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, July 31, 2012

Help Make Safe Routes to School a Priority in Minnesota

As you may know, this past May the legislature established the Minnesota Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program which was signed into law by Governor Dayton on May 10, 2012.  The law requires the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation (MNDOT) to establish a state SRTS program and account. While the policy language was established, the program received no funding.   

Ask Governor Dayton to fundSafe Routes to School in Minnesota as part of his budget proposal  

SRTS is a national and international movement to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to bike and walk to and from schools. The goal of the program is to get more kids walking and biking to school, which can play a critical role in reversing the alarming nationwide trend toward childhood obesity and inactivity.   

Establishing the Minnesota SRTS program was a great first step, but now the program needs to be funded in order to be effective.  The Governor is working on preparing his biennium budget right now.   

Ask Governor Dayton to fundthe state’s Safe Routes to School program.   

The SRTS program seeks to increase physical activity among school children and decrease transportation costs. Each funding cycle MNDOT receives millions more dollars in grant requests than they are able to fund - five to ten times the amount of funding that is available.  In the last federal funding cycle MNDOT received 82 applications from local schools requesting $23 million but only $3.8 million was available and awarded to 16 applicants through the federal program.  

The program would be open to all Minnesota schools (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.  

Take action today!  

Thank you for helping to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.  

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

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