With less than seven hours to go until a midnight deadline, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk on Sunday said a transportation funding deal may not happen this year.
The Cook DFLer told reporters that House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, proposed a scaled-back transportation package that involves $300 million in one-time spending and another $300 million in borrowing.
"I'm just not interested in something that just allows [legislators] to hit the campaign trail and say, 'Hey we resolved transportation infrastructure problems,' " Bakk said. "... They're going to know what they're going to say is not true. I'm reluctant to create that narrative for something that legislators on the campaign trail are going to misrepresent."
When asked about the prospects of a deal being reached, Bakk said "It's not something I would bet on."
As the deadline approaches for the Legislature's final day of lawmaking this year, legislative leaders had been negotiating a very scaled-back transportation proposal that would have provided no new revenue to meet an estimated need of $6 billion over the next decade. The still-developing deal also does not provide funding for transit.
It resembles an offer made by Bakk just Saturday morning, one of two said he presented to House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, to take up with his caucus.