Oberstar Likes Bill

Lest U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar’s opinion of state lawmakers’ transportation package remain unknown, the Chisholm Democrat threw his support behind the spending plan headed for votes Thursday in the Legislature. "Are 10 claps of applause good enough?" Oberstar asked in an interview. Oberstar cannot vote on the bill, of course, but he is chairman of…
Read More

A Two-way Street

The legislative auditor’s new MnDOT report focuses on the department’s state highway and bridge spending. But Auditor Jim Nobles also had a bit of advice for MnDOT and the DFL-led Legislature: start talking. Democratic lawmakers complained MnDOT officials stonewall when legislators ask for documentation about transportation projects. Nobles said "there was no reluctance whatsoever" on…
Read More

Bipartisan Help

In an unusual show of bipartisanship, the House Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party transportation leader will visit the Republican House caucus to discuss a funding bill due for a Thursday vote. Rep. Bernie Lieder, DFL-Crookston, will take some nonpartisan staff with him so Republican representatives have a chance to ask questions before the bill reaches a floor debate.…
Read More

Airline Execs Write

Speculation mounts that Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines soon will announce a merger, and chief executive officers of the two companies have told U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar they hear Minnesota concerns about jobs. The Minnesota Democrat said she is concerned about a Delta-Northwest merger. But the two executives said they expect more jobs if…
Read More

Land For Roads?

Final legislative votes are near on the DFL’s transportation funding plan that calls for tax and fee increases to pay for $7.7 billion in road, bridge and transit projects. But Rep. Steve Drazkowski has a different plan. The freshman Republican from Wabasha proposes selling a small percentage of state-owned forest land and using the proceeds…
Read More