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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL)

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010
St. Paul, Minnesota – The Minnesota House of Representatives passed an omnibus transportation policy bill today with broad bipartisan support on a vote of 117 to 13. State Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL – Minneapolis), who authored the bill, said many of the provisions will improve Minnesota’s transportation system and move the state closer to a 21st century transportation system. “We have items in this bill that address transportation issues in every corner of the state that will benefit Minnesotans," said Hornstein, House Chair of the Transportation and Transit Policy committee. “The goal was to put together a bill that secures bipartisan support that we can pass into law and this bill will hopefully achieve that goal.” Notable provisions in the transportation policy bill include: Prohibited activities in rest areas – Dumping trash and draining refuse from RV tanks is prohibited. Staying for longer than six hours and camping is banned from state highways rest stops. “Block the box” violation– Blocking an intersection is made a traffic violation. A driver cannot enter an intersection unless the vehicle can move completely through in a manner to not block crossing traffic. Safety monitoring equipment – Allows drivers to mount safety-monitoring equipment by their rearview mirror Council on Transportation Access – Creates Council to study and make recommendations regarding availability and access of the state’s transit system Rail safety guidelines – Directs MnDOT to apply federal rail safety technology grants for upgrading non-signalized traffic Right-of-way Loans for cities and counties – Directs Met Council to make right-of-way loans available to cities and counties for needed transportation projects. The House and Senate will work to iron out differences in a conference committee before the bill heads to the Governor for his final signature. -30- Rep. Hornstein can be reached at (651) 296-9281 or by e-mail at