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HF 732

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 02/04/2021 03:07pm

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

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 02/04/2021

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to transportation; requiring the Department of Transportation to publish
certain information about project selection; requiring the Department of
Transportation to adopt certain project selection policies; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2020, sections 174.40, subdivision 5; 174.50, subdivision 7; 174.52,
subdivision 5.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 174.40, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Program administration.

(a) The commissioner shall establish general program
requirements and a competitive process for financial assistance, including but not limited
to eligibility requirements for grant recipients and projects; procedures for solicitation of
grants; application requirements; procedures for payment of financial assistance awards;
and a schedule for application, evaluation, and award of financial assistance.new text begin The
commissioner shall publish the program requirements and the competitive process on the
department's website.
new text end

(b) An application must include:

(1) a detailed and specific description of the project;

(2) an estimate, along with necessary supporting evidence, of the total costs for the
project and the allocation of identified and proposed funding sources for the project;

(3) an assessment of the need for and benefits of the project;

(4) a resolution adopted by the governing body of the school for which a safe routes to
school grant is requested, certifying that: (i) the governing body of the school supports the
project; and (ii) funds, if any, required to be supplied by the school to complete the project
are available and committed;

(5) a timeline indicating the major milestones of the project and their anticipated
completion dates; and

(6) any additional information or material the commissioner prescribes.

(c) The commissioner shalldeleted text begin make reasonable efforts todeleted text endnew text begin:
new text end

(1) publicize each solicitation for applications among all eligible recipientsdeleted text begin, anddeleted text endnew text begin;
new text end

(2) provide technical and informational assistance in creating and submitting applicationsnew text begin;
and
new text end

new text begin (3) publish on the department's website a list of all projects that were considered for
funding. The list must identify the projects that were selected and the projects that were not
selected. For each project that was not selected, the commissioner must include the reason
it was not selected
new text end.

(d) By January 1, 2013, the commissioner of transportation shall publish and maintain
a manual on the safe routes to school program that assists applicants for and recipients of
financial assistance. new text beginThe commissioner must publish the manual on the department's website.
new text end The manual must include a list of eligibility and general program requirements, an
explanation of the application process, and a review of the criteria used to evaluate projects.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 174.50, subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Bridge grant program; rulemaking.

(a) The commissioner of transportation
shall develop rules, procedures for application for grants, conditions of grant administration,
standards, and criteria as provided under subdivision 6, including bridge specifications, in
cooperation with road authorities of political subdivisions, for use in the administration of
funds appropriated to the commissioner and for the administration of grants to subdivisions.
new text begin The commissioner must publish all rules, procedures, conditions, standards, and criteria on
the department's website.
new text endGrants under this section are subject to the procedures and criteria
established in this subdivision and in subdivisions 5 and 6.

(b) The maximum use of standardized bridges is encouraged. Regardless of the size of
the existing bridge, a bridge or replacement bridge is eligible for assistance from the state
transportation fund if a hydrological survey indicates that the bridge or replacement bridge
must be ten feet or more in length.

(c) As part of the standards or rules, the commissioner shall, in consultation with local
road authorities, establish a minimum distance between any two bridges that cross over the
same river, stream, or waterway, so that only one of the bridges is eligible for a grant under
this section. As appropriate, the commissioner may establish exceptions from the minimum
distance requirement or procedures for obtaining a variance.

(d) Political subdivisions may use grants made under this section to construct or
reconstruct bridges, including but not limited to:

(1) matching federal aid grants to construct or reconstruct key bridges;

(2) paying the costs to abandon an existing bridge that is deficient and in need of
replacement but where no replacement will be made; and

(3) paying the costs to construct a road or street to facilitate the abandonment of an
existing bridge if the commissioner determines that the bridge is deficient, and that
construction of the road or street is more economical than replacement of the existing bridge.

(e) Funds appropriated to the commissioner from the Minnesota state transportation
fund shall be segregated from the highway tax user distribution fund and other funds created
by article XIV of the Minnesota Constitution.

(f) Except as provided in subdivision 6d, the commissioner is prohibited from awarding
a grant under this section for a local bridge replacement or rehabilitation project with a total
project cost estimate of $7,000,000 or more.

(g) Notwithstanding paragraph (f), the commissioner may award a grant under this
section for a portion of a local bridge replacement or rehabilitation project with a total
project cost estimate of $7,000,000 or more if every other local bridge replacement or
rehabilitation project on the commissioner's priority list with a total project cost estimate
of less than $7,000,000 has been fully funded.

new text begin (h) The commissioner must publish on the department's website a list of all projects that
were considered for funding. The list must identify the projects that were selected and the
projects that were not selected. For each project that was not selected, the commissioner
must include the reason it was not selected.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 174.52, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Grant procedures and criteria.

new text begin(a) new text endThe commissioner shall establish procedures
for statutory or home rule charter cities, towns, and counties to apply for grants or loans
from the fund and criteria to be used to select projects for funding. new text beginThe commissioner must
publish the procedures on the department's website.
new text endThe commissioner shall establish these
procedures and criteria in consultation with representatives appointed by the Association
of Minnesota Counties, League of Minnesota Cities, Minnesota Association of Townships,
and the appropriate state agency as needed. The criteria for determining project priority and
the amount of a grant or loan must be based upon consideration of:

(1) the availability of other state, federal, and local funds;

(2) the regional significance of the route;

(3) effectiveness of the proposed project in eliminating a transportation system deficiency;

(4) the number of persons who will be positively impacted by the project;

(5) the project's contribution to other local, regional, or state economic development or
redevelopment efforts including livestock and other agricultural operations permitted after
the effective date of this section; and

(6) ability of the local unit of government to adequately provide for the safe operation
and maintenance of the facility upon project completion.

new text begin (b) The commissioner must publish on the department's website a list of all projects that
were considered for funding. The list must identify the projects that were selected and the
projects that were not selected. For each project that was not selected, the commissioner
must include the reason it was not selected.
new text end

Sec. 4. new text beginTRANSPORTATION PROJECT SELECTION PROCESS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Adoption of policy. new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner of transportation must develop,
adopt, and implement a policy for every program or process the commissioner uses to
evaluate, prioritize, or select capital projects; award grants for capital projects; or allocate
funding or resources for capital projects, including trunk highway and general obligation
bonds. At a minimum, the commissioner must adopt a policy for capital project selections
and programs for each of the following: rail grade separation program; greater Minnesota
transit capital program; state airport development program; safety improvements on crude
oil corridors; facilities capital improvement program; Minnesota rail service improvement
program; port development assistance program; and passenger rail program. Prior to
developing, adopting, or implementing a policy for a program or selection process, the
commissioner must consult with the following entities, where appropriate: the Federal
Highway Administration; metropolitan planning organizations; regional development
commissions; area transportation partnerships; local governments; the Metropolitan Council;
transportation stakeholders; or other appropriate federal, state, or local government agencies.
The commissioner must develop, adopt, and implement the policy no later than November
1, 2021, and may update the policy as appropriate. The commissioner must publish the
policy and updates on the department's website and through other effective means selected
by the commissioner.
new text end

new text begin (b) For each selection process, the policy adopted under this section must:
new text end

new text begin (1) establish a process that identifies criteria, the weight of each criterion, and a process
to score each project based on the weighted criteria. The scoring system may consider project
readiness as a criterion for evaluation, but project readiness must not be a major factor in
determining the final score;
new text end

new text begin (2) identify and apply all relevant criteria contained in enacted Minnesota or federal law,
or added by the commissioner;
new text end

new text begin (3) identify for stakeholders and the general public the candidate project selected under
each selection process and every project considered that was not selected;
new text end

new text begin (4) involve area transportation partnerships and other local authorities, as appropriate,
in the process of scoring and ranking candidate projects under consideration;
new text end

new text begin (5) publicize scoring and decision outcomes concerning each candidate project, including
the projects that were considered but not selected, and the reason each project was not
selected; and
new text end

new text begin (6) require that the projects in the state transportation improvement program include the
score assigned to the project.
new text end

new text begin (c) This section does not apply to the following: the safe routes to school program under
Minnesota Statutes, section 174.40; the local bridge replacement program under Minnesota
Statutes, section 174.50; the local road improvement program under Minnesota Statutes,
section 174.52; highway railroad grade crossing-warning devices replacement; statewide
freight safety improvements; or high priority bridges for the trunk highway system. This
section does not apply to any programs or processes for which the commissioner has already
established a project selection process pursuant to Laws 2017, First Special Session chapter
3, article 3, section 124.
new text end

new text begin (d) For purposes of this section, a capital project means a project to purchase, replace,
or recondition the physical assets that make up the transportation system.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Report to legislature. new text end

new text begin By February 1, 2023, the commissioner must submit a
report to the chairs, ranking minority members, and staff of the legislative committees with
jurisdiction over transportation policy and finance concerning the adopted policy and how
the policy is anticipated to improve the consistency, objectivity, and transparency of the
selection process. The report must include information on input from members of the public
and the organizations identified in subdivision 1.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end