ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday to prevent state agencies from implementing ditch-mowing regulations after a compromise was reached on an amended version of the bill. This bill is in response to a statement released by MnDOT stating they were going to change the statewide permitting standards for mowing and baling ditches along Minnesota’s state roadways.
The original bill (House File 124) would have prohibited state agencies, such as MnDOT, from placing new mowing regulations on ditches. Instead of an all-out ban, the amended form (Senate File 218) establishes a moratorium until May of 2018 on new mowing rules along state highways – excluding county and township roads.
“My preference would be to pass the original bill that permanently prohibits this overreach of MnDOT,” said Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria). However, we need to send a bill to Governor Dayton that he will sign. This bill is not a complete fix and the issue will be tackled further; MnDOT should not be unilaterally making rules without first consulting those who would be affected by the change. Mandating landowners wear specific clothing, use certain lighting, and mow in a ‘workmanlike’ manner is ridiculous.”
The House passed the amended proposal (Senate File 218) on a bipartisan vote of 106-23. It now returns to the Senate for their consideration.