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Omnibus policy bill approved

Published (5/6/2011)
By Mike Cook
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An omnibus transportation policy bill is on its way to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Sponsored by Rep. Mike Beard (R-Shakopee), HF1068, as amended, contains provisions ranging from license plates and vehicle lights, to driver’s training and speed limit violations on a person’s driving record. It was approved April 29 by the House Transportation Policy and Finance Committee. A companion, SF920, sponsored by Sen. Joe Gimse (R-Willmar), awaits action by the Senate Finance Committee.

Among the provisions in the bill are HF615, sponsored by Rep. Mark Buesgens (R-Jordan), which allows the classroom/theory portion of driver’s education training to be completed through an online program approved by the Department of Public safety. Sponsored by Rep. Andrea Kieffer (R-Woodbury), HF650 would require carbon monoxide poisoning awareness be part of the driver’s education curriculum and be part of the driver’s license knowledge test.

Rep. Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo Township) sponsors HF867 that would allow issuance of an instruction permit to someone who has not yet completed the classroom phase of driver’s education if certain other conditions are met.

Other bills in the omnibus bill include:

HF537, sponsored by Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City), which would prohibit speed limit violations of up to and including 10 mph over the speed limit in 55 and 60 miles per hour zones from going on the driving record;

HF676, sponsored by Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Good Thunder), which would clarify that vehicles used by DNR conservation officers can be unmarked when registered as tax-exempt;

HF808, sponsored by Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth), which would require the Driver and Vehicle Services Division in the Department of Public Safety to include a mechanism for vehicle owners to donate $2 for organ donation educational programs as part of vehicle registration and renewal;

HF906, sponsored by Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-Virginia), which would require the Department of Transportation to designate by March 15, 2015, one of two specific options as the alternative route for realigning a stretch of Trunk Highway 53 near Virginia, with construction on the new route to begin by June 1, 2015;

HF1412, sponsored by Rep. Rich Murray (R-Albert Lea), which would allow electric-assisted bicycles on state trails and paths.

Also receiving committee approval was HF1310, as amended. Sponsored by Rep. Ron Shimanski (R-Silver Lake), it is an agency bill that contains policy and housekeeping provisions sought by the Public Safety and Transportation departments.

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