Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Solid between the pipes? 

There's some excitement in Republican circles over a conversation some legislators have had with the governor's office. Gary reports on an email he received from Rep. Steve Gottwalt (15A-St. Cloud),
Governor Pawlenty has been very firm with House Speaker Kelliher and Senate Majority Leader Pogemiller that there will be �no special session without prior agreement on the agenda and on the bills.� It must be �transportation specific�; he will not revisit the Tax Bill; he will not agree to an open-ended session. It would be one day only, and probably in September. This comes directly from Pawlenty�s Chief of Staff, Matt Kramer.
That sounds good, but I don't see the gas tax as off the table in that formulation. Rep. Gottwalt also reported that Mayor Rybak is going for the Mee Moua Stratagem.

Reconstruction of the 35W bridge would be a modern replacement, with 10 lanes. However, Mayor Rybak is trying to accomplish several add-ons, including re-configured interchanges and even a bridge that would carry light rail. Those are �extra� costs above and beyond the $250 million being discussed as federal emergency dollars for replacement.

Congressman Oberstar has made it clear the federal dollars cannot apply to such add-ons. Rybak needs to understand this is relief and replacement, not �Santa Claus comes early to Minneapolis.�

One word, Governor: Bonds. And no, not Barry.

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