Lawmaker says rail line from N. Minneapolis to prison would be 'convenient'

Author:
Updated:
Original:

"Boy, wouldn't that be convenient to have that rail line going from the prison to North Minneapolis."

That's what Rep. Jim Newberger, R-Becker, said during Tuesday night's debate on the Republican transportation budget, the UpTake says.

His comment, which almost immediately drew boos from the House chamber, came after Democrats tried to amend the bill to include funding for a feasibility study to extend the Minneapolis-Big Lake Northstar Commuter line to St. Cloud, the Star Tribune notes.

Newberger is against more funding for the rail line and doesn't want to see it expand into St. Cloud because the tracks would go by the Minnesota Correction Facility, the UpTake says.

The lawmaker quickly apologized for naming North Minneapolis – a racially diverse area of the state – saying:

"But that's what came into my mind. It doesn't matter, it could be any part of the city. But if you're going to connect a large metro to a prison there's going to be some concerns. I would be lying if I said there wasn't."

But Gov. Mark Dayton says his apology doesn't suffice, and he's calling for House leadership to reprimand the lawmaker.

Dayton told reporters Wednesday he thinks "it’s horrible, I think he should be reprimanded, if not censured, by his leadership. The fact that nobody has made comment on that in House leadership, I think is appalling,” the Star Tribune reports.

The governor called for House leadership to publicly state his comment was "unacceptable. It's disgraceful," the Star Tribune notes.

Newberger issued an apology Wednesday afternoon saying: "I sincerely apologize. I recognize my comments last night offended some people. I will work in the future to not repeat this mistake," according to Star Tribune reported Abby Simons on Twitter.

House leadership has not yet commented, but it didn't go unnoticed by House members Tuesday night. Rep. Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul, waited hours before commenting on what Newberger said, the UpTake reports.

Watch what she said here.

Next Up

Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph sends farewell to Vikings fans in Players Tribune piece

"Every season I played here, every game I played here — you all believed."

Megan Ryan

Star Tribune's Megan Ryan named new Twins beat reporter

Ryan replaces LaVelle E. Neal who is now in a columnist role.

minnetonka MME

Minnetonka in spotlight after teacher threatened for discussing Black trans woman

Parents and community members are calling on the district to do better and will hold a march prior to the school board meeting on Thursday.

Richard Pitino

Talk grows that this season will be Pitino's last at Gophers

A report says Pitino's tenure could be "down to his final games."

Screen Shot 2021-03-02 at 1.40.17 PM

Two gas trucks collide in Stearns County, neither explodes

The unlikely collision happened Monday afternoon.

unnamed (1)

MSP Airport expecting spring break to be busiest period since pandemic began

Passenger numbers will still be about a third lower than a year ago, though.

Target store

After bumper earnings, Target will accelerate new store openings

The retailer has revealed its plans for the next few years, which includes an investment in Minneapolis.

starbucks wayzata

100% plant-based restaurant coming to Wayzata this spring

The restaurant has plans to add additional locations in Minnesota this summer and franchise nationwide.

Patric Richardson

'Laundry Evangelist' from St. Paul gets his own Discovery+ show

Patric Richardson has built a career around the appreciation and care of clothing.

Related