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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

174.02 COMMISSIONER'S POWERS AND DUTIES.
    Subdivision 1. Appointment. The department shall be supervised and controlled by the
commissioner of transportation, who shall be appointed by the governor and serve under the
provisions of section 15.06.
    Subd. 1a. Mission; efficiency; legislative report, recommendations. It is part of the
department's mission that within the department's resources the commissioner shall endeavor to:
(1) prevent the waste or unnecessary spending of public money;
(2) use innovative fiscal and human resource practices to manage the state's resources and
operate the department as efficiently as possible;
(3) coordinate the department's activities wherever appropriate with the activities of other
governmental agencies;
(4) use technology where appropriate to increase agency productivity, improve customer
service, increase public access to information about government, and increase public participation
in the business of government;
(5) utilize constructive and cooperative labor-management practices to the extent otherwise
required by chapters 43A and 179A;
(6) report to the legislature on the performance of agency operations and the accomplishment
of agency goals in the agency's biennial budget according to section 16A.10, subdivision 1; and
(7) recommend to the legislature appropriate changes in law necessary to carry out the
mission and improve the performance of the department.
    Subd. 2. Unclassified positions. The commissioner may establish four positions in the
unclassified service at the deputy and assistant commissioner, assistant to commissioner or
personal secretary levels. No more than two of these positions shall be at the deputy commissioner
level.
    Subd. 3. Departmental organization; affirmative action. (a) The commissioner shall
organize the department in a manner recognizing the administrative and staffing needs of all
modes of transportation within the commissioner's jurisdiction, and shall employ personnel as the
commissioner deems necessary to discharge the functions of the department.
(b) The commissioner shall adopt an affirmative action plan for the department in order
to insure that department hiring encourages the selection of members of groups of persons
who because of unfair or unlawful discriminatory practices have in the past been denied equal
employment opportunity. This plan need not be promulgated as a rule, but it shall be approved
by the commissioner of employee relations. The plan shall provide that the affected groups of
persons shall constitute at least the same proportional number of employees in the department as
they constitute in the total employment in state government; provided that this limitation shall
expire in respect to an affected group when the commissioner of employee relations certifies that
members of that affected group are employed in the department in the same proportion as they
constitute in the total employment in state government.
    Subd. 4. Appearances on public transportation matters. The commissioner may appear
as a party on behalf of the public in any proceeding or matter before the Surface Transportation
Board or any other agency or instrumentality of government that regulates public services or
rates relating to transportation or other matters related to the powers and responsibilities of the
commissioner as prescribed by law. The commissioner shall appear as a party on behalf of the
public in proceedings as provided by law on matters that directly relate to the powers and duties
of the commissioner or substantially affect the statewide transportation plan.
    Subd. 5. Cooperation. To facilitate the development of a unified and coordinated intrastate
and interstate transportation system:
(1) the commissioner shall maintain close liaison, coordination, and cooperation with the
private sectors of transportation, the Upper Great Lakes Seaway Development Commission
Corporation, and any multistate organization involved in transportation issues affecting the state;
(2) the commissioner shall participate in the planning, regulation, and development of the
port authorities of the state;
(3) the commissioner or the commissioner's designee is a nonvoting member of the
Metropolitan Airports Commission, as organized and established under sections 473.601 to
473.679;
(4) the commissioner shall cooperate with all federal agencies for the purpose of harmonizing
state rules and federal regulations within the state to the extent and in the manner deemed
advisable;
(5) the commissioner may conduct joint hearings with any federal agency within or outside
the state and, to the extent allowed under federal law or regulation, may approve and establish
freight rates and charges that depart from the distance principle required by any state law; and
(6) the commissioner may nominate members to any joint board as provided by federal acts.
    Subd. 6. Agreements, receipts, appropriation. To facilitate the implementation of
intergovernmental efficiencies, effectiveness, and cooperation, and to promote and encourage
economic and technological development in transportation matters within and between
governmental and nongovernmental entities:
(a) The commissioner may enter into agreements with other governmental or
nongovernmental entities for research and experimentation; for sharing facilities, equipment,
staff, data, or other means of providing transportation-related services; or for other cooperative
programs that promote efficiencies in providing governmental services or that further development
of innovation in transportation for the benefit of the citizens of Minnesota.
(b) In addition to funds otherwise appropriated by the legislature, the commissioner may
accept and spend funds received under any agreement authorized in paragraph (a) for the purposes
set forth in that paragraph, subject to a report of receipts to the commissioner of finance at the
end of each fiscal year and, if receipts from the agreements exceed $100,000 in a fiscal year, the
commissioner shall also notify the governor and the Committee on Finance of the senate and the
Committee on Ways and Means of the house of representatives.
(c) Funds received under this subdivision must be deposited in the special revenue fund and
are appropriated to the commissioner for the purposes set forth in this subdivision.
    Subd. 7. Loans to commissioner. The commissioner of transportation may apply for
and receive loans, as defined in section 446A.085, subdivision 1, paragraph (d), from the
transportation revolving loan fund created in section 446A.085, and may enter into agreements
for the repayments of the loans.
History: 1976 c 166 s 2; 1977 c 305 s 23; 1980 c 534 s 13; 1980 c 617 s 47; 1986 c 444;
1993 c 266 s 28; 1995 c 248 art 11 s 12; 1998 c 366 s 58; 1999 c 230 s 17; 2001 c 213 s 11,12