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Legislative Audit Commission

Minutes

February 6, 1998

The meeting of the Legislative Audit Commission was called to order by Senator Deanna Wiener on Friday, February 6, 1998 at 10:35 a.m. in Room 118 State Capitol.

Members Present:

Representative Philip Krinkie    Senator Deanna Wiener
Representative Dan McElroy

Members not present:

Representative Lynda Boudreau    Senator William Belanger, Jr.
Representative Edwina Garcia Senator Sheila Kiscaden
Representative Mindy Greiling Senator David Knutson
Representative Kris Hasskamp Senator Keith Langseth
Representative Mark Holsten Senator James Metzen
Representative Bill Macklin Senator Thomas Neuville
Representative Mary Jo McGuire Senator Pat Pariseau
Representative Ann H. Rest Senator Ember Reichgott Junge
Senator Allan Spear

Senator Wiener indicated the purpose of the meeting was to review the program evaluation report on transit services and recognized Roger Brooks, Deputy Legislative Auditor for Program Evaluation. Mr. Brooks introduced staff who worked on the study: Elliot Long and John Yunker who co-managed the study, and John Patterson, evaluation specialist. He gave an overview of the reasons for conducting the study and issues it addressed.

Mr. Long reviewed the questions addressed in the study and gave an overview of comparisons with transit programs in other cities. Mr. Yunker reviewed the study’s findings and recommendations concerning metro area transit service planning and reporting. Mr. Long reviewed outstate transit services and presented conclusions contained in the report. Both answered questions from members.

Senator Wiener recognized James Solem, Regional Administrator of the Metropolitan Council. Mr. Solem indicated that his agency agreed with the data contained in the report. He answered questions from members concerning the data and ridership and indicated that he would prepare an analysis of such data which would be presented to the Commission and the two transportation committees in order to assist them in their policy debate. Mr. Solem questioned whether additional long-range transit planning was necessary given the planning already completed and the seeming lack of interest from policy makers.

Senator Wiener recognized Richard Stehr, Director of the Metro Office of Program Delivery in the Department of Transportation. Mr. Stehr stated the report did a good job of pointing out transit planning weaknesses and that his office would be working with the Center for Transportation Studies on the development of options. Mr. Stehr introduced Donna Allan, Director of the Office of Transit in the Department of Transportation. Ms. Allan indicated that there have been a number of changes that have influenced outstate transit systems, namely an aging population, access to medical care, and the welfare to work program, and that her office is working on options to meet the needs of people in the 20 counties that do not have any transit systems.

Senator Wiener reported that bills addressing the recommendations contained in the child protective services report were advancing in both the House and Senate.

The meeting adourned at 12:05 p.m.

_______________________________________
Senator Deanna Wiener, Chair

_______________________________________
Jean Barnhill, Recording Secretary

 

Mentioned

Office of the Legislative Auditor ♦ Room 140, 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55155