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Hearing will happen on transit plan

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The chairman of the Senate transit subcommittee reversed directions Wednesday, now promising to consider a bill that would take $95 million out of Twin Cities transit funding and spread it among school bus programs statewide.

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"Please accept my sincere apology for my remarks dismissing ... the student transit initiative," Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, wrote to the bill's author, Sen. Joe Gimse, R-Willmar. "I was wrong and I should have immediately welcomes the opportunity."

Right after Gimse announced the bill, Dibble dismissed it, saying his committee would not consider the measure.

In his letter, Dibble made it clear he still strongly opposes the bill: "I'm very interested in hearing your explanation of how taking $95 million from a transit system that already is facing a deficit of $45 million budget (creating a shortfall of over 32 percent) will help Minnesota families who need to get to work and job training so they can provide for their children," he wrote.

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