Republicans have largely stayed away from the special master hearings to determine which agencies and programs should continue to get funding during Minnesota’s state government shutdown.
That will change Thursday.
Rep. Michael Beard, R-Shakopee, and Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar, are scheduled to appear before Kathleen Blatz, the former state Supreme Court justice appointed as a special master. Beard and Gimse chair the House and Senate transportation committees.
Beard said the two Republican legislators would be appearing “on behalf of transportation in the Twin Cities, and in Minnesota.”
Beard said he would specifically push for state projects that are ongoing and already funded, including highway construction projects where lanes are now closed and where traffic is backed up "miles long on the weekends."
He added: “We think there’s some important constitutionally-mandated public safety and maintenance concerns that are being overlooked.”
Beard said some of the same concerns were raised in the state’s 2005 shutdown, and that he believed that “construction projects and maintenance of critical facilities should proceed as before.”

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