Minnesota Leaders Get Testy over Light-rail Deadlock

The following article by J. Patrick Coolican was published in the August 13, 2016 edition of the Star Tribune.

Minnesota Leaders Get Testy over Light-rail Deadlock

Battle over Southwest line boils over at news conference after a meeting to discuss a possible special legislative session. 


DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and House Speaker Kurt Daudt clashed Friday over light rail after meeting to break an impasse on a possible special legislative session to pass a menu of tax cuts and a public works package.

Dayton, Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk emerged from a closed-door meeting laughing and jovial but without an agreement.

Both sides said the conflict holding up the entire deal — which would entail a special legislative session to give tax cuts and borrow about $1 billion for roads and other infrastructure projects — is whether to fund the Southwest Light Rail project from Minneapolis to Eden Prairie.

The transit line is hugely important to many DFL legislators, but Republican opposition has been unwavering and firm.

Dayton and Bakk, DFL-Cook, say there can be no deal without the light-rail line, but Daudt, R-Crown, insists there can be no deal with it.

To continue reading, click on the link to the Star Tribune