Senate Counsel, Research
and Fiscal Analysis
G-17 State Capitol
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St. Paul, MN 55155-1606
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Tom Bottern
Director
   Senate   
State of Minnesota
 
 
 
 
 
H.F. No. 2685 - Transportation Omnibus Policy Bill (Conference Committee Report)
 
Author: Senator Joe Gimse
 
Prepared By: Bonnie Berezovsky, Senate Counsel (651/296-9191)
Krista Boyd, Senate Fiscal Analyst (651/296-7681)
 
Date: May 7, 2012



 

  Article 1 – Trunk Highway Fund Appropriations

(S.F. No. 2571, Sen. Gimse)

Section 1 appropriates a total of $17,530,000 to the Commissioner of Transportation for fiscal year 2013 from the trunk highway fund for specified maintenance facilities and truck stations.  $30,000 is appropriated to modify MnDOT’s permit system to collect additional registration taxes for overweight motor vehicles, if legislation is enacted to authorize this activity.

Section 2 provides an immediate effective date for the article.

Article 2 – Trunk Highway Bonds

(S.F. No. 2571, Sen. Gimse)

Section 1 appropriates $16.1 million from the bond proceeds account in the trunk highway fund to the commissioner for a maintenance facility in Rochester and corresponding remodeling of the existing district headquarters building.

Section 2 appropriates $20,000 from the bond proceeds account in the trunk highway fund to the commissioner of management and budget for bond sale expenses.

Section 3 authorizes issuance of trunk highway bonds up to the amount of $16,120,000, to fund the appropriations in sections 1 and 2.

Section 4 provides an immediate effective date for the article.

Article 3 – Transportation Policy

Section 1 (S.F. No. 1063, Sen. Senjem) designates Trunk Highway 14, from South Dakota to Wisconsin, as the Black and Yellow Trail.  The commissioner will erect appropriate signs, using only nonstate funds.

Section 2 (S.F. No. 1147, Sen. Gimse) establishes definitions for construction manager/general contractor contracts.  “Construction manager/general contractor” is defined in subdivision 4 as an entity selected by the commissioner to manage the construction process and be responsible for price, schedule, and execution of preconstruction services and workmanship of construction.  This section is effective the day after final enactment and expires one year following the acceptance of ten construction manager/general contractor contracts.

Section 3 (S.F. No. 1147, Sen. Gimse) establishes the authority of a construction manager/general contractor.

Subdivision 1 allows the commissioner to use the procedures in section 7 of this bill to select a construction manager/general contractor and limits the commissioner to four such projects during a calendar year.

Subdivision 2 gives the commissioner final authority to decide to use a construction manager/general contractor contracting procedure.

Subdivision 3 authorizes the commissioner to accept or reject any or all responses received as a result of an RFQ or RFP and resolicit, using the same or different requirements.

Subdivision 4 requires the commissioner to notify the legislative Transportation Committees when using the construction manager/general contractor method of procurement and to explain reasons for the decision to use this method.

This section is effective the day after final enactment and expires one year following the acceptance of ten construction manager/general contractor contracts.

Section 4 (S.F. No. 1147, Sen. Gimse) provides specific procedures relating to soliciting proposals, Phase 1 RFPs, and Phase 2 construction manager/general contractor contracts, This section is effective the day after final enactment and expires one year following the acceptance of ten construction manager/general contractor contracts.

Section 5 (House, also S.F. No. 1127, Sen. Dibble) conforms existing transportation working capital loan program to federal law, incorporating “small business concerns” and “socially and economically disadvantaged individual” as used in the federal regulations.

Section 6 (H.F. No. 518, Sen. DeKruif) amends the section of law concerning creation of the county state-aid highway (CSAH) system, by prohibiting MnDOT from utilizing the expedited process for adopting rules.

Section 7 (H.F. No. 518, Sen. DeKruif) provides that CSAH rules have the force of law as provided in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 14, which deals with rulemaking.

Section 8 (H.F. No. 518, Sen. DeKruif) amends the section of law concerning MnDOT promulgation of rules for the municipal state-aid street system by striking a reference to the ability to use the expedited rulemaking process.

Section 9 (H.F. No. 518, Sen. DeKruif) provides that MSAS rules have the force of law as provided in chapter 14, which deals with rulemaking.

Section 10 (S.F. No. 1661, Sen. Chamberlain) provides that a city that has 5,000 population before a decennial census, and has fewer than 5,000 according to the census, is deemed to have 5,000 population (and is thus eligible for MSAS aid) until the end of the fourth year of the decade.  This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Section 11 (S.F. No. 1661, Sen. Chamberlain) states that, for the purpose of calculating a city’s allocation (based 50 percent on population), a city receiving MSAS funds has a population equal to the greater of 5,000 or as otherwise determined by statute.  This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Section 12 (H.F. No. 518, Sen. DeKruif) directs the commissioner to adopt rules establishing engineering standards for cost estimation when calculating money needs for CSAH and MSAS apportionment purposes.  These rules, along with rules pertaining to the CSAH and MSAS systems, calculation of money needs, and apportionment of money to counties and cities are exempt from the full rulemaking process and may be adopted by expedited rulemaking, except that they do not expire after two years.

Section 13 (S.F. No. 2286, Sen. Kruse) defines the terms “bridge” and “National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS)” in the chapter of statutes concerning bridges.  It incorporates by reference the AASHTO Manual for Bridge Evaluation.

Section 14 (S.F. No. 2286, Sen. Kruse) concerns bridge inspection.

Subdivision 1a clarifies the frequency of required bridge inspections.  Frequency requirements are established for underwater structural elements (60 months) and for fracture critical members (24 months).  The commissioner may establish criteria to determine level and frequency of these inspections.

Subdivision 2 directs the Commissioner of Transportation to adopt the NBIS for structures that meet the NBIS definition of a bridge.  The commissioner must establish inspection and inventory standards for structures defined as bridges by state law.  The commissioner is directed to prescribe inspection and inventory procedures to administer the bridge inspection program and may publish these standards.

Subdivisions 3 to 6 make technical and conforming changes.

Subdivision 6a requires that each structure required to be inspected must be load rated.  If there is a significant change to the structure or dead load placed on the bridge, it must be rerated.  Load ratings and changes in the load ratings must be recorded on a department structure inventory sheet form.  If the maximum legal load under state law exceeds the commissioner-assigned load permitted on the structure under the operating stress level assigned, the bridge must be posted.

Section 15 (House) changes the definition of “motorcycle” in chapter 168 to cross-reference the definition in chapter 169.

Section 16 (House) changes the definition of “motorized bicycle” in chapter 168 to cross-reference the definition in chapter 169.

Section 17 (House) provides that electric-assisted bicycles must not be subject to vehicle registration taxes.

Section 18 (House, also S.F. No. 2331, Sen. Dibble) clarifies the circumstances under which a vehicle owner may add an optional $2 to the registration fee for public information and education on anatomical gifts.  This section is effective January 1, 2013.

Section 19 (House, also S.F. No. 2331, Sen. Dibble) provides additional clarification concerning the optional payment of $2 by a vehicle owner when registering a vehicle, to pay for public information and education on anatomical gifts.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 20 (House, also S.F. No. 2331, Sen. Dibble) eliminates a $5 surcharge on veterans’ plates.  This section is effective immediately.

Section 21 (House) provides that a certificate of title may not be issued for an electric assisted bicycle.

Section 22 (House, also S.F. No. 2331, Sen. Dibble) specifies required documents an owner must submit for the issuance of a certificate of title when there is an issue of ownership concerning a vehicle that is at least five years old.

Section 23 (Floor Amendment, Sen. Dibble) amends the statutory definition of “bicycle” to include an electric-assisted bicycle.

Section 24 (House) amends the definition of “electric-assisted bicycle” to incorporate federal regulations for bicycles.

Section 25 (House) amends the definition of “motorcycle” to provide that an electric-assisted bicycle is not a motorcycle.

Section 26 (Floor Amendment, Sen. Dibble) amends the statutory definition of “motorized bicycle” to exclude an electric-assisted bicycle.

Section 27 (S.F. No. 1719, Sen. Hoffman) allows a person who meets the following five requirements to stop vehicles and hold them in place until it is safe to proceed:

  • Hold a motorcycle road guard certificate;
  • Meet safety and equipment standards;
  • Be escorting a motorcycle group ride;
  • Notify all cities through which the group will pass; and
  • Obtain the consent of the chief of police of any city of the first class through which the group will pass.

The motorcycle road guard may direct motorcycles within a group ride or other vehicle traffic to act contrary to traffic control signals.  A vehicle stopped by a motorcycle road guard may proceed only when directed by the flagger or police officer.  This section is effective one year after publication of rules in the State Register.

Section 28 (S.F. No. 1730, Sen. Rest) requires the Commissioner of Public Safety to provide, upon specific request by the Commissioner of Transportation, copies of accident reports involving damage to state-owned infrastructure.

Section 29 (Committee Amendment, Sen. Wolf; and Floor Amendment, Sen. Dibble)  amends the statute on bicycle equipment, providing that a bicycle may be equipped with a white flashing front lamp and bicycle tires may have studs or other protuberances to increase traction.  This section also limits to two-wheeled bicycles the prohibition against operating a bicycle with elevated handlebars on a highway.

Section 30 (House) prohibits an individual under the age of 15 from operating an electric-assisted bicycle.

Section 31 (House) corrects a cross-reference to the prohibition against selling a bicycle that is not equipped with bicycle reflectors and other required equipment.

Section 32 (House) eliminates the requirements that operators of electric-assisted bicycles must wear helmets and eye protection devices.

Section 33 (Floor Amendment, Sen. Dibble) eliminates certain limitations on operation of electric-assisted bicycles under the motorized bicycle section of statutes.

Section 34 (House) excepts bicycles from the prohibition against the use of studded tires on a highway.

Section 35 (H.F. No. 518, Sen. DeKruif) changes language relating to an existing $300 permit fee for a vehicle hauling raw or unfinished forest products.  Fee revenues will be deposited in the bridge inspection and signing account rather than in the trunk highway fund, as provided by current law.  This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Section 36 (H.F. No. 518, Sen. DeKruif) restates, with some modifications, the language that creates the bridge inspection and signing account in the special revenue fund.  Money in the account is annually appropriated to the commissioner for local bridge inspection and posting of weight limits.  This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Section 37 (H.F. No. 518, Sen. DeKruif) changes the deposit of fee revenues for special farm products hauling permits to the bridge inspection and signing account rather than in the trunk highway fund, as provided in current law.  This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Section 38 (S.F. No. 1733, Sen. Stumpf) provides that a civil penalty for overweight vehicles must be assessed within 90 days of weight record inspection.

Section 39 (H.F. No. 1835, Sen. Chamberlain) adds black and gold to the list of allowable main colors of a county sheriff’s office vehicle.  Current statute restricts allowable predominant colors to brown or white.

Section 40 (H.F. No. 1835, Sen. Chamberlain) allows a security guard to continue to use a motor vehicle that is predominantly gold if it was used before August 1, 2012.

Section 41 (House) amends the definition of “motorized bicycle” in chapter 171 to cross-reference the definition in chapter 169.

Section 42 (S.F. No. 1484, Sen. Wiger) corrects a cross-reference in the section that establishes the anatomical gift account in the special revenue fund.  This section is effective January 1, 2013.

Section 43 (S.F. No. 1719, Sen. Hoffman) creates the motorcycle road guard certificate.

Subdivision 1 requires a motorcycle road guard to possess a valid certificate issued by the commissioner to perform the traffic control activities in section 31.

Subdivision 2 directs the Commissioner of Public Safety, through the Motorcycle Safety Center, to establish qualifications to obtain the certificate.  The qualified person must be at least 18 years old, possess a valid driver’s license, and successfully complete a motorcycle road guard certification course developed and offered by the Motorcycle Center or agents. The commissioner, also through the Motorcycle Center, must establish safety and equipment standards for operating as a motorcycle road guard, including wearing a reflective safety vest.

Subdivision 3 requires the commissioner to collect a fee for motorcycle road guard certificate applicants, which covers the department’s costs.

Subdivision 4 provides that violation of this section is a petty misdemeanor.

Subdivision 5 authorizes the commissioner to adopt rules to carry out this section.  The rules must specify the fee to be collected under subdivision 3.

Subdivisions 1 to 4 are effective one year after adoption of rules under subdivision 5, which is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 44 (S.F. No. 1960, Sen. Gimse) directs the Commissioner of Transportation, in cooperation with the Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development, to study freight rail economic development and submit to the relevant legislative committees an interim report by January 15, 2013, and a final report on September 1, 2013.  The study’s findings are to be included in the statewide freight and passenger rail plan.  The Commissioner of Transportation may expend up to $216,000 from the rail service improvement account to pay the costs of the study.   This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 45 (S.F. No. 1439, Sen. Goodwin) creates the safe routes to school program.

Subdivision 1 defines terms used in this section.

Subdivision 2 creates the program and directs the commissioner to develop and implement the program.  The purpose of the program is to assist in funding capital investments for safe and appealing nonmotorized transportation to and from school.

Subdivision 3 establishes two accounts.  The first is the safe routes to school account in the bond proceeds fund.  Money in the account is for bond-eligible projects on public property receiving financial assistance as provided in this section.  The second account is the safe routes to school account in the general fund, which may be used on projects receiving financial assistance under this section.

Subdivision 4 contains a statement of purpose and legislative intent.

Subdivision 5 directs the Commissioner of Transportation to establish program requirements and a competitive process for assistance, including grant solicitation, application requirements, payment procedures, and a schedule for application, evaluation, and award of assistance.

Subdivision 6 directs the commissioner to establish selection criteria, which must include establishment or improvement of capital infrastructure to improve safety and encourage nonmotorized school transportation.

Subdivision 7 requires cancellation after five years of the grant and repayment of proceeds paid to the grantee if the commissioner determines the grantee has not proceeded with timely implementation of the project.

Subdivision 8 requires a report by the commissioner to the legislative Transportation Committees every year by November 1.  The subdivision specifies the content of the report, including any recommendations for legislation.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 46 (Committee Amendment, Sen. Gimse) removes a statutory requirement that small vehicle passenger service for persons receiving nonemergency medical care and receiving reimbursement from the state’s medical assistance program, must meet Department of Transportation standards for special transportation services.

Section 47 (S.F. No. 1148, Sen. Saxhaug) expands the list of unlawful activities on state rail bank property, allows for placement of fencing and signs only if authorized by MnDOT, disallows structures of they are permanent, and makes knowing violations of the statute a petty misdemeanor for first violations and a misdemeanor for subsequent violations.

Section 48 (S.F. No. 2529, Sen. Chamberlain; Committee Amendment, Sen. Sheran) exempts from gas tax:  a) transportation providers for recipients of medical assistance home and community-based waivers who are enrolled in certain day programs, effective retroactive to January 1, 2012, and b) a motor vehicle used exclusively as a mobile medical unit for the provision of medical or dental services, effective retroactive to January 1, 2011.

Section 49 (S.F. No. 2529, Sen. Chamberlain; Committee Amendment, Sen. Sheran) exempts from special fuel tax:  a) transportation providers for recipients of medical assistance home and community-based waivers who are enrolled in certain day programs, effective retroactive to January 1, 2012, and b) a motor vehicle used exclusively as a mobile medical unit for the provision of medical or dental services, effective retroactive to January 1, 2011.

Section 50 (S.F.No. 2529, Sen. Chamberlain; Committee Amendment, Sen. Sheran) exempts from petroleum products sales tax:  a) transportation providers for recipients of medical assistance home and community-based waivers who are enrolled in certain day programs, effective retroactive to January 1, 2012, and b) a motor vehicle used exclusively as a mobile medical unit for the provision of medical or dental services, effective retroactive to January 1, 2011.

Section 51 (Committee Amendment, Sen. Sheran) exempts from motor vehicle sales tax the purchase of a motor vehicle used exclusively as a mobile medical unit for the provision of medical or dental services.  This section is effective retroactively to January 1, 2011.

Section 52 (Floor Amendment, Sen. Dahms) excepts escort drivers described in section 53 from the requirement that an overdimensional load escort driver must have a certificate from the Department of Public Safety or from another state.  The section is effective the day following final enactment and expires the December 31 after two years following adoption of rules.

Section 53 (Floor Amendment, Sen. Dahms) provides that a person who lacks a certificate described in section 52 but meets certain requirements may operate as an overdimensional load escort driver when the load consists of manufactured homes or modular homes, the load does not extend over the centerline of a roadway, and the vehicle carrying the load is not routed to travel the wrong way on a roadway.  The section expires the December 31 after two years following adoption of rules.

Section 54 (S.F. No. 2251, Sen. Dibble) adjusts hourly fees charged by the State Patrol for escort services with and without a vehicle and for air flight services.  The section is effective July 1, 2012.

Section 55 (Amendment to Conference Committee Report) authorizes the Metropolitan Council to issue regional transit capital debt up to $39,600,000.  Of this amount, $4,200,000 is available for capital projects for replacement transit service providers whose reserves were reduced in 2012 as a result of the 2011 transportation budget.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 56 (House) extends until July 31, 2014, the 2012 sunset of the law that allows local governments to permit minitrucks to operate on roads within their jurisdictions.

Section 57 (House, also S.F. No.  1792, Sen. Hoffman) removes Legislative Route No. 227 from Nimrod to Sebeka and turns it back to Wadena County.

Section 58 (House, also S.F. No.  1792, Sen. Hoffman) removes Legislative Route No. 258 from Comfrey to Trunk Highway 14 and turns it back to Brown County.

Section 59 (House, also S.F. No.  1792, Sen. Hoffman) removes Legislative Route No.291 in the city of Hastings and turns it back to the city.

Section 60 (House) requires the Commissioner of Transportation to establish a noise impacts stakeholder group for projects to be commenced before 2018 on Interstate Highway 94 and Trunk Highway 280. 

Section 61 (S.F. No. 1661, Sen. Chamberlain) provides that a city that dropped below 5,000 population based on the 2010 federal census will receive in 2013 an amount from the MSAS fund that is equal to the sum of its 2011 MSAS allocation and the amount of its 2013 allocation under the current statutory formula.  This section is effective the day after final enactment.

Section 62 (S.F. No. 1147, Sen. Gimse) requires the Commissioner of Transportation to report on experience with and evaluation of the construction manager/general contractor method of contracting.  The section provides for an interim report within 12 months after five contracts are accepted, and a final report within 12 months after 12 contracts are accepted.  This section is effective the day after final enactment and expires one year following the acceptance of ten construction manager/general contractor contracts.

Section 63 (H.F. No. 518, Sen. DeKruif) directs the Commissioners of Transportation, Natural Resources, and Pollution Control Agency to report by January 15, 2013, to the identified legislative committees on recommendations for a single point of issuance system to streamline water-related permitting for transportation projects.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 64 (Committee Amendment, Sen. Kruse) instructs the revisor of statutes to recodify certain statutory sections relating to towing.

Section 65 (S.F. No. 2286, Sen. Kruse) repeals rules concerning bridge inspection and inventory.  Repealed Minnesota Rules are:

Part 8810.9000 – bridge inspection and inventory definitions

Part 8810.9100 – purpose and scope

Part 8810.9200 – application of inventory and inspection standards

Part 8810.9300 – responsibility and qualifications

Part 8810.9400 – frequency of inspections and inventory

Part 8810.9500 – inspection report and ratings

Part 8810.9600 – posting lesser loads

Part 8810.9700 – updating reports

Section 66 makes the article effective on August 1, 2012, except as otherwise specified.

Article 4 – Transportation Policy

Section 1 (S.F. No. 1136, Sen. Wolf) prevents the prohibition of electric-assisted bicycles on DNR trails where bicycles are otherwise permitted, unless the commissioner finds operation of electric-assisted bicycles to be inconsistent with safe use and enjoyment of the trail.

Section 2 (S.F. No. 1136, Sen. Wolf) prevents a local unit of government from prohibiting operation of electric-assisted bicycles on trails designated for bicycle use, when the trails are funded with Department of Natural Resources (DNR) grants-in-aid, unless the local government finds use of these bicycles to be inconsistent with safe use and enjoyment of the trail.

Section 3 (S.F. No. 1136, Sen. Wolf) states that operation of electric-assisted bicycles is an exception to the prohibition of motorized vehicles on local nonmotorized trails funded by state grants.

Section 4 (S.F. No. 1136, Sen. Wolf) prevents political subdivisions from prohibiting the operation of electric-assisted bicycles on any bikeway, roadway or shoulder, unless the local government finds use of these bicycles to be inconsistent with safe use and enjoyment of the trail.

Section 5 (S.F. No. 1077, Sen. Howe) directs the Commissioner of Transportation to create the Mississippi River Trail bikeway, in cooperation with local road and trail authorities and the Department of Natural Resources.  This section also specifies the general route of the bikeway, requires connections with other bikeways, authorizes the commissioner to enter into contracts with necessary agencies, local governments, and private entities, and specifies eligible funding for parts of the bikeway administered by MnDOT.

Section 6 (S.F. No. 1077, Sen. Howe) corrects a reference to the route number for Veterans Memorial Highway, which runs from the North Dakota border to the city of Mahnomen.

Section 7 (S.F. No. 188, Sen. Senjem) designates a pedestrian bridge over Trunk Highway 14 in Rochester as the "Arianna Celeste Macnamara Memorial Bridge" and directs the Department of Transportation to erect signage near the bridge.  The signs must be paid for through nonstate sources of funds.

Section 8 (S.F. No. 330, Sen. Parry) designates a segment of Interstate Highway 35 in Rice County as "Deputy John W. Liebenstein Memorial Highway."  After being assured of the availability of nonstate funds to pay sign costs, the Commissioner of Transportation is directed to adopt a suitable marking design and erect signs on the ramps to the interchange between  Interstate Highway 35 and Rice County State-Aid Highway 1.

Section 9 (S.F. No. 689, Sen. Gimse) modifies the local effort requirement for a town to be able to receive state road aid, to eliminate one requirement that the town levied at least 0.04835 percent of taxable market value for roads and bridges in the previous year.

Section 10 (S.F. No. 672, Sen. Ingebrigtsen) requires that unmarked vehicles used by the Department of Natural Resources conservation enforcement officers be registered and display license plates.

Section 11 (S.F. No. 785, Sen. DeKruif) applies the current vehicle registration tax of $50 for each ton or fraction in excess of 80,000 pounds to an overweight vehicle that is permitted by the Department of Transportation.  This section is effective October 1, 2012.

Section 12 (S.F. No. 785, Sen. DeKruif; and S.F.No. 1733, Sen. Stumpf) amends the current law that the gross weight of a motor vehicle must not exceed the gross weight upon which license tax was paid by more than the greater of four percent or 1,000 pounds. This section creates an exception to this general rule for vehicles operating with a special permit from the Department of Transportation.  This section is effective October 1, 2012.  In addition, this section broadens a “first haul” exception from certain vehicle weight regulations.  The exception applies to vehicles that exceed weight limits by ten percent or less and are performing the first transport of unprocessed farm products from the place of production to a location within 50 miles.  The section increases the allowed travel distance from 50 miles to 100 miles.

Section 13 (S.F. No. 785, Sen. DeKruif) eliminates the vehicle registration provision that allows a vehicle reregistered for a weight of more than 81,000 pounds to obtain 30-day permits from the Department of Public Safety.  The section also excepts vehicles paying the MnDOT weight increase surcharge from having to reregister at a higher gross weight with the Department of Public Safety.  This section is effective October 1, 2012.

Section 14 (S.F. No. 1083, Sen. Sparks) changes the definition of "public impound lot" so that a privately owned lot that does not operate under a contract with a local governmental unit solely for public use is a nonpublic lot.

Section 15 (S.F. No. 266, Sen. Howe) broadens the exceptions from weight limits on vehicles operated for road authorities (such as MnDOT, counties, and cities) to:  (1) add an exception for preparation and movement of equipment to handle snow, ice, and slippery conditions; and (2) extend the weight limits exception for those performing snow or ice removal to cover all persons operating a vehicle on behalf of a road authority.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 16 (S.F. No. 1072, Sen. Gimse) exempts railroad operators (defined as locomotive engineers, conductors, train crew members, and operators of on-track equipment) from statutory traffic regulations and driver’s license requirements while operating equipment on rails.

Section17 (S.F. No. 1077, Sen. Howe) clarifies the right-of-way rules for vehicles turning left or making a U-turn to the left on a circular green signal.

Section 18 (S.F. No. 1077, Sen. Howe) clarifies the right-of-way rules for vehicles at flashing circular yellow signals and flashing yellow arrow signals.

Section 19 (S.F. No. 1347, Sen. Newman) exempts a motorist from having to signal a turn 100 feet prior to turning, when exiting a roundabout.

Section 20 (S.F. No. 1136, Sen. Wolf) makes an exception for electric-assisted bicycles from the general prohibition of operation of a motorized bicycle on a bicycle path or bicycle lane reserved for nonmotorized traffic.

Section 21 (S.F. No. 1098, Sen. Gerlach) expands to local road authorities the ability to authorize bus operation on freeway and expressway shoulders.  The Commissioner of Transportation may authorize different operating conditions and speed limits for bus road shoulder use if an engineering study conducted by the local authority supports the changes.

Section 22 (S.F. No. 532, Sen. Vandeveer) permits a vehicle manufactured as an emergency vehicle that bears a collector or classic car license plate, is operated solely as a collector’s item and not for general transportation purposes, to display nonconforming colored lights when the vehicle is part of a parade or special event.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 23 (S.F. No. 1124, Sen. Wolf) changes the exceptions to the law that requires use of child passenger restraint systems. The effect of this section is to subject type III vehicles and school buses 10,000 pounds and less to the child passenger restraint law.

Section 24 (S.F. No. 1124, Sen. Wolf) allows the Commissioner of Public Safety to use child restraint fine proceeds to help school districts and child care providers who transport pupils in type III vehicles and small buses subject to the child passenger restraint laws.  

Section 25 (S.F. No. 785, Sen. DeKruif) provides that a commercial vehicle driver is not required to unload for a weighing officer if the vehicle's gross weight does not exceed the weight allowed by special permit, as long as the vehicle is being operated within the terms of the permit.  This section is effective October 1, 2012.

Section 26 (S.F. No. 785, Sen. DeKruif) expands the overdimensional permitting authority of the Commissioner of Transportation to include vehicles that exceed the gross weight for which they are registered.  This section is effective October 1, 2012.

Section 27 (S.F. No. 1121, Sen. DeKruif) allows a carrier with a permit for an oversize/overweight load to carry the permit in electronic format if it can be easily read.  Current law requires the permit to be in the vehicle, available for inspection.

Section 28 (S.F. No. 1121, Sen. DeKruif) creates an annual permit for overdimensional vehicles weighing from 145,001-155,000 pounds.  Under current law, vehicles in that weight class must obtain single-trip permits, based on weight and distance traveled.  Obsolete language is stricken.

Section 29 (S.F. No. 785, Sen. DeKruif) authorizes the Commissioner of Transportation to impose an additional tax on the special permit fee for a vehicle that will operate with a gross weight in excess of the registered weight.  The tax must equal the amount of additional registration tax that would be due if the vehicle were registered at the weight allowed by the permit, prorated according to the number of days the permit will be valid.  Proceeds of the tax are deposited in the trunk highway fund.  This section is effective October 1, 2012.

Section 30 (House) directs a change to the uniform traffic ticket, until August 1, 2014, to reflect an expansion of “Dimler” protection to drivers who violate the speed limit in a 60-miles per hour zone by up to ten miles over the limit.  Current law provides that a speeding violation of up to five miles over the limit in a 60-miles per hour zone will not go on the driver’s driving record.

Section 31 (S.F. No. 1082, Sen. Ingebrigtsen) recodifies language on license revocation periods for DWI-related offenses to place all relevant provisions into one section of statutes.  This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Section 32 (S.F. No. 1082, Sen. Ingebrigtsen)  conforms language regarding implied consent license recovation with other sections of statute.  This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Section 33 (S.F. No. 1072, Sen. Gimse) exempts railroad operators from the statutory driver’s license requirement while operating railroad equipment on rails, including while crossing a street or highway.

Section 34 (S.F. No. 1215, Sen. Gimse) allows payment of driver's license and identification card fees by credit or debit card, and authorizes driver's license agents (who issue drivers' licenses under the authority of the Department of Public Safety) to impose a convenience fee.  Any convenience fee must not exceed the cost of processing credit and debit card transactions.  The Commissioner of Public Safety is authorized to make rules to administer this section.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 35 (House) provides that a conviction for a speed violation of up to ten miles over a 60-miles per hour speed limit must not be entered in the driver’s record, for violations occurring between August 1, 2012, and August 1, 2014.  On and after that date, the “Dimler” protection will revert to current law, which extends to violations of up to five miles over a 60-miles per hour speed limit. 

Section 36 (S.F. No. 1082, Sen. Ingebrigtsen) conforms a cross-reference to a clause that was renumbered in section 34 of this bill.  This section is effective July 1, 2012.

Section 37 (S.F. No. 1082, Sen. Ingebrigtsen) conforms a cross-reference to a clause that was renumbered in section 32 of this bill.  This section is effective July 1, 2012. 

Section 38 (S.F. No. 1078, Sen. Kruse) authorizes MnDOT to undertake a pilot project that uses alternative financing under agreement with a governmental or nongovernmental agency as a financing or investment source, subject to funding availability and sign-off from the Department of Management and Budget.  MnDOT must report to the Legislature on the financial details of agreements under this section.

Section 39 (S.F. No. 920, Sen. Gimse) amends provisions concerning required MnDOT reports.

Subdivision 1 combines two required reports—major highway projects report and trunk highway fund expenditures report—into one report, due annually by December 15.  The definition of a reportable major highway project is reduced from $25 million to $15 million in the metropolitan district, and from $10 million to $5 million in nonmetropolitan districts.

Subdivision 2 includes additional subject areas that MnDOT must include in the major highway projects part of the report.  These include planning estimates, actual award and project costs, overruns or savings, modifications to the overall program that result from delay or project cost changes, cost of environmental compliance for two representative projects, and district/office spending and productivity measures.

Subdivision 2a is a restatement of current reporting requirements regarding trunk highway fund expenditures.

This section is effective August 1, 2012.  The major highway projects section of the report applies to projects subtantially completed on or after July 1, 2012.  The budget and spending information is effective with the report due December 15, 2013.

Section 40 (S.F. No. 1121, Sen. DeKruif) modifies provisions regarding the ability of a commercial vehicle driver who drives intrastate to obtain a state waiver of certain medical requirements.  This section provides that a waiver application must be denied for three years after an applicant has been convicted of driving on a suspended, canceled, or revoked license, without linking the loss of license to a moving violation.

Section 41 (S.F. No. 1077, Sen. Howe) amends the section of statute that allows the Commissioner of Transportation to enter into contracts in regard to the rail service improvement program, eliminating a reference to the obsolete federal rail service continuation program.

Section 42 (S.F. No. 1077, Sen. Howe) amends the section of statute on participation by political subdivisions in the state rail service improvement program, eliminating a reference to the obsolete federal rail service continuation program.

Section 43 (S.F. No. 1077, Sen. Howe) amends the section of statute that allows the commissioner to accept federal money in conjunction with the state rail service improvement program, eliminating a reference to the obsolete federal rail service continuation program.

Section 44 (S.F. No. 1148, Sen. Saxhaug)  amends a provision on state rail bank property, to expand the list of restricted activities on the property; allow for placement of fencing and signs if authorized by MnDOT; to disallow structures, if they are permanent, and make knowing violations of the statute a misdemeanor instead of a petty misdemeanor.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 45 (House, also S.F. No. 1673, Sen. Carlson) changes from $75,000 to $100,000 the threshold at which the requirement of contractors’ bonds for public work applies. The amount is linked to the threshold in the competitive bidding law.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 46 (S.F. No. 1356, Sen. Ingebrigtsen) directs the Commissioner of Transportation to grant a variance for a seaplane base on Flekkefjord Lake.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 47 (S.F. No. 132, Sen. Fischbach) authorizes the Commissioner of Transportation to allow the city of Paynesville to retain funds originally granted to the city for the purpose of acquiring land for the Paynesville airport.  The land was not used for airport purposes.  This section allows the city to refrain from paying back the money and instead retain and use it for other airport purposes until June 30, 2015, at which time unspent money would be returned by the city and deposited in the state airports fund.

Section 48 (S.F. No. 920, Sen. Gimse) deals with MnDOT reporting.  The 2013 report must include an evaluation of construction management systems and program and project management system.  The 2014 report must include an evaluation of pavement management systems and bridge management systems.  These evaluations may be done by MnDOT’s office of internal audit or by an independent external auditor.

Section  49 (House) requires the Commissioners of Transportation and Public Safety to report by January 15, 2015, concerning the effect of the “Dimler” law on public safety, frequency of speeding, crash rates, travel time, and data privacy.

Section 50 repeals:

  • Section 161.08, subdivision 2 (S.F. No. 920, Sen. Gimse) is a MnDOT reporting requirement that has been restated in a different section;
  • Section 168.012, subdivision 1b (S.F. No. 672, Sen. Ingebrigtsen) requires conservation officer vehicles to be marked as tax-exempt vehicles;
  • Section 169A.54, subdivision 5 (S.F. No. 1082, Sen. Ingebrigtsen) effective July 1, 2012, establishes the threshold for DWI license revocation at "twice the legal limit."  This language is now added to section 169A.54, subdivision 1; and
  • Section 222.48, subdivision 3a (S.F. No. 1077, Sen. Howe) defines “federal rail service continuation program," which is obsolete.

Section 51 makes the article effective on August 1, 2012, except as otherwise specified.

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