Republican gubernatorial hopeful Marty Seifert says he would tap the state’s newly replenished budget reserve to pay for road improvements in Minnesota.
Seifert, a former House Minority Leader, proposed the funding option today while outlining a broader five point plan, that he calls “Priorities for Minnesota Families.”
A law passed earlier this year added $150 million to the reserve for the first increase in 13 years. Portions of all future budget surpluses are also now dedicated to the reserve. Seifert said he would maintain a healthy level in the reserve, but he thinks some of that money could fund transportation needs.
“I haven’t figured out what the magic number is,” Seifert said. “But I think as the Democrats have been shuffling money away in the budget reserve, there should be some portion of it — once we hit a certain level — that can be used for transportation improvements.”
In addition, Seifert said he would look for greater efficiencies in the Minnesota Department of Transportation, cut spending on light rail projects and dedicate a third of all bonding bills to road and bridge projects. He opposes an increase in the gas-tax.
Seifert is running in a four-way GOP contest for governor in next week’s primary. The other candidates are business executive Scott Honour, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson and former House Speaker Kurt Zellers.