The Minnesota House of Representatives has included $50 million in funding for the Northstar Commuter Rail project as part of the bonding bill Representatives approved April 12. The bill passed 114 to 16, with strong bipartisan speeches in support of Northstar during the preceding floor debate.
In the coming weeks, a conference committee of House and Senate members will meet to resolve the differences between the House and Senate bonding bills. Governor Pawlenty recommended $60 million for Northstar, and the Senate bonding bill contained the same amount. Obtaining $60 million in state funding this year for Northstars construction is required for the state to seek federal funding. This level of funding would also be the final installment of state funding for Northstars construction.
The House vote reinforces the importance of Northstar as a smart investment for the state.