House GOP leaders hit the road on Wednesday, calling on Gov. Mark Dayton to call a special session from a stretch of Highway 12 in Maple Plain they said would benefit from the approval of a public-works bill.
The Legislature adjourned Sunday at midnight without passing a borrowing bill that would have funded dozens of capital investment projects around the state, including work on Highway 12. The rural highway is considered among the most deadliest in Minnesota. Nearly two dozen people have died on this stretch of road in the last five years, according to a House news release.
House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, urged Dayton to call legislators back to St. Paul for a special session and blamed Senate DFLers for the failed legislation.
“Without swift action, Minnesotans will be left waiting to see funding for important public infrastructure improvements," Daudt said. "I strongly urge Governor Dayton to act in the best interest of the state and promptly call a one-day special session so we can move forward on projects like Highway 12. Failure to do so, or attempts to inject unnecessary political games into the process like the one that got us into this mess, would be a disservice to the Minnesotans we represent.”
Legislative leaders in recent days have said they would like to return to St. Paul to approve a bonding bill.
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, in a statement agreed the highway needs funding but blamed GOP leaders for the lack of passage, calling it "frustrating that Republican legislators did not even propose a bonding bill until just one week ago. Procrastination and brinksmanship don't build a single mile of road. Minnesotans are tired of it, and they should be."