Gov. Mark Dayton spoke to a gathering of transportation advocates Wednesday at the carpenters union hall in St. Paul where he laid out his requirements for a transportation bill.
The Legislature adjourned last year without a comprehensive transportation bill, deadlocked over whether to use a new gas tax to pay for billions in new spending over 10 years to fix and maintain the state's aging road infrastructure.
Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, say new money must be dedicated so that future Legislatures cannot grab it in case of an inevitable recession and budget tightening. House Republicans say a gas tax is a non-starter. The Republican plan would take money from existing transportation-related taxes and dedicate it to a broader transportation plan.
The transportation advocates at the union hall were gearing up to go to the Capitol to lobby lawmakers on the need for a plan this year.
Dayton said the money must be real, "sustainable, reliable and sufficient to address the problem."
The second term DFL governor said he is pessimistic the Legislature will pass anything in a year when all 201 districts are up for election.