Legislative Update: EV Charging Stations, Driver’s License for All & 1% Increase in Metro Sales Tax
October 10, 2023
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Local elections matter; many city council seats and school board elections as well as school district levy and bonding questions are on the ballot on November 7th. You can vote now by going to your city hall or the school district office in most cases. Find your polling place »
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Requirements
State lawmakers across 47 states in the U.S. introduced over 500 bills this year around electric vehicles (EVs) and Minnesota was no exception. Governor Walz signed EV bills MN SF 3035 and MN HF 3028 into law this year. They require commercial property owners with onsite parking to have a minimum number of EV-capable, EV-ready and EV-installed space to be included in new commercial buildings.
At our October public policy meeting, MnDOT presented an overview of their National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) plan regarding building out I94 and I35 corridors with EV charging stations. The state received $68m from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) for FY2022-26 that will provide grants to third parties to own and operate the chargers. View MnDOT’s presentation slides with more details about the process and timeline »
From Walker Orenstein, MinnPost: “The Legislature approved an ‘odor management’ policy this year that gives state regulators the power to intervene when enough people complain about offensive aromas, though it only applies in the Twin Cities metro area. Supporters say it can help improve the quality of life for thousands who live near odorous businesses. But critics at the Capitol this year questioned how the state can fairly regulate a sense that is inherently subjective. Regulation falls to the Minnesota Pollution Agency, which is already grappling with the complexity of measuring smell. Just how bad must an odor be for the stench to, as the new law says, interfere ‘with the enjoyment of life?’”
Read the full article from MinnPost »
From USA Today: “In August, there were 232,972 migrant encounters, either arrests or detainments, at the southern border (the most since December 2002), a spike from the 183,494 encountered in July and the 144,570 encountered in June, according to Customs and Border Protection. Last month's figure is also an increase from 204,087 encounters in August 2022.”
Read the full article from USA Today »
Driver’s License for All
Any Minnesota resident who passes the driver’s license test may now get a driver’s license regardless of citizenship. The identification looks the same as a Minnesota U.S. citizen and will allow all people to qualify for insurance. Minnesotans may use their standard driver’s license to board domestic flights until May 7, 2025 when REAL ID will be required for identification.
1% Increase in Metro Sales Tax
The seven-county metro sales tax increased 1% on October 1, 2023 and is expected to raise $750 million per year. Since some metro cities and counties have additional sales tax above the statewide base of 6.875%, it will vary depending on location (see chart) .25% will fund housing and .75% will go for transit. The transportation portion will raise $560 million where 83% will go to the Met Council and 17% will go to metro counties.
Graphic credit: KSTP »
School Resource Officers (SROs)
There was talk of a possible special session to address legislation around school resource officers. Governor Walz and DFL leaders said they will be holding hearings regarding SRO legislative changes early in the session to discuss the issue and consider potential changes.
Roz Peterson, Public Policy Director
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