Minnesota's Congressional delegation has asked for about $300 million in earmarks for Minnesota next year.
This is an unusual year for earmarks, as the U.S. House Republicans agreed to an earmark moratorium. Therefore, there were no earmark requests from Minnesota Representatives John Kline, Michele Bachmann and Erik Paulsen. Kline and Bachmann had previously refused to participate in the earmarking process; Paulsen had not.
And while House Democrats did not declared a total moratorium on earmarks, they did put a ban on earmarks for for-profit organizations.
So where is all this money going?
Appropriations requests include earmarks for new transit lines such as $5 million for the Northstar Rail commuter line and $45 million for the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project, both sought by Minneapolis Democrat Keith Ellison. According to Rep. Betty McCollum's office, the money for the Central Corridor is already in the President's budget and should not be considered an earmark.
Across the river, McCollum also applied for rail funding to the tune of $800,000 for the Ramsey County Railroad Authority, to "establish an essential transit link" between St. Paul's Union Depot and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport.
In districts outside the metro, the biggest recipients of earmark money are the City of Rochester, which is receiving over $11 million for a public transit facility at the request of Rep. Tim Walz; The Roseau River, which is getting $12 million from Rep. Collin Peterson for flood control projects; and the Central Iron Range Sanitary Sewer District, which is getting $4 million from Rep. Jim Oberstar.
The total does not reflect multi-state projects or projects of “national significance,” which extend beyond Minnesota.
If you'd like to check out the appropriations requests for yourself, check out the links below:
Rep. Tim Walz, District 1 (You will have to open a PDF file)
Hayley Tsukayama is an intern in the Star Tribune's Washington bureau.