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Minnesota House approves Transportation Policy Bill

Thursday, April 4, 2024

St. Paul, MN - Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed House File 3436, the House Transportation Committee’s package of policy proposals. The bill builds off of last year’s historic budget that capitalized on state and federal funds to deliver a generational investment in transportation statewide. The policy package, authored by State Representative Brad Tabke (DFL - Shakopee), passed on a bipartisan vote of 97-34. 

“Building off of our committee's budget work last year, the proposals we passed would improve mass transit, protections for child passengers, safety on our roads, DVS wait times, consumer protections, and transportation to and from the State Fair,” said Rep. Tabke, who also serves as Vice Chair of the House Transportation Committee. “Whether it’s the Great Minnesota Get-Together or your daily commute, we’re working to make your trip from Point A to Point B safer and more reliable.”

Last year’s Transportation Budget invested $650 million to unlock more than $7.8 billion dollars in federal funds. The comprehensive, multimodal, regionally balanced budget delivered sustainable, dedicated, ongoing funding for roads, bridges, and transit over the next four years, including a first-ever dedicated, ongoing funding source for small cities with populations less than 5,000. DFLers prioritized safety with a new Transit Rider Investment Program (TRIP) to enforce fare payment via administrative citations, monitor passenger activity, act as a liaison to social services, and assist and accompany riders. The transportation budget Democrats advanced also placed a high priority on curbing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing public safety with ongoing investments in non-motorized transportation options.

“This bill will continue to build on our transportation successes from last year to promote safety and transportation improvements across the state,” said Representative Frank Hornstein (DFL - Minneapolis), Chair of the House Transportation Committee.

The package contains policy updates requested from the Departments of Transportation, Vehicle Services, and Public Safety, in addition to some bonding technical changes. Highlights include policies to alleviate the lengthy delays faced by residents of greater Minnesota in seeking the issuance and renewal of ID cards, develop a multimodal transportation plan for the Minnesota State Fair, and create the first statewide requirements for booster seats, which have been shown to reduce the risk of injury in children by 45% compared to seat belts alone.

HF 3436 also includes Rep. Tabke’s legislation to preclude pattern bargaining during salary negotiations with the collective bargaining units representing state law enforcement officers. This language ensures that the salary scale for state law enforcement jobs becomes competitive with city and county law enforcement jobs. This structural imbalance has seen the state hemorrhage officers over the last decade

More information on the House Transportation Committee’s policy proposals, such as the Greater Minnesota Transit Program, the adoption of federal guidelines on speed studies, and the promotion and marketing of passenger rail can be found via the bill’s research brief. Video of today’s floor debate can be found on the House Public Information YouTube channel