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Transportation-minded legislators could get lecture

Minnesota legislators anticipate a stern lecture when they sit down Tuesday with a leading congressional transportation expert.

U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, who represents northeastern Minnesota's 8th District and is House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman, will discuss funding for roads and transit with state legislators. Such meetings are rare.

"I think he's going to give us hell," Rep. Bernie Lieder, DFL-Crookston, said. He's the Minnesota House transportation committee chairman.

Oberstar likely will encourage lawmakers on the House and Senate transportation committees to approve more funding for the state's highways and public transportation systems, Lieder said.

The congressman is not happy that Minnesota loses out on federal funding because the state needs to pony up its share in order to get federal money.

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.