MCOTA senior leadership meeting

MCOTA held its first annual agency senior leadership meeting with commissioners on July 24, 2020. The agenda included an overview of the MCOTA 2020–2024 strategic plan and 2020–21 work plan. The group also discussed MCOTA, Regional Transportation Coordinating Council (RTCC), and Transit Coordination Assistance Projects (TCAP) program issues and opportunities, including how agency programs can support the mission and implementation of RTCC and TCAP initiatives. In addition, they discussed two votes on volunteer-driver program legislation requested by the 81-member Minnesota Volunteer Driver Coalition and the Minnesota Public Transit Association.

Senior leaders also voted that MCOTA agencies will support Minnesota state legislation and advocacy for inclusion in the 2022–2023 budget proposal of Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan that 1) clearly defines a volunteer driver as "not for hire," and 2) provides an income tax subtraction for volunteer drivers.

Finally, MCOTA senior leadership approved a motion to urge Congress to change the reimbursement for volunteers from 14 cents per mile to match the business mileage reimbursement, which, as of July 2020, is 57.5 cents. They are making the request to the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations as well as to the Minnesota congressional delegation. A letter from MCOTA to members of Congress will include the language and the background.