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Omnibus policy bill to floor

Published (3/30/2012)
By Mike Cook
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Speed limit violations, online driver’s education training and dollars for organ donation are part of a proposed omnibus transportation policy bill.

Sponsored by Rep. Mike Beard (R-Shakopee), HF1284 is mostly what was proposed in last session’s omnibus bill that was awaiting floor action when session concluded.

Approved March 29 by the House Ways and Means Committee, the bill awaits action on the House floor.

Potentially the most controversial part would prohibit speed limit violations of up to 10 mph over the limit in 55 mph and 60 mph zones from going on a driver’s record. Currently, a ticket does not appear on someone’s driving record if the person was driving up to 10 mph over the speed limit in a 55 mph zone, or 5 mph over the limit in a 60 mph zone.

Sponsored by Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City), a standalone bill for this (HF537) was passed 111-20 by the House last session, but tabled in the Senate.

Other provisions in the bill include:

• allowing a person under age 18 to complete the classroom/theory portion of driver’s education online through a program approved by the Department of Public Safety;

• preventing prohibition of electronic-assisted bicycles on any state trail where bikes are allowed, unless there is a safety issue;

• allowing payment of driver’s license and identification card fees by credit or debit card, and authorizing driver’s license agents to impose a convenience fee;

• designating part of Interstate 35 in Rice County as the “Deputy John W. Liebenstein Memorial Highway,” and designating a pedestrian bridge over Highway 14 in Rochester as the “Arianna Celeste Macnamara Memorial Bridge”;

• expanding the authority for buses to operate on freeway or expressway shoulders so that counties and towns having jurisdiction over the road can authorize the buses; and

• requiring the Driver and Vehicle Services Division of the Department of Public Safety to include a mechanism for vehicle owners to donate $2 for organ donation educational programs as part of an in-person payment of vehicle registration taxes.

A companion, SF1072, sponsored by Sen. Joe Gimse (R-Willmar), awaits action on the Senate floor.

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