ST. CLOUD -- Governor Mark Dayton announced Friday his state budget proposal, which includes funding to bring Northstar rail services to St. Cloud.

The proposal calls for $3-million to invest for a six-month demonstration. The demonstration would allow MnDOT and the community a chance to showcase the need for continued rail services from Minneapolis to St. Cloud.

Dayton says the budget also includes an additional $850,000 to conduct and engineering study on extending Northstar services to St. Cloud.

The study, which has not been updated since 2010, would focus on engineering costs and project ridership, to determine total costs of extending the service.

Area lawmakers have been pushing for the Northstar extension for several years.

Currently the service stops in Big Lake.

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