MAPLE PLAIN, Minn. (KMSP) - House GOP leaders held a meeting Wednesday morning in Maple Plain, Minn. demanding a special session to pass a bonding bill that would secure funding to improve safety along Highway 12, one of Minnesota’s deadliest stretches of road.
The group of legislators and families, including House Speaker Kurt Daudt, House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, Rep. Jerry Hertaus and Rep. Joe McDonald, are advocating for $15 million in funding for safety upgrades on the stretch.
Daudt said he didn't come out to the meeting “to play the blame game,” but wants a special session to pass a compromise bonding bill that includes over $700 million in transportation funding.
Since August 2015, there have been seven deaths along the highway. Over the past five years, there have been more than 800 crashes on the 10-mile stretch of roadway from Wayzata to Delano, and 23 people have died.
House DFL Leader Paul Thissen statement
"When Minnesotans lose family and friends on our state highways it is a tragedy that affects all of us. That is why we need to pass a comprehensive transportation funding package and the legislature's failure to do its job once again is extremely frustrating. It's also frustrating that Republican legislators did not even propose a bonding bill until just one week ago. Procrastination and brinksmanship don't build a single mile of road. Minnesotans are tired of it, and they should be."
Truly remarkable the strength of families who lost loved ones in Hwy 12 crashes. Clearly frustrated, disappointed by the political process.— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) May 25, 2016