On the fast track


Legislative leaders promised a quick start to the 2008 session, with capital investment, transportation and a dedicated funding bill to be acted upon quickly.

Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller (DFL-Mpls) said the DFL hopes to pass a bill for dedicated environmental funding in the first week. A conference committee on HF2285 is scheduled to meet Tuesday.

House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher (DFL-Mpls) said a transportation bill is expected to be passed early, followed by the capital investment bill. She said the transportation plan would likely include a gas tax increase and a metropolitan area sales tax increase to fund transit. Both were part of a bill vetoed last year by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

“If the governor will work with us, we will process those three major bills by Easter break,” Pogemiller said. He said after that, the DFL will turn to the biennial deficit, now estimated at $373 million.

The House returns to session Tuesday at noon. Legislators must complete their work by May 19.