E-12 Education investments will improve student achievement, make additional investments in early learning
Work is getting underway to establish 110,000 acres of new water quality buffer strips statewide
Minnesota jumped from 6th place in 2014 to top spot in 2015
ST. PAUL, MN – Today, Governor Mark Dayton signed all bills passed by the Legislature during the special session. The following is a statement from Governor Dayton:
Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith met with community leaders, first responders to discuss rail accident prevention and capacity efforts
Grant will fund expansion of Minneapolis Veterans Home nursing facility
Tomorrow night, Governor Dayton will deliver his annual State of the State Address to a joint session of the Minnesota Legislature, beginning at 7:00pm in the Chamber of the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Minnesotans can tune into Governor Dayton's Twitter page on the night of the speech to view a special livestream of the Governor’s State of the State Address. Those wishing to view the stream on their mobile device can download the Periscope application. Minnesotans will also be able to watch this stream from their computers with no special software needed.
Minnesotans can also watch or listen to Governor Dayton’s State of the State Address on the following outlets:
House Public Information Services: House Public Information Services will be live-streaming video of the Governor’s remarks online at this link. After the speech, video of Governor Dayton’s remarks will be posted online here.
PBS Stations: The Governor’s remarks will be broadcast live on PBS television stations statewide on the Minnesota Channel.
MPR Stations: Minnesota Public Radio will broadcast the Governor’s remarks live on affiliated radio stations statewide. The speech will also be re-broadcast at noon on Friday, April 10, 2015.
WCCO TV: WCCO will be live-streaming video of the Governor’s remarks on their website at this link.
WCCO Radio: The Governor’s remarks will be broadcast live on WCCO Radio AM830 and on their website.
StarTribune.com: The Star Tribune will be live-streaming video of the Governor’s remarks on their website.
Proposal would require railroads to help pay for railway safety improvements across Minnesota
Four Major Grade Separations – When the Governor introduces his bonding proposal later this month, it will include funding for four major grade separations in Coon Rapids, Moorhead, Prairie Island, and Willmar. Improvements at these rail crossings, which are heavily congested and considered particularly dangerous, are urgently needed and require major investments.
Another 71 Infrastructure Improvements Statewide – The Governor’s proposal would also fund 71 additional railway safety improvements at rail crossings across Minnesota. A comprehensive list of these projects, which were chosen by MnDOT experts based on their levels of danger and congestion. A comprehensive list of those projects is available online.
Better Training for First Responders – In order to adequately prepare for potential derailments or railway disasters, the Governor’s proposal would fund additional training measures for first responders and emergency managers across Minnesota. Specifically, this would include the construction of a new multifaceted training facility at Camp Ripley, which would simulate response scenarios related to the transportation and storage of hazardous materials, including Bakken oil.
More Quiet Zones – The Governor’s proposal would also provide funding to help establish new quiet zones in communities located along busy rail lines.
A New Rail Office Director – The proposal would hire a new Rail Office Director who would position Minnesota to play a larger role in addressing freight rail service and safety issues in the state. This would allow accelerated and expanded delivery of grade crossing safety improvements, expanded rail safety inspection, and enforcement of rail safety regulations and rail planning.
Assessments on Class I Railroads – The proposal would implement a $33 million annual assessment on the four Class I railroads that operate in Minnesota, based on their track mileage in the state. It would be used to fund additional grade separations and crossing improvements across Minnesota.
State General Obligation Bonds – The Governor’s bonding bill will include funding for four major grade separation projects in Coon Rapids, Moorhead, Prairie Island, and Willmar. It will also include funding for a new railway safety training facility for first responders at Camp Ripley and funding for quiet zones.
Modernizing Property Taxes Paid by Railroads – Minnesota’s current railroad property tax laws have not kept pace with modern assessment practices. Modernizing railroad property taxes would expand the taxable property of railroads to include rolling stock, rail cars, trestles, and rail bridges. This would expand the tax base for communities that are now dealing with increased rail use and congestion. Property tax modernization would provide $45 million in new annual revenues for cities, counties, and townships to address their local infrastructure needs.
New data show all-day kindergarten enrollment is exceeding initial state projections
ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton and Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle today released a detailed list of more than 600 road and bridge improvements that would be completed if the Legislature passes the Governor’s proposed investments in transportation. The comprehensive list, sorted by county, details the more than 2,200 miles of state roadways and 330 bridges that would be repaired, replaced, or expanded over the next ten years under the Governor’s proposal.
“Minnesotans rely on these roads and bridges every day to get to work, bring their kids to school, and get their goods to market,” said Governor Dayton. “If we fail to act, the condition of these roads and bridges will only get worse. I urge all Minnesotans to review this list of projects and decide for themselves whether these investments are worth making.”
Road and bridge improvements funded by the Governor’s proposal are urgently needed. Right now, more than half of Minnesota’s roads are more than 50 years old, and 40 percent of the state’s bridges are more than 40 years old. In just the next three years alone, one in five Minnesota roads will pass their useful life. And in the next ten years, nearly 40 percent of our roads will be past their useful life.
“After decades of decline, Governor Dayton’s transportation proposal would make needed investments in roads and bridges across Minnesota,” said Commissioner Zelle. “The Governor’s proposal would help reduce travel times, improve safety, and build a modern transportation system that would meet the needs of our state’s growing population and economy.”
Projects included in the list released today are based on the recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). In selecting pavement and bridge improvements, MnDOT gave priority to projects that would extend the life of roadways and bridges beyond the current 20-year State Highway Investment Plan (MnSHIP). MnDOT used the following criteria to select the projects included in the list released today:
Fixing Roads in Urgent Need of Repair – Priority was given to projects that would reduce the total miles of roadway statewide that have no remaining service life (meaning they are in very poor condition, and in need of repair). Over the next ten years, roughly 4,370 miles of roadway on the state system will have zero remaining service life.
Making Longer-Term Fixes on Currently-Planned Projects – Instead of just making temporary fixes that would need to be repaired again in just a few years, this list of projects includes upgrades of currently-planned projects to make sure those repairs last longer, and would extend the useful life of more Minnesota roadways.
Preventing Problems Before They Happen – Projects were included in the list released today that would provide for preventive maintenance that would reduce the need to do longer-term work in the near future. By preventing further deterioration, these new investments would forego the need to perform costlier fixes down the road.
Strategic Expansion – The list also includes projects that make targeted investments in key freight routes across Minnesota that are important for business expansions, job creation, and economic development.
The list of projects released today includes $1.6 billion in new Corridors of Commerce funding that would be provided under the Governor’s proposal. These funds would be used specifically on projects that would strengthen Minnesota’s transportation system by adding capacity, reducing congestion, and improving the movement of freight across Minnesota.
Local road improvement projects – funded with help from the state, but chosen by local governments – are not included on the list released today. Over 40 percent of the new revenues raised in the Governor’s proposal ($2.356 billion) would be directed to cities, counties, and townships; giving local leaders the resources and flexibility to repair and replace roads and bridges statewide. These new investments would add hundreds of additional road and bridge improvements in communities across Minnesota.
About Governor Dayton’s Transportation Proposal
Several weeks ago, Governor Dayton proposed a straightforward, honest solution to fix Minnesota’s aging transportation systems. The Governor’s plan would invest $6 billion over the next ten years to address the state’s highway funding deficit, invest $2.356 billion in local government transportation projects, and provide $2.92 billion for Metro and Greater Minnesota transit systems. To learn more about his proposal, click on the links below:
List of Projects
– Review the list of projects – released today by the Governor and MnDOT – that would be completed over the next ten years if the Governor’s transportation proposal is passed
– Read the news release from the Governor’s transportation proposal announcement
How it Works
– Read about how the plan would be funded
– Get all the facts on the challenges facing our transportation system, and how the Governor’s proposed investments would address those challenges
Local Funding Increases – Learn how much funding each city and county would receive under the Governor’s transportation proposal
Maps – Take a look at the transportation projects that would be funded, by region