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Transportation policy bill to floor

Published (5/20/2011)
By Mike Cook
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License plates and vehicle lights, driver’s training and speed-limit violations on a person’s driving record — these are among the provisions in the omnibus transportation policy bill now on its way to the House floor.

Sponsored by Rep. Mike Beard (R-Shakopee), HF1068, as amended, was approved May 16 by the House Ways and Means Committee. A companion, SF920, sponsored by Sen. Joe Gimse (R-Willmar) awaits action on the Senate floor.

Among the provisions in the bill are HF615, sponsored by Rep. Mark Buesgens (R-Jordan), which would allow the classroom/theory portion of driver’s education training to be completed through an online program approved by the Department of Public Safety. Sponsored by Rep. Andrea Kieffer (R-Woodbury), HF650 would require carbon monoxide poisoning awareness be part of the driver’s education curriculum and be part of the driver’s license knowledge test. Rep. Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo Township) sponsors HF867 that would allow issuance of an instruction permit to someone who has not yet completed the classroom phase of driver’s education if certain other conditions are met.

Other provisions in the omnibus bill include:

HF392, sponsored by Rep. Larry Howes (R-Walker), which would require all school buses used in the state that are manufactured after Jan. 1, 2012, to be equipped with a crossing control arm on the front right bumper that automatically expands out whenever the bus is stopped and the flashing red lights are in use;

HF537, sponsored by Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City), which would prohibit speed limit violations of up to 10 mph over the speed limit in 55 and 60 mph zones from going on a person’s driving record;

HF721, sponsored by Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake), which would allow a disability placard to be placed anywhere on the vehicle’s dashboard;

HF808, sponsored by Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth), which would require the Driver and Vehicle Services Division in the Department of Public Safety to include a mechanism for vehicle owners to donate $2 for organ donation educational programs as part of vehicle registration and renewal;

HF906, sponsored by Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-Virginia), which would require the Department of Transportation to designate by March 15, 2015, one of two specific options as the alternative route for realigning a stretch of Trunk Highway 53 near Virginia, with construction on the new route to begin by June 1, 2015;

HF1067, sponsored by Rep. Mike Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park), which would expand the list of restricted activities on state rail bank property, such as prohibiting plowing and placing buildings or structures; and

HF1412, sponsored by Rep. Rich Murray (R-Albert Lea), which would allow electric-assisted bicycles on state trails and paths.

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