Wednesday, August 08, 2007
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.
One word, Governor: Bonds. And no, not Barry.
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.�