Under the FAST Act, Minnesota would receive more than $4 billion in funding over five years, including an increase of $36 million above current levels in highway and transit funding in FY 2016 and up to a $107 million increase in FY 2020
Klobuchar successfully included several priorities in the legislation, including provisions to improve rail safety at blocked highway-rail crossings, combat distracted driving, promote teen driver safety, and protect driver privacy
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today announced that a bipartisan, long-term transportation bill that will increase transportation funding for Minnesota passed the Senate and is expected to be signed into law. Under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, Minnesota would receive over $4 billion in funding for transportation over the five years of the bill. Minnesota would receive an increase of over $36 million above current levels in highway and transit funding in FY 2016 and up to a $107 million increase in FY 2020. The bill also includes Klobuchar’s provisions to improve rail safety at blocked highway-rail crossings, help combat distracted driving, promote teen driver safety, and protect driver privacy. Additionally, the bill includes a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.
“In Minnesota, we know all too well the importance of investing in our roads, bridges, and transportation systems,” Klobuchar said. “I’ve been a leading advocate for investing in infrastructure, and this bipartisan, long-term bill will increase funding for Minnesota and give states and local officials the certainty they need to plan ahead for critical transportation projects. The bill also includes my provisions to make traveling safer for drivers on the road and a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. I’ll continue working on bipartisan solutions that drive our state and country forward.”
Under the FAST Act, Minnesota would receive over $767 million in FY 2016, over $783 million in FY 2017, over $800 million in FY 2018, over $818 million in FY 2019, and over $838 million in FY 2020 for roads, bridges and transit.
Klobuchar successfully included the following provisions in the long-term transportation bill agreement:
- Blocked Highway-Rail Crossings: Klobuchar’s provision helps improve safety at rail-highway crossings by ensuring that the U.S. Secretary of Transportation provides tools and best practices to states to mitigate the safety risks posed by blocked rail crossings. Local leaders and emergency responders across Minnesota have raised concerns that blocked rail crossings hold up traffic—sometimes for hours—isolating parts of communities and delaying emergency vehicles.
- Distracted Driving: Klobuchar introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Hoeven to help more states access a federal distracted driving grant program. The program is intended to award funding to states that are taking steps to curb distracted driving, but last year, because of overly stringent requirements, only one state qualified for the grants. Klobuchar’s provision makes modifications to the grant requirements that are preventing many states from qualifying and would help ensure that more states are able to access critical funding for enforcement and public education to help keep our roadways safe.
- Teen Driver Safety: Klobuchar’s provision promotes teen driver safety by making necessary changes to help more states qualify for federal Graduated Driver Licensing incentive grants. Currently, no states qualify for these grants. The Graduated Driver License programs have proven effective at reducing the crash risk of new drivers by introducing teens to the driving experience gradually, phasing in full driving privileges over time in lower risk settings, and learning to eliminate distractions that cause crashes.
- Driver Privacy: Klobuchar joined Senator Hoeven to introduce legislation that would protect driver privacy by making it clear that the owner of a vehicle is also the owner of any information collected by an Event Data Recorder (EDR). An EDR is an onboard electronic device that has the ability to continuously collect at least 43 pieces of information about a vehicle’s operation, including direction, speed, seatbelt usage, and other data. Hoeven and Klobuchar’s provision will ensure that the vehicle owner controls the data and that his or her personal privacy is protected.