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SB 201: "An Act establishing the safe routes to school program; relating to the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities; relating to the Department of Health and Social Services; and relating to the Department of Education and Early Development."

00                             SENATE BILL NO. 201                                                                         
01 "An Act establishing the safe routes to school program; relating to the Department of                                   
02 Transportation and Public Facilities; relating to the Department of Health and Social                                   
03 Services; and relating to the Department of Education and Early Development."                                           
04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
05    * Section 1. AS 19.05 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                  
06 Sec. 19.05.055. Safe routes to school program. (a) The department shall                                               
07 establish a safe routes to school program for the purposes of establishing safe routes                                  
08 for students to walk and bicycle to school and supporting safe routes to school projects                                
09 that will reduce vehicle-pedestrian accidents and improve student health. The program                                   
10       must include                                                                                                      
11                 (1)  a strategic plan to guide development of safe routes to school                                     
12       throughout the state;                                                                                             
13                 (2)  a grant procedure for providing funding support to develop site-                                   
14       specific projects; and                                                                                            
01 (3)  statewide outreach and technical assistance to schools and other                                                   
02       entities to establish safe routes to schools.                                                                     
03 (b)  The legislature may appropriate to the program at least 18 percent of the                                          
04 revenue derived each year from federal receipts for transportation alternatives                                         
05 programs and surface transportation programs. Nothing in this subsection creates a                                      
06       dedicated fund.                                                                                                   
07 (c)  The department may not transfer revenue that is derived from federal                                               
08 receipts for transportation alternatives programs or surface transportation programs to                                 
09 another program, fund, or account, except as may be otherwise provided by federal                                       
10       law.                                                                                                              
11 (d)  Of the total amount available to the department in a fiscal year for the safe                                      
12 routes to school program, the department shall use not less than 10 percent and not                                     
13 more than 30 percent for safe routes to school projects that are not related to                                         
14       infrastructure.                                                                                                   
15            (e)  The department shall                                                                                    
16                 (1)  implement, review, and update the program;                                                         
17 (2)  administer the program in collaboration with the Department of                                                     
18       Health and Social Services and the Department of Education and Early Development;                                 
19 (3)  develop, review, and update a statewide strategic plan under (f) of                                                
20 this section in collaboration with the Department of Health and Social Services and the                                 
21       Department of Education and Early Development;                                                                    
22                 (4)  evaluate and provide technical assistance for site-specific projects;                              
23 (5)  award grants to eligible entities for projects selected under (g) of                                               
24       this section;                                                                                                     
25 (6)  provide outreach, education, and technical assistance to eligible                                                  
26       entities under P.L. 114-94 (Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act);                                         
27                 (7)  identify barriers to implementation of safe routes to school; and                                  
28                 (8)  develop criteria and procedures for collection of student travel data.                             
29            (f)  The strategic plan for the program must                                                                 
30                 (1)  review the needs of students for safe routes to schools;                                           
31                 (2)  establish benchmarks and long-term goals for the program;                                          
01 (3)  prioritize high-need areas for available technical assistance,                                                     
02       resources, and funding for safe routes to school projects; and                                                    
03                 (4)  identify strategies for achieving program goals.                                                   
04 (g)  The department shall consult with the Department of Health and Social                                              
05 Services and the Department of Education and Early Development to develop and                                           
06 periodically revise guidelines, schedules, and procedures to support safe routes to                                     
07 school projects selected for grant awards. The department may award a grant to an                                       
08 eligible applicant to support planning or engineering for safe routes to school projects                                
09 that are site-specific. The department shall prioritize high-need areas and establish                                   
10 performance measures for each project for which a grant is awarded. To receive a                                        
11       grant, a project must                                                                                             
12                 (1)  be located within two miles of a school;                                                           
13 (2)  facilitate bicycling and walking to the school by providing one or                                                 
14       more of the following:                                                                                            
15                      (A)  improvements to sidewalks;                                                                    
16                      (B)  pedestrian and bicycle crossings;                                                             
17                      (C)  on-street bicycle facilities;                                                                 
18                      (D)  off-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities;                                                 
19                      (E)  secure bicycle parking facilities;                                                            
20                      (F)  traffic calming, diversion, and speed reduction; and                                          
21                      (G)  other approved strategies; and                                                                
22 (3)  be designed to encourage children in safely walking and bicycling                                                  
23 to school through public awareness campaigns and outreach, traffic education and                                        
24 enforcement in the vicinity of schools, student education on bicycle and pedestrian                                     
25       safety, and training for volunteers and managers.                                                                 
26 (h)  The director shall submit an annual report for the program to the                                                  
27 legislature not later than 20 days before the convening of each regular session of the                                  
28 legislature. The director shall deliver the report to the senate secretary and the chief                                
29 clerk of the house of representatives and notify the legislature that the report is                                     
30       available. The report must include                                                                                
31                 (1)  a program funding summary;                                                                         
01                 (2)  an estimation of the benefits conferred by the program;                                            
02                 (3)  a progress report on the implementation of the benchmarks and                                      
03       long-term goals for the program, including benchmarks and goals related to high-need                              
04       areas; and                                                                                                        
05                 (4)  any recommendations for legislative changes, including proposals                                   
06       to improve program effectiveness.                                                                                 
07            (i)  The department may adopt regulations necessary to implement the                                         
08       program.                                                                                                          
09            (j)  In this section,                                                                                        
10                 (1)  "high-need area" means                                                                             
11                      (A)  a school or project area in which at least 50 percent of the                                  
12            children are eligible to receive free and reduced-price meals under the National                             
13            School Lunch Program; or                                                                                     
14 (B)  a census tract in which the median household income is                                                             
15 less than 80 percent of the statewide average median based on the most current                                          
16 census tract level data from the United States Census Bureau American                                                   
17            Community Survey;                                                                                            
18                 (2)  "program" means the safe routes to school program.