U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced today that more than $700 million for Minnesota transportation and infrastructure has passed the Senate as part of the Surface Transportation legislation and will now head to the President's desk to be signed into law. The bill provides critical investments in Minnesota's roads, bridges, transit, congestion mitigation projects, and mobility improvements. The legislation also includes Klobuchar's provisions to improve driver safety, such as incentives to prevent texting while driving, implement graduated license programs and improve teen driving safety. Klobuchar also secured the passage of four amendments in the final bill.
"This legislation paves the way for critical improvements in Minnesota's roads and bridges and helps make our roads safer for families," Klobuchar said."I am pleased that Democrats and Republicans came together to pass this critical bill and ensure that these vital projects can begin in a timely manner."
Klobuchar's initiatives to improve driver safety include incentives for states to ban texting while driving and to implement graduated drivers licenses programs; allowing states to support teen peer-to-peer efforts to promote safe driving; and updating lighting and marking standards for agriculture machinery that travel on rural roads.
Klobuchar serves on the Senate Commerce Committee and secured the passage of four amendments in the Surface Transportation bill:
Agriculture Hours-of-Service: Klobuchar's bipartisan provision would fully restore the Agriculture Hours-of-Service exemption across the full food and farm supply chain, making it easier for farmers to transport goods and get products to the market during critical planting and harvesting seasons.
Recreational Trails Program: Klobuchar worked with a bipartisan group of senators to secure the continuation of the Recreational Trails Program, which had been cut from the original Surface Transportation legislation. The program helps maintain recreational trails for snowmobilers and outdoor enthusiasts in Minnesota and across the country.
Improving Safety on High Risk Rural Roads: Klobuchar's amendment would establish best practices to highlight cost-effective roadway safety infrastructure improvements on high-risk rural roads to reduce crashes that result in fatalities or severe injury. Rural roads have a traffic fatality rate that is more than three times higher than all other roads.
Improving Rural Transportation Planning:Klobuchar's initiative would give local officials in rural communities greater say in making transportation planning and spending decisions.