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Editorial: '60' deal should be adhered to

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It's been more than four months since the Minnesota Legislature voted to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty's transportation package veto.

Yet, an integral component of that legislation -- one that led District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton to buck fellow Republicans and vote for the override -- remains a hot topic of discussion. Why else should this be surprising, really? Minnesota 60, after all, has been facing all kinds of delays in its expansion for more than 40 years.

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House Minority Marty Seifert, in a visit to the Daily Globe on Tuesday, made it clear that the transportation legislation, as passed, designated all of Minnesota 60 be converted into four-lane highway. But in a joint House-Senate transportation committee meeting in mid-June, Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel stressed that bridge safety would be priority one, and once that's addressed "remaining funds will be limited." The Minnesota Department of Transportation, in turn, has now only planned Minnesota 60 reconstruction from the Iowa line to Worthington -- omitting the segment near Mountain Lake that was also to be included in the four-lane work.

"I didn't vote for the gas tax, but I certainly can read," Seifert said Tuesday. "It's very clear from all the debate that happened in the Legislature."

We recall well the effort that Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, made to ensure legislative language for Minnesota 60 work was as precise as possible. He has nothing to do with this latest highway snafu -- after all, as Seifert stated, it's in black and white.

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