January 10, 2008 Release                                                      

Contact: David Strom

Ph: 651294-3590 x201


Minnesota Free Market Institute Releases 1st in a series of Transportation Policy Memos Recommends using General Obligation Bonds to help finance transportation infrastructure

 ST PAUL—Described as the first in a series of policy memos, the Minnesota Free Market Institute today released a policy paper that argues for the use of General Obligation bonds to help fund State highways and bridges.

“Today the bonding bill is used primarily to fund projects of limited and local value. Ski jumps, arts centers, Equestrian facilities, and sports facilities. We believe that none of these projects can measure up to the cost/benefit ratio of investing in vital transportation infrastructure.

“We recommend using the bonding bill to fund the highest priority state projects, which surely includes investing in roads and bridges,” saidDavid Strom, President of the Minnesota Free Market Institute.

The bonding bill has been the traditional home of “pork-barrel” spending—in which politicians bring to their district amenities and projects that would rarely pass any cost-benefit analysis. In recent years, Minnesotahas spent about $1 billion per biennium in the bonding bill.

“The bonding bill should be used exclusively for capital investments that will provide a return to the state taxpayers. No politician can seriously argue that ski jumps and equestrian facilities are more vital investments than our road and bridge infrastructure,” argued Strom.

The Minnesota Free Market Institute, formerly the Taxpayers League Foundation, promotes individual freedom and free markets, and reducing the burden of government on Minnesota’s citizens.