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Letters to editor: Democrats hold roads, bridges hostage for gas tax, light rail

I've been getting some questions about the borrowing bill that failed to pass the Senate last week. I voted against it for one reason and one reason only: It was way, way too big - by far the largest bonding bill our state has ever seen.

I've been getting some questions about the borrowing bill that failed to pass the Senate last week. I voted against it for one reason and one reason only: It was way, way too big - by far the largest bonding bill our state has ever seen.

As I read it, I couldn't believe how much money Democrats want to borrow. I don't consider it a serious proposal.

I have long been an enthusiastic supporter of improvements to assets in our community such as Camp Ripley and I will continue to be until those projects are completed.

But we also have a duty to be responsible with the state credit card. A $1.8 billion borrowing bill would add too much debt to our books; it adds an extra $86 million in debt payments every year!

I am open to a reasonable amount of bonding, which is why I was happy to support a smaller, pared-down alternative that focused on roads and bridges, on sewer and infrastructure, and higher education. Senate Democrats are holding those roads and bridges hostage for a gas tax and an expansion to the light rail.

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Democrats have so far said they don't plan to work together to negotiate a new bill, and they continue to hold up the session over their demands for a gas tax. I

'm hopeful they will change their minds. There is still plenty of time to put together funding for roads and bridges, a tax relief package and a focused, reasonable bonding bill that addresses our most important needs.

State Sen. Paul Gazelka,

Senate District 9

R-Cass County

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