Throughout the year, our blog will feature AHA volunteer stories of survival and hope. We know there are thousands of stories like these - thats why we want to say “Thanks” to all of you for giving your time and sharing your lives with us. You can’t spell CURE without U! Thank you for all you do to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. YOU’RE THE CURE!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Safe Routes to School Victory!

Thanks to all of our volunteers who made a real difference on this bill! 
We are already planning ahead for next year to secure the funding needed 
for Safe Routes to School in Minnesota.

The Legislature has adjourned for the year and we are happy to report one more legislative victory in the final days of the session. The policy language to establish the Minnesota Safe Routes to School program was passed as part of a larger omnibus transportation bill. The bill passed with very strong bipartisan support (Senate 61-5; House 128-2) and Governor Dayton signed the bill into law on May 10th.

Thank legislators and the Governor for taking this important first step to promote walking and biking to school!  

Minnesota is one of just a handful of states that have established a state-level Safe Routes to School program to complement the federal program! The law requires the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation (MNDOT) to establish a state SRTS program and account. While $3 million was requested in the bonding bill, the account received no funding this year. The program would be open to all Minnesota schools on a competitive basis (the federal program excludes high schools from applying) and requires a resolution of support from the local school board. The law also requires the commissioner of MNDOT to establish criteria for the program, publish a manual on the safe routes to school program, and requires an annual report to the Legislature on the program.  

While not funded this year, this is an extremely important first step in promoting SRTS in Minnesota. Rarely does legislation make it through the process in a single year, so this policy language is a great victory to be celebrated. Thank you for your help by contacting your legislators at key points during the legislative session. You helped pass this important law and laid the groundwork to secure funding for the program next year.

Thank Policymakers for Promoting the Health of Minnesota’s Children! 

Thank you!  

Your MNA Advocacy Team,
Anne, Justin, Ngia and Rachel

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