The House on Thursday approved modifications to a local government’s authority to organize the collection of solid waste within its jurisdiction.
Sponsored by Rep. Dennis Smith (R-Maple Grove), HF3095 would amend the process by which a municipality may adopt a solid waste collection system and alter negotiation guidelines relating to organized collection agreements.
Passed 108-18, the bill now goes to the Senate where Sen. Dan Hall (R-Burnsville) is the sponsor.
Under current law, if a local government seeks to implement a solid waste collection method it must establish a committee to identify and evaluate potential collection methods. The bill would require the evaluation to include an analysis of residents’ ability to choose a solid waste collector based on cost, services provided, and other factors, and the impact of collection vehicle operation on city streets and alleys.
Provisions are also included that would affect collector negotiations.
The bill would extend the period during which local governments are required to negotiate with licensed haulers from the current 60 days to “at least” 60 days. The bill would allow the parties to informally meet and confer regarding waste collection issues prior to negotiations.
“While this area of the law often produces vigorous debate, this bill is a consensus bill,” Smith said. “For nearly a year, the haulers and the League of Minnesota Cities have met and they’ve produced some amendments, some changes to the broader changes from the 2013 bill.”
Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park) unsuccessfully offered an amendment that would require local governments to give preference to contractors who employ organized labor.
“We want to make sure we promote good, solid-paying jobs that provide benefits like health care and pensions,” Nelson said.
Smith asked members to reject the amendment.
“This bill represents an agreement worked on by all the parties and we want to respect their hard work over the past year,” Smith said.
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