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Republicans the leading force behind nonsensical cuts

The following commentary by Rep. Linda Slocum was posted on the Sun-Current website May 20, 2017:

To the Editor:

In response to a recent letter by Metropolitan Council Member Steve Elkins (“Legislature’s transit cuts would be dangerous”), I write to provide a critically important clarification.

Mr. Elkins is right that the transportation budget that passed out of the House would cause draconian cuts to transit, amounting to a 40 percent reduction in basic bus service and thrusting thousands more cars onto our traffic-jammed streets. (more…)

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Losing federal transit funds would be a shame

The following commentary by Peter Dorsen was printed in the Eden Prairie News May 18, 2017:

I truly recognized why I was not a Republican when I was appointed to the WHite House Commission on Aging by former Sen. David Durenberger. They advocated discontinuing Meals on Wheels for us seniors. I quit.

Equally reprehensible in a different way is the GOP-endorsed transportation bill that contains cuts in funding to Metro Transit for the Southwest Light Rail Transit. All I know is now way I’m heading into Minneapolis except in a comfortable seat on a Southwest Transit bus with a friendly driver and WiFi. I confess, whoever, I love trains. (more…)

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Southwest LRT gets a positive sign from Washington

The following article by Janet Moore was posted on the Star Tribune website May 1, 2017:

$10M in federal budget deal seen as a sign the full $928M will be OK’d for Southwest rail.

The Southwest light-rail line was allocated $10 million in the temporary federal budget being considered by lawmakers in Washington — news that the Metropolitan Council says is a sign the project will win its full $928 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) later this year.

The fate of the $1.9 billion line, which would connect downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie, had been unclear since President Donald Trump’s initial transportation budget proposal did not fund new mass transit projects in the fiscal year. Without the federal money, it was unlikely that Southwest could move forward. (more…)

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War of words over Southwest light-rail transit line grows

The following article by Janet Moore was posted on the Star Tribune website April 22, 2017:

In office just three months, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has already received an earful from Minnesota officials about the controversial $1.9 billion light-rail line.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has heard from both sides about the $1.9 billion Southwest light-rail line project.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has been in office just under three months, and she’s already received an earful from Minnesota legislators about the controversial $1.9 billion Southwest light-rail line. A new salvo in the transit saga was released this week.

On March 17, 84 Minnesota GOP legislators wrote Chao urging her to block $928 million in federal funding for the Southwest LRT project, which would connect downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie. They argued that the line “would recklessly consume scarce transit resources.” (more…)

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Action Alert: Become an Election Judge

Your local municipality’s City Clerk is probably looking for people to serve as election judges during the upcoming elections (many cities and school districts have off-year elections coming up this year).  We know that ultra-conservative groups are soliciting their supporters to become election judges because they’re certain there is massive voter fraud here in Minnesota (hint:  there isn’t).

Here’s information from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website:

Election judges (poll workers) are paid officials who staff local polling places, carry out election procedures, and make sure that the rights of voters are protected. During a general election, there are more than 30,000 election judges who staff more than 4,100 precincts. Serving as an election judge is a chance to learn about elections, and is a great service to the community — apply to be an election judge. (more…)

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Suburban G.O.P. Voters Sour on Party, Raising Republican Fears for 2018

The following article by Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin was posted on the New York Times website April 12, 2017:

Democrat James Thompson hugs a supporter, Djuan Wash, at the Murdock Theater in Wichita, Kan., on Tuesday after losing to Republican Ron Estes in a special congressional election. Credit Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle, via Associated Press

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — A gray mood has settled over conservative-leaning voters in some of the country’s most reliably Republican congressional districts, as the party’s stumbles in Washington demoralize them and leave lawmakers scrambling to energize would-be supporters in a series of off-year elections.

While the next nationwide elections are not until 2018, Republicans have grown fearful that these voters are recoiling from what they see as lamentable conditions in Washington: a government entirely in Republican hands that has failed to deliver on fundamental goals like overhauling the health care system.

Early missteps by President Trump and congressional leaders have weighed heavily on voters from the party’s more affluent wing, anchored in right-of-center suburbs around major cities in the South and Midwest. Never beloved in these precincts, Mr. Trump appears to be struggling to maintain support from certain voters who backed him last year mainly as a way of defeating Hillary Clinton. (more…)

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Rep. Paul Rosenthal Update: April 10, 2017

Rep. Paul Rosenthal (49B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbors,

Today is the first day of the Easter and Passover recess.  When we return, the House and Senate will continue to assemble the state budget and the GOP House and Senate leadership will be tasked with establishing joint budget targets to match up their finance bills.

Over the past two weeks, several omnibus budget bills have been heard on the House floor.  Here is an update on a few of those bills that have passed: (more…)

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Rep. Melissa Hortman Update: April 3, 2017

Rep. Melissa Hortman (36B) – Legislative Update

Dear neighbors,

Last week, the legislature began to consider this year’s major finance bills. Here’s an update of what we debated in the House:

Tax Bill

On Thursday, the House voted on the Republican tax bill. Unfortunately, the bill prioritized big tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Minnesotans. Instead of this approach, I support tax cuts to improve the lives of working families in Minnesota. That’s why I strongly support the Working Family Credit, which would cut taxes for Minnesotans who are working hard and not getting ahead. This provision was not included in the Republican tax bill, but I am hopeful that DFLers can get it included before the final version of the tax bill reaches Governor Dayton’s desk.  (more…)

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