MAPA STOPS CONCRETE INDUSTRY LEGISLATION
Earlier this session, the concrete industry introduced language that would change the pavements materials selection process. The proposal would require MnDOT to create a database that would direct pavement investment choices throughout the MnDOT districts. It would also require all MnDOT district materials choices to go through the materials office. We have reason to believe this will result in an advantage to the concrete industry.
Late last Friday afternoon, the House/Senate Transportation conference committee convened to discuss whether the proposal would move forward in a final bill or be dropped. Even though the House hadn’t heard or renewed the bill, they were open to accepting the language as MnDOT remained neutral.
At the last minutes MAPA lobbyists were able to secure the opportunity to testify in front of the committee, which is relatively rare in a conference committee. The testimony was compelling enough so that both House and Senate agreed to drop the language. MAPA strongly believe that is important for all stakeholders to have the opportunity to vet language that affects our business.
Please contact Abbey Bryduck with questions.
FINAL SESSION DEAL – NO NEW MONEY FOR ROADS AND BRIDGES
The legislative session officially ended last Monday, and a deal was not reached for new transportation funding. Road and bridge investment will continue at current levels. There will be a special session to address budget issues that weren't addressed in time, and a bonding bill is still under discussion in which there may be some amount for local roads and bridges. It is unclear if there would be enough votes to pass such a bill, as a supermajority is required for bonding proposals.
However, this July, the second round of funding secured in the previous session from the general fund for roads and bridges will be dispersed. This will be in the amount of $210 million, or the equivalent of a ten cent gas tax increase. It is unlikely that this funding stream will continue moving forward.
WORK-ZONE SAFETY BILL PASSES LEGISLATURE, HEADS TO GOVERNOR’S DESK
Both the House and Senate passed MAPA -backed Workzone legislation in the last two weeks. The bill had bipartisan support and will be presented to the Governor for his consideration soon. The bill would allow for road flaggers to call on law enforcement if a driver violates a flagger's directive. If the vehicle is located within four hours of the call, the driver can be cited and fined $300. The governor has three days to sign or veto the legislation. Industry has been working on this initiative since 2014, and we are glad to see it finally pass.