The legislature has left the State Capitol for a short and much-needed 10-day break. They will return on Tuesday, April 19. NOW is a good time to contact your area legislators to ask for support for the BikeMN priorities. Our top priorities, active transportation and safe routes to school funding, and bike safety policy updates, are all still in play. Adding your support WILL HELP ensure they all pass.
Take Action for Minnesota
Send an email to your legislator encouraging them to support statewide active transportation funding for Minnesota. Click the button to fill out some simple information and email your representatives.
The top four priorities for Bike MN this session are:
- Funding for the Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) program in the bonding bill;
- Funding for the Active Transportation Program in the transportation bill;
- State funding to cover the local government match for the new federal Infrastructure grant programs (Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act aka Bipartisan Infrastructure law); and,
- Update our operation of a bicycle safety statutes (M.S. 169.222), and conform with the national standards recommended by the National Conference of State Legislatures, League of American Bicyclists, and People for Bikes adopted by many other states.
All four of these issues are contained in the House Omnibus Transportation Finance and Policy bill, which is HF 1683. The only BikeMN issue contained in the Senate omnibus bill, Article 2 of SF 3975, is Safe Routes to Schools funding. The reconciliation of the differences between the Senate and House Transportation bills will occur in a Transportation conference committee. That process should start once the legislators return from the break and the budget bills are passed off the house and senate floors.
We need to thank the Senate Chair, Senator Scott Newman (and other Republican Senators) for funding SRTS in his Senate bill but also urge him to support the funding for active transportation, the local government match for the federal infrastructure money, and the bike policy language in the House bill.
You should also give credit to Rep. Frank Hornstein, the Chair of the House Transportation Committee, for including all of the BikeMN priorities in his omnibus transportation bill, Rep. Connie Bernardy for being the go-to champion for all our issues, and Senator Howe for his sincere, to date unsuccessful, efforts to get our policy language in the Senate transportation bill.
Summaries of each of those issues are described below:
Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS)
Both the House and Senate bills contain some funding for SRTS. The House bill (HF 1683 – be patient… it is a long bill!) appropriates $1.86M of one-time money for FY 2023, and no money for the next biennium, FY 24/ FY 25. The Senate bill (SF 3975) appropriates $1.5M for FY 23 and $3M for FY 24 and $11M for FY 25 for a total of $14M (that is a big jump!) for the next biennium. These appropriations include the $500,000 base per year for SRTS administration.
The House bill contains $12.5M for Active Transportation in FY 23 and $6.15M for FY 24 and $6.15M for FY 25 for a total of $12.3M for the next biennium.
Local match for Federal infrastructure funds (IIJA).
The House bill includes a one-time appropriation of $36.8 M in FY 2023 to assist local governments to meet the local match requirements for the federal infrastructure funds, some of which can be used for bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
The Senate bill contains no funding for the local government match.
Bike Safety Policy
The House included BikeMN’s policy bill in its omnibus bill. They will be in sections 169.18 and 169.222 but they were just added last Friday and have not been posted as an amendment to HF 1683. But you can see them in Senator Howe’s bill. The Senate did not include this language in their bill.
Thank you for supporting a safer Minnesota!
Dorian Grilley, Executive Director,
And the BikeMN Team