April 26, 2018 – Shakopee, Minnesota: Today, the Scott County Board of Commissioners is lauding U.S. Representative Jason Lewis’ recent federal legislative action to require that “… Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) have locally elected official representation on their boards,” which would effectively compel the Metropolitan Council (which serves as the metropolitan region’s MPO) into compliance with long-standing federal law.
For years, federally recognized MPOs “… that participate in transit improvement program planning, long-range capital plans, coordination of transit services, and carry out other state activities [that] rely on federal funding” must meet specific requirements, one of which is that the MPO include locally elected officials along with public transportation and appropriate state officials. Scott County, along with Anoka, Carver, and Dakota County, have long asserted that the Metropolitan Council – which is currently comprised of 17 non-elected appointees serving solely at the pleasure of the Governor – needed to be brought into conformity with the law.
“I, and I think I can speak for the rest of my colleagues on the Scott County Board, thank Representative Lewis for his support and leadership on this critical issue,” said Scott County Commissioner Michael Beard of Shakopee. “Our position has been clear and straightforward from the beginning: We are not seeking to change the operations, functions, or authorities of the Metropolitan Council, we simply ask that its governing structure follows federal law and that of every other MPO in the nation. We couldn’t be more pleased that Representative Lewis listened to our position and took determined action on the behalf of the metropolitan area residents and taxpayers.”
For more information on Representative Jason Lewis’ amending action, please see his office’s original media release here.