Dayton to Railroads: Pony Up For Safety Upgrades
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton is giving railroad companies a tongue-lashing for resisting his tax plan to fund safety improvements.
Seven trains haul North Dakota crude across Minnesota daily. The Democratic governor has suggested a series of tax changes and fees on railroads to upgrade railroad crossings and improve first responder training to prepare for a major accident.
Railroad companies like BNSF Railway have balked at those proposals and suggested they may violate federal laws by singling out their industry.
Dayton brought officials from towns with heavy train traffic to St. Paul Friday to ramp up pressure for his plan. Dayton says railroad companies' opposition to pay more for safety improvements is "totally unacceptable."
Majority House Republicans have also signaled they're not on board with the governor's proposal.