Seifert would tap reserve for roads as governor

Former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, a Republican candidate for governor, outlines several of his priority proposals to help middle-class families. Tim Pugmire/MPR News

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.

  • webcelt

    The budget reserve is for shortfalls in revenues, like should a recession hit. It’s not a slush fund for Republicans looking for a gimmick to avoid tax increases. That’s the way the Republican legislature did things in 2011-2012, and how Tim Pawlenty tried to pretend the budget was balanced. This thinking of Seifert’s is what caused Minnesota’s fiscal mess. Now that the DFL legislature and governor have the state’s finances on a sound footing again, Seifert wants to repeat the mistake. Does the GOP ever learn?

  • Ben Groetsch

    This fool (Seifert) thinks that putting money into infrastructure requires no taxes, but tapping the funds somewhere else and paid it back sometime in the near future. We tried that route before with Palwenty and Bush Jr. Why the hell you want to repeat history again? Does the GOP understand that the overly white privileged American is not the center of the Universe—and neither is the wealthy ownership class who thinks paying no taxes through contribution is somewhat a God given right to them.