ST. PAUL, Minn – Counties, cities and regional centers are in constant competition for limited transportation dollars. In an effort to add clarity and decrease confusion surrounding the Department of Transportation project funding process, Sen. Matt Little (DFL-Lakeville) introduced a bill to require the state agency to develop and implement a set of best practices for selecting and funding projects.
The bill received a hearing in the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. Sen. Little says the bill addresses complaints lodged on both sides of the aisle, and comes at the recommendation of the Office of the Legislative Auditor.
“I campaigned on getting more state dollars back into our communities in the south metro. The current process for how funding decisions get made by MnDOT simply isn’t transparent. This bill will make the agency a lot more accountable and will decrease confusion. Transportation funding shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and that’s why I’m proud to have bipartisan support for this bill,” said Sen. Little.
This bill requires that MnDOT, in consultation with relevant agency stakeholders, develop, adopt, and implement best practices for project evaluation and selection processes. This process must apply to standard project selection and special programs like Corridors of Commerce. The Commissioner must publicize the best practices. The bill then outlines specific best practices the department must include.