provisions within the bill will stop us from repaying loans we took out under Governor Pawlenty. We should be using our budget surplus to invest and ensure sound budgeting into the future. I voted against this proposal.

Health & Human Services

The health and human services bill will cut state health funding by $1.152 billion and eliminate MinnesotaCare, which will cause 100,000 low-income, working Minnesotans to lose their health insurance. The bill includes many accounting shifts and gimmicks, including $300 million in savings that our House nonpartisan research staff has said will only amount to an estimated $17 million. For these reasons, I voted against the bill.

I voted against many of these budget bills due to insufficient, unstable funding and budgetary tricks and gimmicks. With a surplus, we should be making strategic investments to ensure a prosperous economic future for businesses and families. While there were some good provisions in these pieces of legislation, I am hopeful that the final budget proposal includes more balance and sound budgeting and will garner bipartisan support.

As always, please contact me anytime with your input.  I can be reached by phone at (651) 296-3964 or by email at . Thank you for the honor of representing you at the State Capitol.


 Selcer Signature

Yvonne Selcer
State Representative

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Comparing Transportation Plans

Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

Gov. Daytons’ Proposal House GOP Proposal
State Highways $5.38 billion

$3.47 billion
64% of Gov. Dayton’s plan

County State Aid Highways $1.58 billion

$972 million
61% of Gov. Dayton’s plan

Municipal State Aid Highways $490 million

$258 million
52% of Gov Dayton’s plan

Counties, Cities and Township Roads $288 million $130 million
45% of Gov. Dayton’s plan
Metropolitan Area Transit $2.8 billion -$723 million reduction in core bus service, which would reduce existing bus service by 20 million rides or more than 25% in 5 years

$163 million for Metropolitan Transit Capital for arterial bus rapid transit and express bus facilities

Rail Grade Crossing Safety $330 million $5 million

Note:  All numbers in the chart above are 10 year numbers.

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Rep. Selcer Update – March 24, 2015

There has been a lot of discussion lately about oil train safety in Minnesota. As the oil boom continues in North Dakota, more and more oil from the Bakken makes its way through our state as it is shipped across the US. These oil trains present a growing public safety concern that we need to address quickly.

Last month, a train that traveled through our Minnesota communities spilled nearly three million gallons of oil in a train derailment in West Virginia, leading to major fires and the evacuation of hundreds of families. Just last week, another train that had run through Minnesota derailed and exploded in Illinois, leading to major fires. There have been five oil train explosions in the last five weeks in the US and Canada. According to the US Department of Transportation, these accidents are likely to become more frequent, as more and more oil is shipped by rail.

A proposal has been introduced to reduce the likelihood of an oil train disaster, improve public safety and fire preparedness along rail corridors, and provide property tax relief to communities confronting issues of rail safety. While we don’t have any oil trains running directly through our community, this is a common sense safety issue and I strongly support these preventative safety measures. (more…)

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SD48 Photo Contest-Win Driveway Patch

DAVID-HANN-VALENTINESWe’ve heard from you that we have enough pot holes, degrading overpass bridges and congestion right here at home — in Sen. Hann’s own district — to host our own photo contest.

So, effective today, we’re asking you to take photos (safely, of course) of obvious deterioration:

  • pot holes
  • cracked pavement
  • multiple patchings rather than really repairing a road or bridge deck
  • a bridge or overpass that has crumbling concrete and rusting rebar and
  • congestion.

Send those photos to us at info@dfl48.org with information on where the photo was taken.  The deadline is March 15, 2015.

We’ll review them and decide who captured the worst of the worst.  The winner will receive a container of driveway patch.

We will be forwarding the photos to the State DFL for use in their communications.

We look forward to seeing what you can document in Sen. Hann’s backyard.  Thanks!

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