Both chambers of the out of the bonding bills the House and Senate approved Monday.
During the Senate debate, Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-District 44)—who represents Golden Valley, Hopkins and St. Louis Park—criticized opponents of the project for ignoring infrastructure that he argues is essential.
Light rail supporters wanted the Legislature to set aside $25 million that was to be part of a $125 million total state contribution to the Southwest project. Latz argued that money would leverage millions more in federal funds, which includes a federal share of $625 million.
“And while there are those who have, it appears, a moral objection to transit funding—especially rail funding—the fact is you go to any major metropolitan business community and you will find a well-developed rail system,” Latz said. “Minneapolis and St. Paul, a metropolitan area, is a backwater when it comes to mass transit.”
Watch Latz’s full speech in the video above. His comments start at the 3:49 mark.