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by Steve Timmer
Apr 9, 2017, 10:00 AM

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Reader Carolyn commented on the Minnesota House transportation bill that substantially raids the general fund for roads and bridges:

At least Torkelson’s bill appropriates real money to transportation. The Senate bill is only a one-biennium appropriation. Probably one of the most cynical bills I’ve seen since I started watching the Legislature.

Torkelson’s bill would be a lot better if the anti-transit language was removed and a 10 cent gas tax added.

That said, a lot of twisting has been done to accommodate ginormous tax cuts ala Keith Downey’s “give it all back.”

Reader Alan didn’t like the transit cuts, either:

I resent having someone from Hanska decide we can’t have transit in the metro. Has he ever been on public transit? I take the frickin’ bus to work every day and open up the roads so people from Hanska can get to St. Paul in a reasonable amount of time, for example. If Metro Transit cuts my bus schedule much more, I’ll be driving my car on the highway instead (as will many of my bus-mates), slowing the commute from Hanska.

I wrote in my story on the subject, People don’t care one iota, that I though that a substantial raid of the general fund over multiple budget cycles, rather than a modest gas tax increase, was foolish.

The last time we projected surpluses as far as the eye can see, the state got into a lot of trouble. The worm will turn at some point in the next six, eight, or ten years. Moreover, if the national Congress guts Medicaid, which I suspect it will get its act together at some point and do, Minnesota will step into a giant health and human services hole. Committing multiple billions of dollars for a decade of transportation expenses is going to reduce the capacity of the state to respond.

That will hurt rural communities the most, gutting community hospitals and nursing homes. There is an employment dimension to this, too. Rural medical facilities and community colleges provide a lot of good rural employment.

I don’t think Rep. Torkelson and his pals have thought this through.

Reader Alan also chimed in on the Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, described in the story DJ has a sad:

Personally, I think a candidate for the Supreme Court should be a decent human being with some capacity for empathy as well as a competent jurist. There was little evidence of the decent human being in Gorsuch’s performance (which is what it was).

I suspect you would have to look a long time to find a Gorsuch decision that called a close one for an actual human being. We’ll have to see how far he can run out the string.

Thanks for your feedback. If we like what you have to say, it may appear in a future post of reader reactions.