A new calendar year brings another legislative session in Minnesota. Lawmakers are already hard at work gearing up for the 2014 session and Governor Dayton is in the midst of putting the finishing touches on his bonding bill.
Please take a minute and urge Governor Dayton to include Safe Routes to School infrastructure funding in his bonding bill.
Funding a Minnesota Safe Routes to School Program will increase the safety and health of Minnesota children who walk and bike to school. The federally funded program, established in 2005, has funded just 1 in 5 of the grant requests in Minnesota. In 2012, the Minnesota Legislature established a state program and in 2013 provided $500,000 in funding for non-infrastructure needs such as planning, mapping, and training.
There is still a need to fund the infrastructure grants portion of Minnesota’s SRTS program for sidewalks, improved road crossings, and other needed infrastructure. In the last federal funding cycle MNDOT received 63 applications from localities requesting $15 million for SRTS infrastructure but only $6.7 million is available through the federal program.