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Senator wants more bus money

ST. PAUL -- Sen. Joe Gimse announced a plan to take $95 million from Twin Cities transit funds, and another $5 million from rural funds, to increase spending on school bus programs statewide.

It is a plan that Democrats in control of the Minnesota Legislature say they will not consider.

"It would ensure students get to school and back safely," Gimse, a Willmar Republican, said Monday about his plan.

But taking money from the Metropolitan Council, which runs Twin Cities buses, is not sitting well with Democrats.

"The bad news is that once again, were seeing them rob Peter to pay Paul -- and on the very same day that we hear from the Met Council that the economic downturn has significantly reduced the pool of money they use to operate metro buses," House Education Finance Chairwoman Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville, said.

Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, said he would not give the bill a hearing in his transit committee.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.