In Attitude is more accepting now to high-speed rail proposal, the Post Bulletin reports:
U.S. Rep. Tim Walz recently met with the mayors of Winona, St. Paul and Rochester to discuss the project. The Democrat said he backs the project but avoids saying which route he supports.
"There are strong arguments on both sides," Walz said. "Obviously the strong argument from Rochester is how do you exclude the third largest city in the state and the largest single employer from being part of the discussion?"
Walz said he will push to get the high-speed rail line included in the transportation reauthorization bill. With U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., chairing the House Transportation Committee, local officials say Minnesota is well-positioned to take advantage of passenger rail dollars. Last year, Congress authorized $3.4 billion to create high-speed passenger rail corridors.
But before any federal money can be given to Minnesota, the state Department of Transportation must finish a statewide rail plan. The plan will establish the routes for high-speed rail and whether Rochester is on it. But the project faces plenty of challenges. The state would likely have to help pay for the rail line at a time when money is scarce. Some lawmakers question whether the rail line is worth the cost.
The Minnesota Independent picks up on the story about how Walz returns congressional raise, again. In Year In Review: Tim Walz, the Political Muse at Liberal in Land of Conservative rewinds some YouTube gold.