Absent the willingness to raise needed transportation revenues to provide ongoing program funding, state leaders should at least be directing surplus dollars to the Corridors of Commerce program to address some of the major deficiencies of our state’s highway infrastructure.
Currently, the supplemental budget bill passed by the Minnesota House contains a $10 million appropriation for the Corridors of Commerce program.
Despite the efforts of the Senate Transportation Committee to pass $30 million in program funding, it remains unclear if Corridors of Commerce will be funded in the Senate, as transportation spending will be taking another path in that chamber.
When lawmakers return to St. Paul, I hope it is with renewed focus on the critical role that highway corridors play in our state’s economic success.
The U.S. Highway 14 Partnership strongly supports a statewide investment in transportation and will continue to work hard to get these funds passed into law. However, at the very least, the current budget surplus should be used to fund Corridors of Commerce in 2014.
Bob Beussman, mayor of New Ulm, is president of the U.S. Highway 14 Partnership