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S.F. No. 1647 - Transportation Omnibus Policy (Third Engrossment)
 
Author: Senator D. Scott Dibble
 
Prepared By: Krista Boyd, Senate Fiscal Analyst (651/296-7681)
 
Date: April 29, 2015



 

Section 1 (S.F. No. 1473, Sen. Carlson) changes the current private data classification of Department of Public Safety data related to a holder of a disability certificate.  Current law allows nonmedical data to be released to law enforcement agencies.  This section allows nonmedical private data on disability certificate holders to be released to employees or agents of cities and towns for the purposes of enforcement of disability parking laws.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 2 (S.F. No. 1461, Sen. Kent) classifies as nonpublic data a construction project schedule created by a vendor and submitted to or maintained by MnDOT from the time the project is advertised until it is awarded.

Section 3 (S.F. No. 1832, Sen. Skoe) allows a property owner whose property abuts a public highway to appeal the denial or revocation of a driveway permit by MnDOT.  An appeal triggers a de novo hearing by the district court, in which the commissioner must support the denial or revocation by clear and convincing evidence that the permit would interfere with construction, maintenance, and safe use of the highway.

Section 4 (S.F. No. 1525, Sen. Champion) restricts the applicability of the section’s definition of “highway” in order to clarify that road authorities may issue drainage permits along right-of-way within their jurisdictions, including within a city.

Section 5 (S.F. No. 1852, Sen. Pederson) changes the statute regulating mowing of roadside ditches by:

  • adding haying to provisions now applied to mowing and tilling;
  • making this section applicable to individuals (in addition to road authorities);
  • applying the provisions of this section to roads within cities;
  • modifying the dates when right-of-way may be mowed;
  • changing the minimum height to which mowing is allowed;
  • allowing mowing or haying to treat noxious weeds or invasive species;
  • allowing mowing of residential areas, but encouraging landowners to delay until after nesting season;
  • restricting mowing and haying of roads adjacent to wildlife management areas to road authorities, unless permission is obtained from the Commissioner of Natural Resources;
  • allowing landowners to request the road authority not to mow their property, for the purpose of providing roadside habitat for wildlife or pollinators;
  • allowing local road authorities to adopt more restrictive mowing, haying or tilling ordinances; and
  • requiring the Commissioner of Natural Resources to coordinate with local road authorities (in addition to the Commissioner of Transportation) to enhance roadside habitats.

Violation of this section is a petty misdemeanor, with a penalty based on the value of the vegetation taken.  Penalty proceeds are deposited in an account maintained by the road authority.

Section 6 (S.F. No. 1525, Sen. Champion) strikes the description of the Mississippi River Trail bikeway.  The language is moved to a new subdivision 6 (section 8 in this bill).  The section now provides that MnDOT, in cooperation with road and trail authorities, shall identify state bikeways.

Section 7 (S.F. No. 1525, Sen. Champion) broadens the existing statute directing MnDOT to develop linkages between bikeways, striking references to specific bikeways.

Section 8 (S.F. No. 1525, Sen. Champion) establishes and describes the Mississippi River Trail bikeway from Itasca State Park, generally following the Mississippi River to the Iowa border.  This language is moved from subdivision 2 (section 6 in this bill).

Section 9 (S.F. No. 1525, Sen. Champion) establishes and describes the James L. Oberstar Memorial Bikeway, originating in St. Paul, and proceeding north to Minnesota’s boundary with Canada.

Section 10 (S.F. No. 87, Sen. Dibble) amends the corridors of commerce program to include “main street improvement” in the categories of eligible types of projects.

Section 11 (S.F. No. 87 Sen. Dibble) makes projects within a city eligible for corridors of commerce funding.

Section 12 (S.F. No. 87, Sen. Dibble) clarifies criteria for project selection within the corridors of commerce program.

Section 13 (Amendment, Sen. Tomassoni) requires the Commissioner of Transportation, to the greatest extent feasible, to utilize products, materials, and equipment that are made in America, in highway construction and maintenance projects.

Section 14 (S.F. No. 1525, Sen. Champion) provides that if the Commissioner of Transportation sets goals for targeted group business participation in contracts, the prime contractor is required, as a condition of receiving the award, either to meet the goal or to demonstrate good faith efforts to meet the goal.  The commissioner must establish a procedure to evaluate contractors’ good faith efforts when they do not achieve the goal.  This section strikes the waiver process that is currently available when qualified small targeted group businesses are not reasonably available.

Section 15 (S.F. No. 1525, Sen. Champion) is similar to section 14, but applies to goals for prime contractors in subcontracting with veteran-owned small businesses. 

Section 16 (S.F. No. 1525, Sen. Champion) relates to the targeted group business program and veteran-owned small business program, and provides that contract awards under these programs may be subject to rules of the Commissioner of Administration at the election of the Commissioner of Transportation.  Current language is mandatory, not permissive.

Section 17 (S.F. No. 2036, Sen. Skoe) specifies that MnDOT, for highway construction on a described reservation, may award a preference for Indian-owned contractors not to exceed ten percent, or negotiate an agreement with the tribal authority to award and administer the construction contract, funded by MnDOT, who must determine that the tribal authority’s proposed cost is reasonable.

Section 18 (S.F. No. 1039, Sen. Metzen) allows a deputy registrar to retain records and documents in a secure electronic medium, beginning at least 60 days after the transaction, subject to the commissioner’s standards.  The deputy registrar must pay all costs of converting to and maintaining an electronic system.

Section 19 (S.F. No. 1393, Sen. Kent) provides that a driver who does not obey a flagger in a work zone is guilty of a petty misdemeanor and must pay a $300 fine. The section allows a peace officer to cite a driver within four hours after the driver violated the law requiring obedience to a flagger in a work zone.  The section is effective August 1, 2015, and applies to violations committed on and after that date.

Section 20 (S.F. No. 1180, Sen. Carlson) expands the move-over law to include parked utility company vehicles with warning lights activated, so that a driver, in passing this type of vehicle, is required to move a lane away, if it is possible to do so.  In addition to its application to law enforcement vehicles, the law currently applies to freeway service patrol vehicles, road maintenance vehicles, and construction vehicles.

Section 21 (Amendment, Sen. Westrom) defines “electronic message” for purposes of the law that prohibits texting (sending or receiving an electronic message) to exclude data or images from global positioning systems or navigation systems.

Section 22 (S.F. No. 1436, Sen. Hoffman) increases the maximum allowable number of motorcycle headlamps from two to four, and makes technical statutory changes. The section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 23 (S.F. No. 1052, Sen. Tomassoni) preserves the requirement that a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver inspect, at the end of the working day, each CMV that the driver operated that day.  However, the section removes the requirement of a written report of the inspection unless a defect or deficiency is discovered by or reported to the driver, or unless the CMV is used to carry passengers.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 24 (S.F. No. 1052, Sen. Tomassoni) limits the requirement of a pretrip inspection report review and safety verification to the first time a CMV is operated after a daily inspection report is completed, under section 16.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 25 (S.F. No. 1052, Sen. Tomassoni) clarifies that the only inspection requirement that applies to a driver operating a CMV that is a farm truck that may be operated by a person not holding a commercial driver’s license, is to determine, before operating the farm truck, that the vehicle is in safe driving condition.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 26 (S.F. No. 632, Sen. Eken) modifies the definition of “insurance identification card” in the section of statute on required proof of insurance while operating a vehicle.  It allows that the identification card may be in an electronic format. This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 27 (S.F. No. 632, Sen. Eken) provides that displaying proof of insurance to a peace officer by use of an electronic device does not constitute consent for a peace officer to access other contents of the device.  The policyholder who provides an electronic device to show proof of insurance assumes liability for damage to the device while in possession of the officer.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 28 (S.F. No. 1060, Sen. Jensen) provides that an aerodynamic device as described in federal regulations (extending five feet beyond the rear of the vehicle) is excluded from calculation of total vehicle length and semitrailer/trailer length for:  a single vehicle, a vehicle combination, and a recreational vehicle combination.

Section 29 (S.F. No. 1041, Sen. Stumpf) authorizes the Commissioner of Public Safety to issue a nondomiciled commercial permit or driver’s license to an applicant who otherwise meets the requirements for a commercial permit or license, but is not domiciled in Minnesota.  This section is effective the day following final enactment and applies to applications submitted after the commissioner has entered into a new contract for driver’s license and card design and production.

Section 30 (S.F. No. 1041, Sen. Stumpf) provides that an applicant for a nondomiciled commercial driver’s permit or license is not required to state the applicant’s social security number.  This section is effective the day following final enactment and applies to applications submitted after the commissioner has entered into a new contract for driver’s license and card design and production.

Section 31 (S.F. No. 1039, Sen. Metzen) allows a driver’s license agent to retain records and documents in a secure electronic medium, beginning at least 60 days after the transaction, subject to the commissioner’s standards.  The agent must pay all costs of converting to and maintaining an electronic system.

Section 32 (S.F. No. 1041, Sen. Stumpf) requires a nondomiciled commercial learner’s permit and driver’s license to be clearly marked as such under federal rules.  This section is effective the day following final enactment and applies to applications submitted after the commissioner has entered into a new contract for driver’s license and card design and production.

Section 33 (Amendment, Sen. Pederson) defines “electronic advertising device” as one that is capable of displaying digital content that can be changed.  This does not include animation, flashing lights, and video.  This section is effective the day following enactment.

Section 34 (Amendment, Sen. Pederson) provides that the prohibition on advertising devices with distracting flashing or moving lights does not include an electronic advertising device with digital content that changes no more frequently than every six seconds.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 35 (S.F. No. 87, Sen. Dibble) requires the Commissioner of Transportation to submit required reports concerning highway construction training on an annual basis, instead of the current biennial basis.

Section 36 (S.F. No. 87 Sen. Dibble) requires the Commissioner of Transportation to submit required reports concerning the disadvantaged business enterprise program on an annual basis, instead of the current biennial basis.

Section 37 (S.F. No. 87 Sen. Dibble) amends language concerning the Transportation Economic Development program to refer to performance measures developed by the Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development, and the extent to which the project promotes access to jobs and connections between transportation modes.

Section 38 (S.F. No. 858, Sen. Pederson) provides that when a local government unit is undergoing infrastructure expansion, it is eligible for a safe routes to school infrastructure grant only if it has adopted subdivision regulations requiring a developer to include safe routes to school infrastructure in new developments.

Section 39 (S.F. No. 87, Sen. Dibble) amends language of the rural road safety account to provide that money must be used to improve safety for all road users.

Section 40 (S.F. No. 87, Sen. Dibble) provides that grants under the local road improvement fund must be used to improve safety for all road users.

Section 41 (S.F. No. 918, Sen. Rest) prohibits Class I or Class II railroads from allowing operation of a train or locomotive carrying freight or passengers with a crew of fewer than two individuals, except for hostling and helper operations, remote control locomotives in yards, and as otherwise allowed by federal law. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor, and carries a minimum fine of $250 for a first violation, and $1,000 for a subsequent violation.  This section is effective August 1, 2015, and applies to violations on and after that date.

Section 42 (S.F. No. 1705, Sen. Dziedzic) clarifies terminology and scope of current statute on railroad corporation liability for certain types of damage.  Current language makes a railroad company responsible for damage caused by fire communicated by the locomotive engines.  New language includes fire spread from rolling stock or its contents and caused by spill, tear, discharge, or combustion of contents.

Section 43 (S.F. No. 1705, Sen. Dziedzic) clarifies a railroad’s liability for reasonable expenses of response to a fire, by specifying that the liability arises out of emergency response, not only fire response, and liability extends to emergency responders, local government entities, and nonprofit firefighting corporations.  “Reasonable response expenses” includes all expenses incurred by a fire department or emergency responder in supplying mutual aid assistance.

Section 44 (S.F. No. 1573, Sen. Jensen) prohibits a motor carrier from operating in intrastate commerce while a motor carrier out-of-service order issued under federal regulations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is in effect.

Section 45 (S.F. No. 1573, Sen. Jensen) prohibits a motor carrier from operating in interstate commerce while a motor carrier out-of-service order issued under federal regulations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is in effect.

Section 46 (S.F. No. 877, Sen. Sparks) is a new section of statute dealing with utilities crossing or paralleling railroad rights-of-way.

Subdivision 1 defines terms for the purpose of this section.

  • “Crossing” is a utility facility being placed over, under, or across a railroad right-of-way, including longitudinal occupancy of railroad right-of-way.
  • “Facility” is personal property over, across, or under for storing or conveying enumerated items or products.
  • “Parallel” or “paralleling” refers to a utility facility running alongside railroad lines for up to one mile or another agreed-upon distance.
  • “Railroad” means an entity that operates a common carrier by rail, manages crossings, or collects crossing fees.
  • “Utility” means one of the enumerated entities.

Subdivision 2 applies this section to a crossing previously in existence but no longer subject to agreement.  In this case, if the $750 fee has been paid, no additional fee is due.  It also applies to a crossing commenced on or after August 1, 2015, the effective date of the section.

Subdivision 3 requires a utility that wants to cross or parallel a railroad right-of-way to complete a crossing application and submit it to the railroad by certified mail, return receipt requested, along with the required crossing fee and certificate of insurance.

Subdivision 4 allows the utility to begin construction of the crossing 30 days after the railroad has received the application, fee, and insurance certificate, unless the railroad has notified the utility in writing that the crossing would be a serious threat to the safe operation of the railroad or to the current use of the railroad right-of-way.

Subdivision 5 sets the standard fee for a utility to cross a railroad right-of-way at $750, in lieu of all other fees except for reimbursement to the railroad for any reasonable flagging expense associated with the crossing.  There is no fee if the crossing is within a public right-of-way. 

Subdivision 6 establishes minimum required levels of commercial general liability insurance for a municipality, for any other utility, and for a gas or hazardous materials pipeline utility.  The utility may choose an insurer when submitting a certificate of insurance.

Subdivision 7 allows the railroad to submit, by certified mail with return receipt requested, to the utility an objection to the proposed crossing, due to a threat to safe operations of the railroad.  If the parties, after good faith effort, cannot resolve the objection, either party may petition the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to mediate or arbitrate the disputed crossing application.  The PUC must issue an order within 120 days and may assess costs of the petition equitably among the parties.  The order may be appealed.

Subdivision 8 allows the utility to resort to the PUC when the railroad imposes additional conditions, unrelated to safe operations of the railroad, on the utility.  The subdivision provides for notice and opportunity for hearing, after which the PUC must issue an order within 120 days, assessing costs equitably.  The order may be appealed.

Subdivision 9 provides that the railroad and utility may continue an existing agreement or otherwise negotiate a new agreement, notwithstanding this section.  The section does not prevent the utility from exercising eminent domain to create an easement.

Section 47 (S.F. No. 1574, Sen. Jensen) clarifies that the certification provided by the Commissioner of Public Safety (or by a state with a reciprocal agreement with the state of Minnesota) is the only certification required to escort an overdimensional load.

Section 48 (S.F. No. 1251, Sen. Rest) provides that a foreign or domestic railroad company may not exercise eminent domain power over a property interest of certain Hennepin County government agencies if the agency finds and resolves that public safety or first-responder access will be detrimentally affected by the railroad company taking.  The section has retroactive effect from March 2, 2015, and applies to any eminent domain action to acquire a property interest of any of the named entities.

Section 49 (Amendment, Sen. Tomassoni) requires the Metropolitan Council, to the greatest extent feasible, to utilize products, materials, and equipment that are made in America, in construction and maintenance projects.

Section 50 (S.F. No. 1486, Sen. Clausen) adds to the Metropolitan Council Transportation Advisory Board one member who is an elected official from a city participating in the replacement service program, appointed by the Suburban Transit Association.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 51 (S.F. No. 939, Sen. Westrom) repeals the sunset of the statute that allows operation of mini trucks on public roads if approved by local road authorities.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 52 (Amendment, Sen. Dibble) expands the existing required study to be done by the commissioner of public safety regarding oil transportation to “other hazardous materials”.  The evaluation must analyze public safety impacts of ethanol transportation by rail, recommend actions to prevent rail transportation incidents, including examination of alternative routing and implications of colocation of freight and passenger rail, educate residents along rail corridors, and recommend minimum liability insurance requirements for rail shippers and carriers and minimum equipment requirements for first responders along high-risk rail corridors.

Section 53 (S.F. No. 1041, Sen. Stumpf) allows, effective the day following final enactment, the Commissioner of Public Safety to issue a commercial learner’s permit or driver’s license marked with the word “nondomiciled” for an applicant who is domiciled in a foreign jurisdiction and otherwise meets the requirements for the license.  A permit or license must not be deemed invalid because it is marked “nondomiciled.”

Section 54 (S.F. No. 1136, Sen. Hoffman) requires that owners of state and state-leased parking facilities must not display any form of the words handicap, disabled, or disability on parking signs.  Signs must be replaced in the ordinary course of sign modification and replacement. 

Section 55 (Amendment, Sen. Reinert) requires MnDOT to grade the land on a Duluth Highway 23 project such that a bicycle and pedestrian path approaches street level as it emerges from under the bridge over Kingsbury Creek.

Section 56 (S.F. No. 1128, Sen. Hawj) allows the city of St. Paul to adopt an ordinance restricting or prohibiting use of engine compression brakes on Interstate Highway 94 between Johnson Parkway and Trunk Highway 52.  The Commissioner of Transportation will erect the signs, and the city of St. Paul will pay signage costs. The section is effective the day after final enactment.

Section 57 (S.F. No. 1525, Sen. Champion) removes Legislative Route No. 275 from the trunk highway system when the Commissioner of Transportation and Lac qui Parle County finalize a turnback agreement.

Section 58 (S.F. No. 1525, Sen. Champion) allows for an alternative eminent domain damages appraisal process before the Office of Administrative Hearings (instead of through a commissioners’ hearing) for up to five transportation projects selected by MnDOT.  All parties must agree before the alternative process may be utilized.  This section expires June 30, 2017.

Section 59 (S.F. No. 1388, Sen. Newman) directs the Commissioner of Transportation, by January 2, 2016, to report to the legislative transportation committees concerning the possibility of expanded use of tolling to reduce congestion and raise revenue.  The report must be prepared within existing appropriations.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 60 (S.F. No. 1647, Sen. Dibble) directs the Commissioner of Transportation, in consultation with local government representatives, to adopt a policy, by September 1, 2015, concerning cost participation for cooperative construction and maintenance projects.  The policy must minimize the local cost share, while complying with constitutional restrictions on use of the trunk highway fund.  The section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 61 (Amendment, Sen. Senjem) requires the commissioner of public safety, by December 1, 2015, to recommend to the transportation committees, a means by which commercial truck drivers may be provided with fingerprinting services to meet federal requirements to obtain a hazardous materials endorsement on a commercial driver’s license.

Section 62 (S.F. No. 1039, Sen. Metzen) directs the Commissioner of Public Safety, by August 1, 2015, to establish standards for conversion by deputy registrars and driver’s license agents to a system of secure electronic storage for records.  The standards must specify minimum system security requirements and procedural requirements for destruction of paper records.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 
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