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Our New Wins for Transit and Climate at the State Capitol

Move Minnesota and Move Minnesota Action worked with advocates and elected allies to expand our nation-leading policy wins and put our climate and communities first this session.

We’re excited to share that the Minnesota Legislature officially passed a transportation bill this year that includes many of the top priorities we’ve been moving forward throughout this session! Passed just before midnight in the final minutes before the 2024 session ended, the bill now heads to the Governor’s desk. With help from advocates and supporters, we achieved critical progress on statewide climate action, stood up for public transit, and more. 

What we accomplished this session:

We expanded our nation-leading policy to drive down climate pollution from transportation.

Move Minnesota and Move Minnesota Action developed and secured new legislation that applies our groundbreaking 2023 climate law not only to highway expansion projects, but to all major Minnesota highways. This new win means greenhouse gas and vehicle miles traveled assessments are now required on every major highway project statewide. Together these projects must move us closer to state goals to reduce driving and cut climate pollution–and Minnesota must provide even more and better options for people to bike, walk, roll, and use public transit!

The legislation passed last night also establishes a technical advisory committee to provide support and accountability. And, in a major first, it allows MnDOT to collect greenhouse gas and vehicle miles traveled data from cities and counties across the state. This information will enable Minnesota to expand this law to all roads in the state in the future.

Through these policy changes, we are fighting the climate crisis with solutions that will make our communities healthier and more connected than ever.

We advocated to protect public transit funding.

Defending against multiple attempts to chip away at the dedicated transit funding we secured last year, Move Minnesota Action advocated to key lawmakers that transit sales tax funding should be used for transit purposes as promised in last year’s legislation—and that the legislature should not put limits on those transit investments. This will be an ongoing fight in the years to come to ensure transit riders get the high-quality system we all need and deserve. We will continue work to protect transit funding and to strengthen communities served by transit with supporting policies and investments.

We made great bus service a priority.

Move Minnesota Action and our partners successfully advocated for measures that will help prioritize bus lanes and signal priority on our region’s future bus rapid transit projects. This means faster, more convenient bus service for people across the Twin Cities.

We supported transit-oriented development.

Move Minnesota Action joined broad coalition efforts to allow for increased housing density across the state, in particular near transit lines and stations, and also efforts to eliminate requirements that force developers to build unnecessary parking. While a number of bills that were introduced did not ultimately pass this year, our coalition built legislative support and is better positioned to secure these policy wins in future years.

One critical provision that did pass is the “comprehensive plan clarity” law, which will help local jurisdictions plan for future land uses—including transit-oriented development—without fear of litigation. Kudos to our longtime partners Sierra Club North Star Chapter for leading on this issue. This win is an important step toward building more vibrant and sustainable communities around public transit in Minnesota!

We did this together!

At Move Minnesota and Move Minnesota Action, we bring deep understanding of both policy and politics to our effective advocacy at the State Capitol. We’ve built trusted relationships that connect grassroots supporters with elected leaders to create powerful change. Sometimes our work is loud and visible, and other times it’s about strategically staying behind the scenes. No matter what, we are laser-focused on outcomes that make a difference to our families, climate, and communities.

From winning the most progressive transportation bill in the country in 2023 to building on those historic victories in 2024, we are continuing to lead the movement for a just, joyful, and sustainable transportation future in Minnesota. We know wins like these are the work of years. They happen when advocates and elected allies come together and continue to push for transportation that helps families thrive, keeps neighborhoods healthy, sustains our air and climate, and connects us to work, school, and the people we love. 

Thank you to our transit champions at the State Capitol, to our coalition partners, and to everyone who took action and made your voices heard with us throughout this session! Your advocacy and support makes this progress possible. Special thanks to Senator Scott Dibble, Senator Kelly Morrison, Representative Larry Kraft, and Representative Frank Hornstein who retires this session after decades of steadfast support for public transit.

We look forward to continuing this fight and celebrating this progress together!