2021 Passenger Rail Legislation in the Minnesota House and Senate

March 11, 2021

Updated April 9 (authors added, Senate Companion files, etc.)- Here is a summary of the Minnesota House bills and companion bills in the Minnesota Senate to fund more passenger rail. If you have any questions on these bills please contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Please call the Governorn and your legislators; ask them to support these bills. With just one of the $10M bills enacted, the 2nd Proposed Train Frequency between the Twin Cities and Chicago could begin rolling in about two years. We have just posted a video about this new train in our "Proposed Routes" section - Twin Cities Chicago. There is more legislation this year than in past years. We are really encouraged by all of this legislation!

Here are the bills currently under review in the Minnesota Legislature:

1. House File (HF) 1639: Description - $160M in bond funds to appropriated to execute the MnDOT State Rail Passenger Plan - Author Rep Alice Hausman, Reps Todd Lippert, Gene Pelowski:

1a. Senate Companion File (SF 1962) Author - Senators Jeremy Miller, Sandy Pappas, and Michael Goggin

2. HF 1638: Description - Move property taxes currently paid by freight railroads into the general fund to a dedicated rail fund for freight and passenger rail funding - Author Rep. Alice Hausman: No Senate comanion bill as of early March 2021

3. HF 1637: Description - $10M appropriated from the general fund (cash) to fund infrastructure improvements for the 2nd Proposed Daily Passenger Train frequency between the Twin Cities and Chicago - Author Rep. Alice Hausman, Rep Gene Pelowski: No Senate companion bill as of early March 2021

4. HF 1251: Description - $10M appropriated from Bond Funds (designed to be part of the 2021 Bonding Bill and also in the Governors Bonding Bill proposal for 2021) to fund infrastructure improvements for the 2nd Proposed Dail Passenger Train frequency between between the Twin Cities and Chicago- Author Rep Alice Hausman, Frank Hornstein - Chair House Transportation Committee, Todd Lippert, Gene Pelowski: Senate Companion File - none as of early March 2021 but we understand Senator Jeremy Miller and possibly a couple other Senators will co-sponsor this bill.

5. HF 1109: Description - $4M in bond funds appropriated for engineering of high speed rail service from the Twin Cities to Duluth - Author Mary Murphy: Senate Companion File - 1624: Authors - Senators Jennifer McEwen, Ann Johnson-Stewart, Jerry Newton

6. HF 2269 This is the Omnibus Bonding bill which contains all of the projects in the proposed 2021 Bonding Bill; there is $10M appropriated in this bill for the 2nd daily proposed train between the Twin Cities and Chicago. As of the end of March there is no Senate companion bill.

7. HF 1393 - Here is the text of the bill as introduced - $500,000 in fiscal year 2022 is appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of transportation for a feasibility study and alternatives analysis of a passenger rail corridor connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul to Albert Lea on existing rail line and passing through Faribault and Northfield and auxiliary east-west passenger rail service connecting Mankato and Winona on existing rail line and passing through Owatonna and Rochester. Authors - Todd Lippert (Northfield) and Alice Hausman. Senate Companion File - SF 2365, Author Senator Sandy Pappas