Chambers urge passage of state transportation package

Published 10:01 am Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Minnesota Chamber Federation recently urged the Minnesota Legislature to pass strategic and sustained funding for roads, bridges and transit this session. The letter was signed by the Minnesota Chamber and 44 local chamber partners across the state, including the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce.

“The state’s historic budget reserve and surplus give us the opportunity to invest in our infrastructure and reach compromise on how to bring new resources into the transportation system,” the letter stated.

Lhe local chamber representatives underscored the need for a safe, reliable and efficient transportation system that works for the entire state. “Our members — no matter how big or small — are increasingly reliant upon access to goods, services, employees and customers from other parts of the state, country, and world,” they wrote.

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A comprehensive transportation package must include additional investment for Greater Minnesota and Twin Cities transit, the letter said. The chambers support efforts to build consensus for an additional metro funding source for metro transit recognizing that any new dollars for metro transit must allow for flexible use and be tied to documented efficiencies and reform in the delivery of services.

“We all have local projects we hope to see accomplished with new investment into the transportation system,” they wrote. “But we understand that each of those projects — whether a road, bridge, or transit route or line — is part of a much larger, interconnected, and interdependent transportation system in the state that serves all of our communities, increases mobility, and helps ensure the success of all of our members.”