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In just a few minutes, the debate will begin on Bernie Lieder’s transportation bill. I’ll be liveblogging it off of the House videostream. Stop past frequently for updates.

According to the House videostreaming website, they’ll be covering the House Capitol Investment Finance Division meeting at 2:15, though I’d think that that’s tentative. This debate might last longer than that. I’ll keep the most current notes at the top.

6:10– Final vote: 89 yeas, 44 nays. The bill is agreed to.

6:07– Steve Drazkowski is now ripping the DFL, saying that “There is nothing courageous reaching into your neighbors pocket to pay for things.” He’s right. That isn’t leadership.

5:55– Marty’s now ridiculing the DFL about them being “fiscal moderates.” “I don’t care about all the special interests who’ve endorsed this plan. I worry about how this will impact the people who will have to pay the bill.” “You did not campaign on multi-billion dollar tax increases.” He’s giving a very impassioned speech, one that must be rebroadcast & shown at every BPOU meeting from now until Election Day.

5:45– Rep. Gottwalt is now speaking. He’s railing about how we aren’t prioiritizing spending. He’s talking about how families are being asked to prioritize spending while the legislature refuses to prioritize. He then says “Next week, we’ll be talking about the bonding bill, where we’ll be talking about bonding for festivals & dolphins.” “Tomorrow, we’ll go out & talk about compromise & how we got something done for transportation. We can do better than this.”

5:38– Rep. Hausman is now calling Rep. Lieder a visionary leader. PULEEEZE. He’s an old-fashioned, tax-increasing liberal. That isn’t visionary.

5:32– Rep. Lieder says that Rep. Westrum “should get his facts straight”, that he shouldn’t just rely on anecdotes. Rep. Westrum gets into Rep. Lieder’s face, saying that “I don’t know why the contractor would lie to me”, especially since he was for the gas tax increase.

5:21– Rep. Westrum is asking Rep. Lieder if there are any reforms in this bill. Rep. Lieder is saying that there isn’t. Rep. Westrum is now criticizing Rep. Lieder for not including reforms in the bill. This should be highlighted going forward. The DFL is now identified as the Status Quo Party.

5:09– Rep. Olson again making the case that the bill shouldn’t get a final vote until after the forecast. He’s right in saying that this bill is all about increasing taxes.

4:59– Bud Heidgerken now speaking. It sounds like he’s signing onto the bill. It’s time for him to go. Now he’s arguing for higher metro sales tax increases.

4:57– Rep. Kohls is now going on about how we can prioritize spending, shifting the money from other programs. “This bill isn’t a compromise. This bill is the biggest tax increase in recent Minnesota history.”

4:51– Rep. Kohls nails it. “The biggest tax increase in Minnesota history. The biggest tax increase in Minnesota history.” “This bill isn’t about a nickel gas tax increase. This bill is about a 8.5 cent per gallon tax increase.” “Representative Hortman, I’ll use your figures. I’ll use your figure of $6.5 billion in tax increase.” “If I bought a Ford F-150, the tax increase would be $800 over 4 years.” “This bill isn’t a compromise. This bill is a tax increase.”

4:43– Tony Sertich is now saying that this bill needs to be rushed because it creates 30,000 jobs. I’d politely state that Rep. Sertich needs to watch KSTP’s study that says that the 30,000 figure is a bunch of hooey.

4:39– Joyce Peppin: “I am disappointed in the lack of bipartisanship on this bill.”

4:30– Rep. Olson is criticizing voting on this bill before the state budget forecast. rep. Olson’s now made a motion to lay the bill on the table until after the budget forecast is out. The motion does not prevail by a 37-96 vote.

4:19– Jim Abeler is now talking about 34 pages of foreclosures in his newspaper. Abeler hsa now announced that he’ll vote for this bill.

4:15– On to debating the bill. Rep. Buesgens speaking: “Winston Churchill said that trying to tax their way into prosperity is like a farmer standing in a bucket, then trying to lift the bucket up by the handle.” God bless Rep. Buesgens. Now he’s onto talking about “overburdening our families.” “This bill is bad for families. This bill is bad for our economy. This bill is bad for Minnesota.” AMEN!!!

3:52– We’ve heard alot about compromise. Let’s keep in mind that this isn’t true compromise. Last year’s bill called for a $5.5 billion tax increase. This year’s bill calls for $7.5+ billion in tax increases. That isn’t compromise. That’s highway robbery.

3:40– Rep. Howes reported that his LA got a threatening email. Speaker Kelliher directed Rep. Howes contact security so they deal with that. A note to people: Let’s put pressure on legislators but let’s keep things civil. That said, I’m kinda curious what Rep. Howes characterizes as threatening.

3:35 Late lunch break over. Things were getting kinda tedious & I was getting hungry, too. Hopefully, the debate will pick up now.

3:09– Rep. Steve Gottwalt just sent me this quote for public consumption:

You cannot tax your way to prosperity. We still have among the top tax burdens in the country. That’s COSTING us thousands of jobs! We need a reasonable, responsible transportation bill, and that’s clearly up to the DFL leadership.

2:32– Rep. Brod: “We shouldn’t be making these decisions without having the information on how this impacts cities’ budgets.” God forbid that the DFL does something based on facts!!!

2:16– Rep. Buesgens is ripping the new definition of “compromise”. He says that “There’s more spin happening than on a well-oiled tilt-o-whirl.” Rep. Buesgens is saying that this isn’t compromise. If it were, we’d be talking about the interests of working families & the interests of government. AMEN, REP. BUESGENS!!!

2:14– Marty is challenging the DFL. He’s askin why outstate Minnesota, where incomes are lower, gets charged more in gas taxes than Metro Minnesotans, where incomes are higher.

1:40– The roll is called on the Olson offset amendment. Final vote is 41 yeas, 92 nays. Amendment is not adopted.

1:30– Mark Olson has offered an amendment that would mandate offsets to the tax increases in the transportation bill. After initially raising a point of order on the Olson amendment, Rep. Solberg withdrew it after getting an explanation from rep. Olson.

1:25– Laura Brod is encouraging a yes vote so that we prioritize bonding on roads & bridges before we bond for “nice-to-haves”. The vote on the Olson Amendment is tallied: 40 yeas, 93 nays. The amendment is not adopted.

1:15 Mark Olson has brought an amendment forward that would force the DFL to prioritize spending. Rep. Kohls is now speaking, advocating passing the Olson Amendment. AMEN TO THAT!!! Rep. Olson states that this amendment was part of the Minority Report that Rep. Sertich tabled yesterday.

12:55– Drew has a great post that we shouild take a look at. I’ll do that myself when I’m done liveblogging.

12:49– Roll is called on Buesgens’ amendment. Final vote is 27 yeas, 104 nays. Amendment is not adopted.

12:46– Here’s an interesting tidbit of information.

12:42– Rep. Buesgens is ridiculing the funding formula. Funding should go to where the most usage is.

12:39– Roll called on Kohls amendment. Final vote is 34 yeas, 98 nays. Amendment is not adopted.

12:29– Rep. Emmer: “Thank you, Rep. Marquart, for answering the question that you wouldn’t answer before.”

12:25– Rep. Kohls amendment being introduced. “If we’re going to raise taxes, then let’s put the language into the bill” that’d guarantee property tax relief. Rep. Marquart is calling for Rep. Kohls’ amendment be defeated. Money quote:

“With an extra $100,000, we can do alot more.”

Additional quote:

“This is not a zero sum game.”

12:24– Roll call vote on Rep. Burns’ amendment called. Final result is 54 yea, 79 nay. The amendment fails.

12:15– Rep. Burns is proposing an amendment to vote on the sales tax increase. Rep. Seifert calls for a roll call vote. A roll call vote will be held. That’s a brilliant move, something that forces representatives to go on the record.

12:04– Michael will soon be liveblogging from the floor, taking over for Cindy, who’s now doing a BTR show.

11:59– Rep. Buesgens is up now. Here’s Cindy’s take:

Quick update – Rep. Buesgens is making a great point about how this bill is not about more money for roads and bridges if we are saying that the bill will reduce cities and counties spending on roads and bridges! (Mark is part of her BPOU.)

11:55– The tack that the DFL is taking is that these tax increases will prevent property tax increases. They’re stating this categorically, then when confronted by republicans, they say that this money can be used for this purpose.

11:51– Rep. Lieder is getting a bit defensive after Rep. Emmer’s questions. Rep. Emmer is now going after Rep. Marquart for saying that property taxes will drop. Rep. Marquart won’t make that promise because he can’t.

11:50– Tom Emmer is asking why they won’t promise an immediate property tax cut. Rep. Lieder says that “this was debated last year”, that there is a difference between property tax relief & property tax cuts.

11:47– Rep. Kohl is tearing into Rep. Marquart, saying that this bill doesn’t cut property taxes.

11:41– Rep. Kohls is asking Rep. Marquart where in the bill it is that the increased transportation funding will lead to lower property taxes. Rep. Marquart says that “it’s on every page…” Rep. Marquart isn’t addressing the fact that there aren’t caps on property taxes in this bill. Rep. Marquart: “This money can be used instead of proprerty taxes.” Question to Rep. Marquart: Doesn’t that mean that the city can just spend the money without slowing down spending?

11:39– “County & cities can now use this new funding rather than burdening homeowners” with property tax increases. (Can’t they choose to prioritize spending?) Mayor Ebbert (?) says that his city “was forced” to spend money.

11:33– Rep. Marquart: “This will create jobs. This will stop property tax increases.” Rep. Marquart doesn’t explain that cities can choose to not increase spending.

11:29– Rep. Eastlund asserts that many dealers in his district buy cars from North Dakota. Rep. Eastlund then says that many used cars will be affected by the increased tab fees. Circle this one on your scorecard because it changes the debate.

11:27– Rep. Heidgerken asks Rep. Lieder about speculation about a buyout on the LRT.

11:26– Rep. Heidgerken asks Rep. Lieder about the license fee. Rep. Lieder says that the new fees won’t increase as long as the vehicle is registered in Minnesota.

11:25– Copies being made of the author’s amendment.

11:23– Lieder keeps repeating that transit doesn’t have a dedicated funding mechanism (aka tax). We get it. Move on.

11:20Cindy’s got this right:

11:12 and it is time to rumble. HF2800 is on the floor. Rep. Lieder (DFL Crookston) calls it a “safer roads” bill? If there is money going to “transit” then it is NOT a roads bill! Roads and bridges, roads and bridges, roads and bridges….it’s that simple guys!

11:17– Bill eliminates the Ventura caps on license tabs.

11:12– Lieder “This bill is really a safer roads & bridges bill. This is really a balanced bill. We tried to keep it as balanced as possible.”

10:55– “The House will come together.” So sayeth Speaker Kelliher.

10:50– Is something big happening behind the scenes? That’s what Cindy & I are wondering. This is getting boring. At this rate, we should expect a vote someime right before the Easter recess.

10:25– While you’re waiting for the fireworks to start, go read Michael’s post on Marty’s comments about the armtwisting going on.

10:20– Lady Logician is liveblogging this, too, assuming they ever get started.

10:10– People are still filing in & milling around.

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