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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 430

as introduced - 86th Legislature (2009 - 2010) Posted on 02/09/2010 01:37am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to pupil transportation; including pupil transportation within the meaning
of public transit assistance; directing transfers of money from transit assistance
fund and allocation from metropolitan area sales tax for transit for pupil
transportation; amending Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections 16A.88; 297A.992,
subdivision 5.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 16A.88, is amended to read:


16A.88 TRANSIT ASSISTANCE FUND.

Subdivision 1.

Transit assistance fund established.

A transit assistance fund is
established within the state treasury. The fund receives money distributed under section
297B.09, subdivision 1, and other money as specified by law. Money in the fund must
be allocated to the greater Minnesota transit account under subdivision 1a and the
metropolitan area transit account under subdivision 2 in the manner specified in section
297B.09, subdivision 1, and must be used solely for transit purposes under the Minnesota
Constitution, article XIV, section 13.new text begin Costs of pupil transportation are included within the
meaning of "transit purposes" and "public transit assistance."
new text end

Subd. 1a.

Greater Minnesota transit account.

The greater Minnesota transit
account is established within the transit assistance fund in the state treasury. new text beginAfter an
annual deduction of $5,000,000, which the commissioner of finance shall transfer to
the commissioner of education,
new text endmoney in the account is annually appropriated to the
commissioner of transportation for assistance to transit systems outside the metropolitan
area under section 174.24. The commissioner may use up to $408,000 in fiscal year 2008
and $416,000 in fiscal year 2009 and thereafter for administration of the transit program.
The commissioner shall use the account for transit operations as provided in section
174.24 and related program administration. new text begin The commissioner of education shall use the
money transferred for grants to school districts for pupil transportation. The grants must
be distributed based on the number of students transported to and from school by the
district or charter school.
new text end

Subd. 2.

Metropolitan area transit account.

The metropolitan area transit
account is established within the transit assistance fund in the state treasury. new text beginAfter an
annual deduction of $45,000,000, which the commissioner of finance shall transfer to
the commissioner of education,
new text endall money in the account is annually appropriated to
the Metropolitan Council for the funding of transit systems within the metropolitan
area under sections 473.384, 473.386, 473.387, 473.388, and 473.405 to 473.449.new text begin The
commissioner of education shall use the money transferred for grants to school districts
for pupil transportation. The grants must be distributed based on the number of students
transported to and from school by the district or charter school.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 297A.992, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Grant application and awards; Grant Evaluation and Ranking System
(GEARS) Committee.

(a) The joint powers board shall establish a grant application
process and identify the amount of available funding for grant awards. Grant applications
must be submitted in a form prescribed by the joint powers board. An applicant must
provide, in addition to all other information required by the joint powers board, the
estimated cost of the project, the amount of the grant sought, possible sources of funding
in addition to the grant sought, and identification of any federal funds that will be utilized
if the grant is awarded. A grant application seeking transit capital funding must identify
the source of money necessary to operate the transit improvement.

(b) The joint powers board shall establish a timeline and procedures for the award of
grants, and may award grants only to the state and political subdivisions. The board shall
define objective criteria for the award of grants, which must include, but not be limited to,
consistency with the most recent version of the transportation policy plan adopted by the
Metropolitan Council under section 473.146. The joint powers board shall maximize the
availability and use of federal funds in projects funded under this section.

(c) The joint powers board shall establish a GEARS Committee, which must consist
of:

(1) one county commissioner from each county that is in the metropolitan
transportation area, appointed by its county board;

(2) one elected city representative from each county that is in the metropolitan
transportation area;

(3) one additional elected city representative from each county for every additional
400,000 in population, or fraction of 400,000, in the county that is above 400,000 in
population; and

(4) the chair of the Metropolitan Council Transportation Committee.

(d) Each city representative must be elected at a meeting of cities in the metropolitan
transportation area, which must be convened for that purpose by the Association of
Metropolitan Municipalities.

(e) The committee shall evaluate grant applications following objective criteria
established by the joint powers board, and must provide to the joint powers board a
selection list of transportation projects that includes a priority ranking.

(f) A grant award for a transit project located within the metropolitan area, as defined
in section 473.121, subdivision 2, may be funded only after the Metropolitan Council
reviews the project for consistency with the transit portion of the Metropolitan Council
policy plan and one of the following occurs:

(1) the Metropolitan Council finds the project to be consistent;

(2) the Metropolitan Council initially finds the project to be inconsistent, but after a
good faith effort to resolve the inconsistency through negotiations with the joint powers
board, agrees that the grant award may be funded; or

(3) the Metropolitan Council finds the project to be inconsistent, and submits the
consistency issue for final determination to a panel, which determines the project to be
consistent. The panel is composed of a member appointed by the chair of the Metropolitan
Council, a member appointed by the joint powers board, and a member agreed upon by
both the chair and the joint powers board.

(g) Grants must be funded by the proceeds of the taxes imposed under this section,
bonds, notes, or other obligations issued by the joint powers board under subdivision 7.

(h) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, in fiscal year 2009, of the
initial revenue collected under this section, the joint powers board shall allocate at least
$30,783,000 to the Metropolitan Council for operating assistance for transit.

new text begin (i) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, beginning in fiscal year 2010 and
in each fiscal year thereafter, of the initial revenue collected under this section each year,
the joint powers board shall allocate at least $50,000,000 to the Department of Education
for grants to school districts for pupil transportation. The Department of Education shall
distribute the grants based on the number of students transported to and from school
by the district or charter school.
new text end