Journal of the House - 37th Day - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - Top of Page 2545

STATE OF MINNESOTA

 

Journal of the House

 

NINETIETH SESSION - 2017

 

_____________________

 

THIRTY-SEVENTH DAY

 

Saint Paul, Minnesota, Thursday, March 30, 2017

 

 

      The House of Representatives convened at 10:00 a.m. and was called to order by Kurt Daudt, Speaker of the House.

 

      Prayer was offered by the Reverend Jon Ellefson, Retired Lutheran Minister, Rosemount, Minnesota and active in prison ministry at the St. Cloud Correctional Facility.

 

      The members of the House gave the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.

 

      The roll was called and the following members were present:

 


Albright

Allen

Anderson, P.

Anderson, S.

Anselmo

Applebaum

Backer

Bahr, C.

Baker

Barr, R.

Becker-Finn

Bennett

Bernardy

Bliss

Bly

Carlson, A.

Carlson, L.

Christensen

Clark

Considine

Cornish

Daniels

Davids

Davnie

Dean, M.

Dehn, R.

Dettmer

Drazkowski

Ecklund

Erickson

Fabian

Fenton

Fischer

Flanagan

Franke

Franson

Freiberg

Garofalo

Green

Grossell

Gruenhagen

Gunther

Halverson

Hamilton

Hansen

Hausman

Heintzeman

Hertaus

Hilstrom

Hoppe

Hornstein

Hortman

Howe

Jessup

Johnson, B.

Johnson, C.

Johnson, S.

Jurgens

Kiel

Knoblach

Koegel

Koznick

Kresha

Kunesh-Podein

Layman

Lee

Lesch

Liebling

Lien

Lillie

Loeffler

Lohmer

Loon

Loonan

Lucero

Lueck

Mahoney

Marquart

Masin

McDonald

Metsa

Miller

Murphy, E.

Murphy, M.

Nash

Nelson

Neu

Newberger

Nornes

O'Driscoll

Olson

O'Neill

Pelowski

Peppin

Petersburg

Peterson

Pierson

Pinto

Poppe

Poston

Pryor

Pugh

Quam

Rarick

Rosenthal

Runbeck

Sandstede

Sauke

Schomacker

Schultz

Scott

Slocum

Smith

Sundin

Swedzinski

Theis

Thissen

Torkelson

Uglem

Urdahl

Vogel

Wagenius

West

Whelan

Wills

Youakim

Zerwas

Spk. Daudt


 

      A quorum was present.

 

      Haley, Maye Quade and Omar were excused until 12:50 p.m.  Mariani and Ward were excused until 1:05 p.m.  Moran was excused until 1:10 p.m.

 

      The Chief Clerk proceeded to read the Journal of the preceding day.  There being no objection, further reading of the Journal was dispensed with and the Journal was approved as corrected by the Chief Clerk.


Journal of the House - 37th Day - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - Top of Page 2546

REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEES AND DIVISIONS

 

 

Knoblach from the Committee on Ways and Means to which was referred:

 

H. F. No. 707, A bill for an act relating to state government; appropriating money from outdoor heritage fund, clean water fund, parks and trails fund, and arts and cultural heritage fund; providing for riparian protection aid; modifying requirements for expending money from legacy funds; modifying and extending prior appropriations; requiring reports; amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 85.53, by adding a subdivision; 97A.056, subdivision 3, by adding subdivisions; 114D.50, subdivision 4, by adding a subdivision; 129D.17, subdivision 4, by adding a subdivision; Laws 2012, chapter 264, article 1, section 2, subdivision 5, as amended; Laws 2015, First Special Session chapter 2, article 1, section 2, subdivision 2, as amended; Laws 2016, chapter 172, article 1, section 2, subdivisions 2, 4; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 477A; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 97A.056, subdivision 8.

 

Reported the same back with the following amendments:

 

Page 61, line 29, delete "under subdivision 5" and insert "received by the commissioner"

 

Page 61, line 31, delete "available for aid under subdivision 5" and insert "received by the commissioner"

 

Page 71, line 20, delete "Springboard for the Arts" and insert "the State Agricultural Society and the city of Savage"

 

Page 72, line 20, delete "12,350,000" and insert "12,242,500"

 

Page 73, line 33, delete "$4,625,000" and insert "$4,517,500"

 

Page 76, line 8, delete "10,242,000" and insert "10,349,500"

 

Page 78, after line 32, insert:

 

"(q) Office of State Archaeologist

 

 

 

 

 

$107,500 the first year is for the Office of the State Archaeologist non-Indian remains analysis and reburial project."

 

Page 80, line 6, delete "Minnesota" and insert "Governor's" and delete "Disability" and insert "Developmental Disabilities"

 

Page 81, line 5, delete "$1,030,000" and insert "$950,000" and delete "$1,110,000" and insert "$1,030,000"

 

 

With the recommendation that when so amended the bill be placed on the General Register.

 

      The report was adopted.


Journal of the House - 37th Day - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - Top of Page 2547

Knoblach from the Committee on Ways and Means to which was referred:

 

H. F. No. 895, A bill for an act relating to agriculture; appropriating money for agriculture-related purposes; making policy and technical changes to agriculture-related provisions; authorizing a transfer, a working group, and accounts; modifying certificate fees; requiring reports; amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 3.7371; 17.119, subdivisions 1, 2; 18.79, subdivision 18; 28A.081; 41A.12, subdivision 3; Laws 2015, First Special Session chapter 4, article 1, section 2, subdivision 4, as amended; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 17; 18B.

 

Reported the same back with the following amendments:

 

Page 6, line 22, before the semicolon, insert "and grants to coordinate Farm Business Management and dairy development, profitability enhancement, and business planning"

 

Page 9, line 18, before the period, insert ", in consultation with urban agriculture stakeholders"

 

 

With the recommendation that when so amended the bill be placed on the General Register.

 

      The report was adopted.

 

 

Garofalo from the Committee on Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance to which was referred:

 

H. F. No. 2209, A bill for an act relating to labor and industry; appropriating money for the labor standards and apprenticeship division.

 

Reported the same back with the following amendments:

 

Delete everything after the enacting clause and insert:

 

"ARTICLE 1

APPROPRIATIONS

 

Section 1.  JOBS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. 

 

(a) The sums shown in the columns marked "Appropriations" are appropriated to the agencies and for the purposes specified in this article.  The appropriations are from the general fund, or another named fund, and are available for the fiscal years indicated for each purpose.  The figures "2018" and "2019" used in this article mean that the appropriations listed under them are available for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, or June 30, 2019, respectively.  "The first year" is fiscal year 2018.  "The second year" is fiscal year 2019.  "The biennium" is fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

 

(b) If an appropriation in this article is enacted more than once in the 2017 legislative session, the appropriation must be given effect only once.

 

 

 

 

APPROPRIATIONS

 

 

 

Available for the Year

 

 

 

Ending June 30

 

 

 

2018

2019

 

Sec. 2.  DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

 

 

 


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Subdivision 1.  Total Appropriation

 

$128,211,000

 

$111,024,000

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

 

2018

2019

 

General

93,997,000

84,160,000

Remediation

700,000

700,000

Workforce Development

26,164,000

26,164,000

Special Revenue

7,350,000

0

 

(a) The amounts that may be spent for each purpose are specified in the following subdivisions.

 

(b) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.285, the commissioner of employment and economic development must not allow transfers of money appropriated in this section between divisions or programs of the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

 

(c) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16B.37, subdivision 4, the commissioner of employment and economic development must not allow billing between divisions or programs within the Department of Employment and Economic Development, or otherwise use any "Internal Billing Expenditures."

 

(d) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, sections 16B.37, subdivision 4, and 471.59, except for work performed by MN.IT under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 16E, the commissioner of employment and economic development must not allow billing or transfers between other executive branch agencies or departments and the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

 

Subd. 2.  Business and Community Development

 

48,084,000

 

38,834,000

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

General

39,134,000

37,234,000

Remediation

700,000

700,000

Workforce Development

900,000

900,000

Special Revenue

7,350,000

0

 

(a) Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $4,154,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $4,219,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 40.2 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 40.2 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(b)(1) $12,000,000 the first year and $11,000,000 the second year are for the Minnesota investment fund under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.8731.  Of this amount, the commissioner of


Journal of the House - 37th Day - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - Top of Page 2549

employment and economic development may use up to three percent for administrative expenses and technology upgrades.  This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021.

 

(2) Of the amount appropriated in fiscal year 2018, $4,000,000 is for a loan to construct and equip a wholesale electronic component distribution center investing a minimum of $200,000,000 and constructing a facility at least 700,000 square feet in size.  Loan funds may be used for purchases of materials, supplies, and equipment for the construction of the facility and are available from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2021.  The commissioner of employment and economic development shall forgive the loan after verification that the project has satisfied performance goals and contractual obligations as required under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.8731.

 

(3) Of the amount appropriated in fiscal year 2018, $700,000 is for a loan to extend an effluent pipe that will deliver wastewater to an innovative waste-to-biofuel project investing a minimum of $150,000,000 and constructing a facility that is designed to process approximately 400,000 tons of waste annually.  Loan funds are available until June 30, 2021.

 

(c)(1) $5,000,000 each year is for the Minnesota job creation fund under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.8748.  Of this amount, the commissioner of employment and economic development may use up to three percent for administrative expenses.  This appropriation is available until expended.  In fiscal year 2020 and beyond the base amount is $6,500,000.

 

(2) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.8748, for applications in fiscal years 2018 and 2019, the only businesses eligible to enter the program under section 116J.8748 are those located in counties in which the average unemployment rate for the prior 12 months is equal to or greater than the state average for the same 12 months, as determined by the commissioner of employment and economic development.

 

(d) $1,272,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $2,272,000 in fiscal year 2019 are for contaminated site cleanup and development grants under Minnesota Statutes, sections 116J.551 to 116J.558.  This appropriation is available until expended.  In fiscal year 2020 and beyond, the base amount is $1,272,000.

 

(e) $1,425,000 each year is for the business development competitive grant program.  Of this amount, up to five percent is for administration and monitoring of the business development competitive grant program.  All grant awards shall be for two consecutive years.  Grants shall be awarded in the first year.


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(f) $4,195,000 each year is for the Minnesota job skills partnership program under Minnesota Statutes, sections 116L.01 to 116L.17.  If the appropriation for either year is insufficient, the appropriation for the other year is available.  This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021.

 

(g) $163,000 each year is for the Minnesota Film and TV Board.  The appropriation in each year is available only upon receipt by the board of $1 in matching contributions of money or in-kind contributions from nonstate sources for every $3 provided by this appropriation, except that each year up to $50,000 is available on July 1 even if the required matching contribution has not been received by that date.

 

(h) $750,000 each year is for a grant to the Minnesota Film and TV Board for the film production jobs program under Minnesota Statutes, section 116U.26.  This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021.

 

(i) $875,000 each year is for the Host Community Economic Development Program established in Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.548.

 

(j) $300,000 each year is for grants to the Rural Policy and Development Center under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.421.

 

(k)(1) $2,300,000 the first year and $1,300,000 the second year are for the greater Minnesota business development public infrastructure grant program under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.431.  This appropriation is available until spent.  Funds available under this paragraph may be used for site preparation of property owned and to be used by private entities.

 

(2) Of the amount appropriated in fiscal year 2018, $1,000,000 is for a grant to the city of Thief River Falls to support utility extensions, roads, and other public improvements related to the construction of a wholesale electronic component distribution center at least 700,000 square feet in size and investing a minimum of $200,000,000.  Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.431, a local match is not required.  Grant funds are available from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2021.

 

(l)(1) $500,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for grants to local communities to increase the supply of quality child care providers in order to support economic development.  At least 60 percent of grant funds must go to communities located outside of the seven‑county metropolitan area, as defined under Minnesota Statutes, section 473.121, subdivision 2.  Grant recipients must obtain a 50 percent nonstate match to grant funds in either cash or in-kind contributions.  Grant funds available under this paragraph must be used to implement solutions to reduce the child care


Journal of the House - 37th Day - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - Top of Page 2551

shortage in the state, including but not limited to funding for child care business start-ups or expansion, training, facility modifications or improvements required for licensing, and assistance with licensing and other regulatory requirements.  In awarding grants, the commissioner must give priority to communities that have documented a shortage of child care providers in the area.

 

(2) Within one year of receiving grant funds, grant recipients must report to the commissioner on the outcomes of the grant program, including but not limited to the number of new providers, the number of additional child care provider jobs created, the number of additional child care slots, and the amount of local funds invested.

 

(3) By January 1 of each year, starting in 2019, the commissioner must report to the standing committees of the legislature having jurisdiction over child care and economic development on the outcomes of the program to date.

 

(m) $750,000 each year is for grants to the Neighborhood Development Center for small business programs.

 

(n) $1,175,000 each year is for grants to the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) for statewide business development and assistance services, including services to entrepreneurs with businesses that have the potential to create job opportunities for unemployed and underemployed people, with an emphasis on minority-owned businesses.

 

(o) $125,000 each year is for grants to the White Earth Nation for the White Earth Nation Integrated Business Development System to provide business assistance with workforce development, outreach, technical assistance, infrastructure and operational support, financing, and other business development activities.

 

(p) $1,375,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $1,575,000 in fiscal year 2019 are for grants to Enterprise Minnesota, Inc.

 

(q) $250,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for a grant to the Minnesota Design Center at the University of Minnesota for the greater Minnesota community design pilot project.

 

(r) $225,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for a grant to WomenVenture to provide business training, mentoring, technical assistance, and loans in order to establish two pilot women-run cooperative child care businesses in low-income urban areas.  The commissioner shall report data on outcomes and recommendations for replication of this pilot program throughout Minnesota to the governor and the legislative committees with jurisdiction over child care by January 31, 2020.  Funds are available until June 30, 2019.


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(s) $125,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for a grant to WomenVenture to operate a business training program for child care providers and to create materials that could be used, free of charge, for start-up, expansion, and operation of child care businesses statewide, with the goal of helping new and existing child care businesses in underserved areas of the state become profitable and sustainable.  The commissioner shall report data on outcomes and recommendations for replication of this training program throughout Minnesota to the governor and the committees of the house of representatives and the senate with jurisdiction over child care by December 15, 2019.  Funds are available until June 30, 2019.

 

(t)(1) $125,000 each year is for small business development center (SBDC) services to support business transition planning.  In fiscal year 2020 and beyond, the base amount is $0.  For purposes of this paragraph, business transition planning includes, but is not limited to:

 

(i) succession planning for next generation proprietors.  For purposes of this item, next generation proprietors do not include immediate family members of the current business owner;

 

(ii) providing business owners seeking to sell existing businesses and aspiring business owners with a venue and opportunity to exchange information.  Such services under this clause may be targeted to small businesses located in economically disadvantaged communities or areas of declining population.  For purposes of this item, "economically disadvantaged communities" means communities in which average household income is less than 80 percent of statewide median household income as measured by the United States Census Bureau; or communities that contain two or more contiguous census tracts in which average household income is less than 80 percent of the statewide median household income as measured by the United States Census Bureau; and

 

(iii) providing information and counseling services to business owners, prospective owners, and others regarding the importance of business transition and succession planning, the transition and succession process, and financing options and requirements related to the business transition and succession process.

 

(2) Funds available under this paragraph may be used to:

 

(i) provide the necessary information and services under clause (1);

 

(ii) build small business development center staff capacity to provide business transition and succession planning services; and

 

(iii) match funds under the federal Small Business Development Center Program under United States Code, title 15, section 648, and other federal, state, or local funds available for the purposes of this paragraph.


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(u) $350,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for a grant to the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, Inc., for youth intervention services through the community ambassadors and youth employment program.

 

(v)(1) $500,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for a grant to East Side Enterprise Center (ESEC) to expand culturally tailored resources that address small business growth and job creation.  This appropriation is onetime and is available until June 30, 2021.  The appropriation shall fund the work of African Economic Development Solutions, the Asian Economic Development Association, the Dayton's Bluff Community Council, and the Latino Economic Development Center in a collaborative approach to economic development that is effective with smaller, culturally diverse communities that seek to increase the productivity and success of new immigrant and minority populations living and working in the community.  Programs shall provide minority business growth and capacity building that generate wealth and jobs creation for local residents and business owners on the East Side of St. Paul.

 

(2) In fiscal year 2019 ESEC shall use funds to share its integrated service model and evolving collaboration principles with civic and economic development leaders in greater Minnesota communities which have diverse populations similar to the East Side of St. Paul.  ESEC shall submit a report of activities and program outcomes, including quantifiable measures of success, annually to the house of representatives and senate committees with jurisdiction over economic development.

 

(w) $100,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for a grant to the city of Virginia to be used for grants to city businesses for infrastructure revitalization and code compliance.  In making grants, the city must give preference to projects that promote economic development and that include private dollar contributions.

 

(x) In fiscal year 2020 and beyond, the base amount for the rural agriculture diversification initiative under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.6582, is $5,000,000.

 

(y) $50,000 in fiscal year 2018 is from the workforce development fund for a grant to Fighting Chance for behavioral intervention programs for at-risk youth.

 

(z) $1,000,000 each year is for the central Minnesota opportunity grant program established under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.9922.  These appropriations are available until June 30, 2022.  Starting in fiscal year 2020, the base amount for this program shall be $0.


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(aa) $75,000 each year is for grants to the state's recipient of funding from the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program to strengthen the technological competitiveness of small businesses.

 

(bb) $900,000 each year is from the workforce development fund and $461,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $1,461,000 in fiscal year 2019 are for job training grants under Minnesota Statutes, section 116L.42.

 

(cc) $700,000 each year is from the remediation fund for contaminated site cleanup and development grants under Minnesota Statutes, sections 116J.551 to 116J.558.  This appropriation is available until June 30, 2021.

 

(dd) $350,000 in fiscal year 2018 is from the energy fund account in the special revenue fund established in Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.779, subdivision 1, for a grant to the East Phillips Improvement Coalition to create the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) to expand culturally tailored resources that address small business growth and job creation.  The grant shall fund the collaborative work of Tamales y Bicicletas, Little Earth of the United Tribes, a nonprofit serving East Africans, and other coalition members towards developing EPNI as a community space to host activities including, but not limited to, creation and expansion of small businesses, culturally specific entrepreneurial activities, indoor urban farming, job training, education, and skills development.  Eligible uses for grant funds include, but are not limited to, planning and start-up costs, staff and consultant costs, building improvements, rent, supplies, utilities, vehicles, marketing, and program activities.  The commissioner shall submit a report on grant activities and quantifiable outcomes to the committees of the house of representatives and the senate with jurisdiction over economic development by December 15, 2020.  Funds are available until June 30, 2020.

 

(ee) $2,000,000 in fiscal year 2018 is from the energy fund account in the special revenue fund established in Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.779, subdivision 1, for a grant to the city of Duluth to upgrade the municipal district heating facility and systems, including conversion of the distribution system along Superior Street from steam with no condensate return to closed-loop hot water.  This appropriation is for one or more of the project elements or phases:  predesign, design, engineering, renovation, construction, furnishing, and equipping the facility, systems, and infrastructure.

 

(ff) $5,000,000 in fiscal year 2018 is from the energy fund account in the special revenue fund established in Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.779, subdivision 1, for a grant to Dakota County under Minnesota Statutes, sections 103G.511 and 103G.515, to


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design and construct capital improvements to the hydroelectric generating facility, including replacement of obsolete turbines, at the Byllesby Dam, located on the Cannon River.

 

Subd. 3.  Workforce Development

 

31,829,000

 

30,829,000

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

General

14,412,000

13,475,000

Workforce Development

17,417,000

17,417,000

 

(a) Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $773,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $780,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 16.1 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 16.1 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(b) $600,000 each year is for performance grants under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.8747, to Twin Cities R!SE to provide training to hard-to-train individuals.

 

(c) $250,000 each year is for pilot programs in the workforce service areas to combine career and higher education advising.

 

(d) $500,000 each year is for rural career counseling coordinator positions in the workforce service areas and for the purposes specified in Minnesota Statutes, section 116L.667.  The commissioner of employment and economic development, in consultation with local workforce investment boards and local elected officials in each of the service areas receiving funds, shall develop a method of distributing funds to provide equitable services across workforce service areas.

 

(e) $1,000,000 each year is for grants to the Construction Careers Foundation for the construction career pathway initiative to provide year-round educational and experiential learning opportunities for teens and young adults under the age of 21 that lead to careers in the construction industry.  Grant funds must be used to:

 

(1) increase construction industry exposure activities for middle school and high school youth, parents, and counselors to reach a more diverse demographic and broader statewide audience.  This requirement includes, but is not limited to, an expansion of programs to provide experience in different crafts to youth and young adults throughout the state;

 

(2) increase the number of high schools in Minnesota offering construction classes during the academic year that utilize a multicraft curriculum;


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(3) increase the number of summer internship opportunities;

 

(4) enhance activities to support graduating seniors in their efforts to obtain employment in the construction industry;

 

(5) increase the number of young adults employed in the construction industry and ensure that they reflect Minnesota's diverse workforce; and

 

(6) enhance an industrywide marketing campaign targeted to youth and young adults about the depth and breadth of careers within the construction industry.

 

Programs and services supported by grant funds must give priority to individuals and groups that are economically disadvantaged or historically underrepresented in the construction industry, including but not limited to women, veterans, and members of minority and immigrant groups.

 

(f) $5,000,000 each year is for the Pathways to Prosperity adult workforce development competitive grant program.  Of this amount, up to three percent is for administration and monitoring of the program.  When awarding grants under this paragraph, the commissioner of employment and economic development may give preference to any previous grantee with demonstrated success in job training and placement for hard-to-train individuals.  Grants may be used for:

 

(1) competitive grants to organizations providing services to relieve economic disparities in the Southeast Asian community through workforce recruitment, development, job creation, assistance of smaller organizations to increase capacity, and outreach;

 

(2) the high-wage, high-demand, nontraditional jobs grant program under Minnesota Statutes, section 116L.99;

 

(3) the youth-at-work competitive grant program under Minnesota Statutes, section 116L.562, subdivision 3;

 

(4) the Minnesota emerging entrepreneur program under Minnesota Statutes, section 116M.18;

 

(5) the capacity building grant program to assist nonprofit organizations offering or seeking to offer workforce development and economic development programming; and

 

(6) competitive grants to organizations that provide support services for individuals, such as job training, employment preparation, internships, job assistance to fathers, financial literacy, academic and behavioral interventions for low-performing


Journal of the House - 37th Day - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - Top of Page 2557

students, and youth intervention.  Grants made under this clause must focus on low-income communities, young adults from families with a history of intergenerational poverty, and communities of color.

 

(g) $250,000 each year is for grants to YWCA St. Paul to provide job training services and workforce development programs and services, including job skills training and counseling.

 

(h) $1,000,000 each year is for grants to EMERGE Community Development, in collaboration with community partners, for services targeting Minnesota communities with the highest concentrations of African and African-American joblessness, based on the most recent census tract data, to provide employment readiness training, credentialed training placement, job placement and retention services, supportive services for hard-to-employ individuals, and a general education development fast track and adult diploma program.

 

(i) $1,000,000 each year is for grants to the Minneapolis Foundation for a strategic intervention program designed to target and connect program participants to meaningful, sustainable living-wage employment.

 

(j) $750,000 each year is for grants to Latino Communities United in Service (CLUES) to expand culturally tailored programs that address employment and education skill gaps for working parents and underserved youth by providing new job skills training to stimulate higher wages for low-income people, family support systems designed to reduce intergenerational poverty, and youth programming to promote educational advancement and career pathways.  At least 50 percent of this amount must be used for programming targeted at greater Minnesota.

 

(k) $250,000 each year is for grants to the American Indian Opportunities and Industrialization Center, in collaboration with the Northwest Indian Community Development Center, to reduce academic disparities for American Indian students and adults.  The grant funds may be used to provide:

 

(1) student tutoring and testing support services;

 

(2) training in information technology;

 

(3) assistance in obtaining a GED;

 

(4) remedial training leading to enrollment in a postsecondary higher education institution;

 

(5) real-time work experience in information technology fields; and

 

(6) contextualized adult basic education.


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After notification to the legislature, the commissioner may transfer this appropriation to the commissioner of education.

 

(l) $600,000 each year is for grants to Ujamaa Place for job training, employment preparation, internships, education, training in the construction trades, housing, and organizational capacity building.

 

(m) $375,000 each year is for grants to the YWCA of Minneapolis to provide economically challenged individuals the job skills training, career counseling, and job placement assistance necessary to secure a child development associate credential and to have a career path in early childhood education.

 

(n) $250,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for a grant to the Bois Forte Tribal Employment Rights Office for an American Indian workforce development training pilot project.

 

(o) $750,000 each year is for grants to Summit Academy OIC to expand their contextualized GED and employment placement program.

 

(p) $600,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $750,000 in fiscal year 2019 are for grants to Goodwill Easter Seals Minnesota and its partners.  The grant shall be used to continue the FATHER Project in Rochester, Park Rapids, St. Cloud, Minneapolis, and the surrounding areas to assist fathers in overcoming barriers that prevent fathers from supporting their children economically and emotionally.

 

(q) $200,000 each year is for displaced homemaker programs under Minnesota Statutes, section 116L.96.  The commissioner, through the adult career pathways program, shall distribute the funds to existing nonprofit and state displaced homemaker programs.  In fiscal year 2020 and beyond, the base amount is $0.

 

(r) $190,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for transfer to the Cook County Higher Education Board to provide educational programming and academic support services to remote regions in northeastern Minnesota.  This amount is in addition to other funds previously transferred by the commissioner.

 

(s)(1) $150,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for a grant to Anoka County to develop and implement a pilot program to increase competitive employment opportunities for transition-age youth ages 18 to 21.

 

(2) The competitive employment for transition-age youth pilot program shall include career guidance components, including health and life skills, to encourage, train, and assist transition-age youth in job-seeking skills, workplace orientation, and job site knowledge.


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(3) In operating the pilot program, Anoka County shall collaborate with schools, disability providers, jobs and training organizations, vocational rehabilitation providers, and employers to build upon opportunities and services, to prepare transition-age youth for competitive employment, and to enhance employer connections that lead to employment for the individuals served.

 

(4) Grant funds may be used to create an on-the-job training incentive to encourage employers to hire and train qualifying individuals.  A participating employer may receive up to 50 percent of the wages paid to the employee as a cost reimbursement for on‑the-job training provided.

 

(t) $497,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for grants to Twin Cities R!SE, in collaboration with Metro Transit and Hennepin Technical College for the Metro Transit technician training program.  Funds are available until June 30, 2020.

 

(u) $200,000 each year is for grants to the Minnesota Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs to administer a statewide project of youth job skills and career development.  This project, which may have career guidance components including health and life skills, is designed to encourage, train, and assist youth in early access to education and job-seeking skills, work-based learning experience including career pathways in STEM learning, career exploration and matching, and first job placement through local community partnerships and on-site job opportunities.  This grant requires a 25 percent match from nonstate resources.  In fiscal year 2020 and beyond, the base amount is $0.

 

(v) $1,500,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for grants to FastTRAC - Minnesota Adult Careers Pathways Program.  Up to five percent of this appropriation may be used to provide leadership, oversight, and technical assistance services for low-skilled, low-income adults.

 

(w) $150,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for grants to the YWCA of Minneapolis to provide economically challenged individuals the job skills training, career counseling, and job placement assistance necessary to secure a child development associate credential and to have a career path in early childhood education.

 

(x) $3,104,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for the adult workforce development competitive grant program.  Of this amount, up to three percent is for administration and monitoring of the adult workforce development competitive grant program.  All grant awards shall be for two consecutive years.  Grants shall be awarded in the first year.


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(y) $4,050,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for the Minnesota youth program under Minnesota Statutes, sections 116L.56 and 116L.561, to provide employment and career advising to youth, including career guidance in secondary schools, to address the youth career advising deficiency, to carry out activities outlined in Minnesota Statutes, section 116L.561, to provide support services, and to provide work experience to youth in the workforce service areas.  The funds in this paragraph may be used for expansion of the pilot program combining career and higher education advising in Laws 2013, chapter 85, article 3, section 27.  Activities in workforce services areas under this paragraph may serve all youth up to age 24.

 

(z) $1,000,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for the youthbuild program under Minnesota Statutes, sections 116L.361 to 116L.366.

 

(aa) $450,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for grants to Minnesota Diversified Industries, Inc., to provide progressive development and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

 

(bb) $3,348,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for the "Youth at Work" youth workforce development competitive grant program.  Of this amount, up to five percent is for administration and monitoring of the youth workforce development competitive grant program.  All grant awards shall be for two consecutive years.  Grants shall be awarded in the first year.

 

(cc) $500,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for the Opportunities Industrialization Center programs.

 

(dd) $750,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for grants to the Minnesota Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs to administer a statewide project of youth job skills development.  This project, which may have career guidance components, including health and life skills, is to encourage, train, and assist youth in job-seeking skills, workplace orientation, and job-site knowledge through coaching.  This grant requires a 25 percent match from nonstate resources.

 

(ee) $215,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for grants to Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities for workforce readiness, employment exploration, and skills development for youth ages 12 to 21.  The grant must serve youth in the Twin Cities, Central Minnesota, and Southern Minnesota Big Brothers, Big Sisters chapters.

 

(ff) $1,350,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for grants to the Minnesota High Tech Association to support SciTechsperience, a program that supports science, technology,


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engineering, and math (STEM) internship opportunities for two‑ and four-year college students and graduate students in their field of study.  The internship opportunities must match students with paid internships within STEM disciplines at small, for-profit companies located in Minnesota, having fewer than 250 employees worldwide.  At least 300 students must be matched in the first year and at least 350 students must be matched in the second year.  No more than 15 percent of the hires may be graduate students.  Selected hiring companies shall receive from the grant 50 percent of the wages paid to the intern, capped at $2,500 per intern.  The program must work toward increasing the participation among women or other underserved populations.

 

(gg) $500,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for grants to Resource, Inc. to provide low-income individuals career education and job skills training that are fully integrated with chemical and mental health services.

 

(hh) $500,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for rural career counseling coordinator positions in the workforce service areas and for the purposes specified in Minnesota Statutes, section 116L.667.  The commissioner of employment and economic development, in consultation with local workforce investment boards and local elected officials in each of the service areas receiving funds, shall develop a method of distributing funds to provide equitable services across workforce service areas.

 

Subd. 4.  General Support Services

 

2,670,000

 

2,670,000

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

General Fund

2,653,000

2,653,000

Workforce Development

17,000

17,000

 

(a) Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $1,027,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $1,027,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 9.7 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 9.7 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(b) $1,269,000 each year is for operating the Olmstead Implementation Office.

 

Subd. 5.  Minnesota Trade Office

 

1,762,000

 

1,762,000

 

(a) Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $1,319,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $1,332,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 12.9 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 12.9 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(b) $300,000 each year is for the STEP grants in Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.979.


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Subd. 6.  Vocational Rehabilitation

 

30,191,000

 

30,191,000

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

General

22,361,000

22,361,000

Workforce Development

7,830,000

7,830,000

 

(a) Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $524,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $524,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 5.1 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 5.1 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(b) $10,800,000 each year is for the state's vocational rehabilitation program under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 268A.

 

(c) $3,011,000 each year is for grants to centers for independent living under Minnesota Statutes, section 268A.11.

 

(d) $2,555,000 each year is for grants to programs that provide employment support services to persons with mental illness under Minnesota Statutes, sections 268A.13 and 268A.14.

 

(e) $5,995,000 each year from the general fund and $6,830,000 each year from the workforce development fund are for extended employment services for persons with severe disabilities under Minnesota Statutes, section 268A.15.

 

(f) $1,000,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for grants under Minnesota Statutes, section 268A.16, for employment services for persons, including transition-age youth, who are deaf, deafblind, or hard-of-hearing.  If the amount in the first year is insufficient, the amount in the second year is available in the first year.

 

Subd. 7.  Competitive Grant Limitations

 

 

 

 

 

An organization that receives a direct appropriation under this section is not eligible to participate in competitive grant programs under this section, either directly or by receiving funds from a third party that received a competitive grant under this section, during the fiscal years in which the direct appropriations are received.

 

Subd. 8.  Services for the Blind

 

6,425,000

 

6,425,000

 

Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $3,209,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $3,224,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 45 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 45 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.


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Subd. 9.  Broadband Development

 

7,250,000

 

250,000

 

(a) Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $174,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $177,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 1.5 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 1.5 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(b) $250,000 each year is for the Broadband Development Office.

 

(c) $7,000,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for deposit in the border-to-border broadband fund account in the special revenue fund established under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.396.

 

Sec. 3.  HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY

 

 

 

 

 

Subdivision 1.  Total Appropriation

 

$56,798,000

 

$39,873,000

 

The amounts that may be spent for each purpose are specified in the following subdivisions.

 

Unless otherwise specified, this appropriation is for transfer to the housing development fund for the programs specified in this section.  Except as otherwise indicated, this transfer is part of the agency's permanent budget base.

 

Subd. 2.  Challenge Program

 

18,925,000

 

2,000,000

 

(a) Beginning in fiscal year 2020, the base amount for the challenge program is $11,717,000.

 

(b) This appropriation is for the economic development and housing challenge program under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.33.  The agency must continue to strengthen its efforts to address the disparity rate between white households and indigenous American Indians and communities of color.  Of this amount, $1,208,000 in fiscal year 2018 shall be made available during the first 11 months of the fiscal year exclusively for housing projects for American Indians.  Any funds not committed to housing projects for American Indians in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2018 shall be available for any eligible activity under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.33.  In fiscal year 2020 and beyond, the base amount is $1,208,000.

 

(c) $4,000,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for the purposes of the workforce housing development program under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.39.  In fiscal year 2020 and beyond, the base amount is $0.


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(d) $250,000 each year is for grants to programs under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.204, subdivision 8.  In fiscal year 2020 and beyond, the base amount is $250,000.

 

(e) $1,750,000 each year is to the housing trust fund for the rental assistance to highly mobile students program under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.201, subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (4).  In fiscal year 2020 and beyond, the base amount is $1,750,000.

 

Subd. 3.  Housing Trust Fund

 

11,471,000

 

11,471,000

 

This appropriation is for deposit in the housing fund account created under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.201, and may be used for the purposes provided in that section.

 

Subd. 4.  Rental Assistance for Mentally Ill

 

4,088,000

 

4,088,000

 

This appropriation is for the rental housing assistance program under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.2097.  Among comparable proposals, the agency shall prioritize those proposals that target, in part, eligible persons who desire to move to more integrated, community-based settings.

 

Subd. 5.  Family Homeless Prevention

 

8,519,000

 

8,519,000

 

This appropriation is for the family homeless prevention and assistance programs under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.204.

 

Subd. 6.  Home Ownership Assistance Fund

 

885,000

 

885,000

 

This appropriation is for the home ownership assistance program under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.21, subdivision 8.  The agency shall continue to strengthen its efforts to address the disparity gap in the homeownership rate between white households and indigenous American Indians and communities of color.

 

Subd. 7.  Affordable Rental Investment Fund

 

4,218,000

 

4,218,000

 

(a) This appropriation is for the affordable rental investment fund program under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.21, subdivision 8b, to finance the acquisition, rehabilitation, and debt restructuring of federally assisted rental property and for making equity take-out loans under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.05, subdivision 39.

 

(b) The owner of federally assisted rental property must agree to participate in the applicable federally assisted housing program and to extend any existing low-income affordability restrictions on the housing for the maximum term permitted.  The owner must also enter into an agreement that gives local units of government, housing and redevelopment authorities, and nonprofit housing organizations the right of first refusal if the rental property is


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offered for sale.  Priority must be given among comparable federally assisted rental properties to properties with the longest remaining term under an agreement for federal assistance.  Priority must also be given among comparable rental housing developments to developments that are or will be owned by local government units, a housing and redevelopment authority, or a nonprofit housing organization.

 

(c) The appropriation also may be used to finance the acquisition, rehabilitation, and debt restructuring of existing supportive housing properties.  For purposes of this subdivision, "supportive housing" means affordable rental housing with links to services necessary for individuals, youth, and families with children to maintain housing stability.

 

Subd. 8.  Housing Rehabilitation

 

6,515,000

 

6,515,000

 

This appropriation is for the housing rehabilitation program under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.05, subdivision 14.  Of this amount, $2,772,000 each year is for the rehabilitation of owner‑occupied housing, $3,743,000 each year is for the rehabilitation of eligible rental housing, and $1,000,000 in fiscal year 2018 is prioritized to complete interim controls or lead abatement measures to reduce the risk of lead exposure in rental housing statewide.  Any funds not committed in the first 11 months of 2018 shall be available for any eligible activity under this section.  In administering a rehabilitation program for rental housing, the agency may apply the processes and priorities adopted for administration of the economic development and housing challenge program under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.33.

 

Subd. 9.  Homeownership Education, Counseling, and Training

 

857,000

 

 

857,000

 

This appropriation is for the homeownership education, counseling, and training program under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.209.  Priority may be given to funding programs that are aimed at culturally specific groups who are providing services to members of their communities.

 

Subd. 10.  Capacity Building Grants

 

875,000

 

875,000

 

This appropriation is for nonprofit capacity building grants under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.21, subdivision 3b.  Of this amount:

 

(1) $125,000 each year is for support of the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS); and

 

(2) $500,000 each year is for grants to Build Wealth MN to provide a family stabilization plan program including program outreach, financial literacy education, and budget and debt counseling.


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Sec. 4.  DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY

 

 

 

 

Subdivision 1.  Total Appropriation

 

$27,934,000

 

$27,934,000

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

 

2018

2019

 

General

1,652,000

1,652,000

Workers' Compensation

24,975,000

24,975,000

Workforce Development

1,307,000

1,307,000

 

(a) The amounts that may be spent for each purpose are specified in the following subdivisions.

 

(b) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.285, the commissioner of labor and industry must not allow transfers of money appropriated in this section between divisions or programs of the Department of Labor and Industry.

 

(c) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16B.37, subdivision 4, the commissioner of labor and industry must not allow billing between divisions or programs within the Department of Labor and Industry, or otherwise use any "Internal Billing Expenditures."

 

(d) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, sections 16B.37, subdivision 4, and 471.59, except for work performed by MN.IT under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 16E, the commissioner of labor and industry must not allow billing or transfers between other executive branch agencies or departments and the Department of Labor and Industry.

 

Subd. 2.  Workers' Compensation

 

14,782,000

 

14,782,000

 

(a) This appropriation is from the workers' compensation fund.  Of the amount appropriated, no more than $10,560,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $10,560,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 109.6 full‑time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 109.6 full‑time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(b)(1) $3,000,000 each year is for workers' compensation system upgrades.  This amount is available until June 30, 2021.  The base amount for fiscal year 2020 and beyond is $0.

 

(2) This appropriation includes funds for information technology project services and support subject to the provisions of Minnesota Statutes, section 16E.0466.  Any ongoing information technology costs must be incorporated into the service level agreement and must be paid to the Office of MN.IT Services by the commissioner of labor and industry under the rates and mechanism specified in that agreement.


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Subd. 3.  Labor Standards and Apprenticeship

 

2,759,000

 

2,759,000

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

General

1,452,000

1,452,000

Workforce Development

1,307,000

1,307,000

 

(a) Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $2,234,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $2,238,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 21.7 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 19.7 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(b) $1,202,000 each year is from the general fund for the labor standards and apprenticeship program.

 

(c) $125,000 each year is from the general fund for wage theft prevention under the division of labor standards.

 

(d) $1,029,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for the apprenticeship program under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 178.

 

(e) $100,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for labor education and advancement program grants under Minnesota Statutes, section 178.11, to expand and promote registered apprenticeship training for minorities and women.

 

(f) $150,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for prevailing wage enforcement.

 

Subd. 4.  Workplace Safety

 

4,154,000

 

4,154,000

 

This appropriation is from the workers' compensation fund.  Of the amount appropriated, not more than $3,320,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $3,320,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 82.6 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 82.6 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

Subd. 5.  General Support

 

6,239,000

 

6,239,000

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

General Fund

200,000

200,000

Workers' Compensation

6,039,000

6,039,000

 

(a) Of the amount appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $3,148,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $3,234,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 57.1 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 57.1 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.


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(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c), this appropriation is from the workers' compensation fund.

 

(c) $200,000 each year is from the general fund for grants to the Construction Careers Foundation Inc. for the Helmets to Hardhats Minnesota Initiative.  Grant funds must be used to recruit, retain, assist, and support National Guard, reserve, active duty military members, and veteran's participation into apprenticeship programs registered with the Department of Labor and Industry and connect them with career training and employment in the building and construction industry.  The recruitment, selection, employment, and training must be without discrimination due to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, receipt of public assistance, or age.

 

Sec. 5.  BUREAU OF MEDIATION SERVICES

 

$1,853,000

 

$1,853,000

 

(a) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.285, the commissioner of mediation services must not allow transfers of money appropriated in this section between divisions or programs of the Bureau of Mediation Services.

 

(b) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16B.37, subdivision 4, the commissioner of mediation services must not allow billing between divisions or programs within the Bureau of Mediation Services, or otherwise use any "Internal Billing Expenditures."

 

(c) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16B.37, subdivision 4, and Minnesota Statutes, section 471.59, except for work performed by MN.IT under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 16E, the commissioner of mediation services must not allow billing or transfers between other executive branch agencies or departments and the Bureau of Mediation Services.

 

(d) Of the amounts appropriated in this section, no more than $1,639,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $1,639,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 15.1 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 15.1 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(e) $68,0000 each year is from the general fund for grants to area labor management committees.  Grants may be awarded for a 12‑month period beginning July 1 each year.  Any unencumbered balance remaining at the end of the first year does not cancel but is available for the second year.

 

Sec. 6.  WORKERS' COMPENSATION COURT OF APPEALS

 

$1,913,000

 

 

$1,913,000

 

(a) This appropriation is from the workers' compensation fund.


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(b) Of the amounts appropriated in this section, no more than $1,683,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $1,683,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 12 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 12 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

Sec. 7.  DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

 

 

 

 

 

Subdivision 1.  Total Appropriation

 

$30,175,000

 

$30,050,000

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

General

27,032,000

26,707,000

Special Revenue

1,340,000

1,540,000

Petroleum Tank

1,052,000

1,052,000

Workers' Compensation

751,000

751,000

 

(a) The amounts that may be spent for each purpose are specified in the following subdivisions.

 

(b) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.285, the commissioner of commerce must not allow transfers of money appropriated in this section between divisions or programs of the Department of Commerce.

 

(c) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16B.37, subdivision 4, the commissioner of commerce must not allow billing between divisions or programs within the Department of Commerce, or otherwise use any "Internal Billing Expenditures."

 

(d) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16B.37, subdivision 4, and Minnesota Statutes, section 471.59, except for work performed by MN.IT under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 16E, the commissioner of commerce must not allow billing or transfers between other executive branch agencies or departments and the Department of Commerce.

 

Subd. 2.  Financial Institutions

 

5,285,000

 

5,410,000

 

(a) Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $4,343,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $4,343,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 45.3 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 45.3 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(b) $400,000 each year is for grants to Prepare and Prosper for purposes of developing, marketing, evaluating, and distributing a financial services inclusion program that will assist low-income and financially underserved populations build savings, strengthen credit, and provide services to assist them in being more financially stable and secure.  Grants must be matched by nonstate contributions.  Money remaining after the first year is available for the second year.


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Subd. 3.  Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board

1,052,000

 

1,052,000

 

(a) This appropriation is from the petroleum tank fund.

 

(b) Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $710,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $710,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 6.9 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 6.9 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

Subd. 4.  Administrative Services

 

7,603,000

 

7,353,000

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

General

7,353,000

7,103,000

Special Revenue

250,000

250,000

 

(a) Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $4,709,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $4,709,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 49.9 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 49.9 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(b) $625,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $375,000 in fiscal year 2019 are to fund Minnesota Statutes, section 345.42, subdivision 1a, paragraph (b).

 

(c) $33,000 each year is for rulemaking and administration under Minnesota Statutes, section 80A.461.

 

(d) $250,000 each year is from the energy fund account in the special revenue fund established in Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.779, subdivision 1, for transfer to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for operations and maintenance of the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth.  The funds shall be used for operations, maintenance, research, and staff support to strengthen applied research activities and accelerate innovation and economic development in key areas such as minerals, mining and water, energy and the environment, and forest products and bioeconomy.  In fiscal year 2020 and beyond, the base amount is $0.

 

Subd. 5.  Telecommunications

 

2,219,000

 

2,219,000

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

General

979,000

979,000

Special Revenue

1,240,000

1,240,000


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(a) Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $759,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $759,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than seven full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and seven full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(b) $1,610,000 each year is from the telecommunication access fund for the following transfers.  This appropriation is added to the department's base.

 

(1) $1,170,000 each year is to the commissioner of human services to supplement the ongoing operational expenses of the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard-of-Hearing Minnesotans;

 

(2) $290,000 each year is to the chief information officer for the purpose of coordinating technology accessibility and usability;

 

(3) $100,000 each year is to the Legislative Coordinating Commission for captioning of legislative coverage.  This transfer is subject to Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.281; and

 

(4) $50,000 each year is to the Office of MN.IT Services for a consolidated access fund to provide grants to other state agencies related to accessibility of their Web-based services.

 

Subd. 6.  Enforcement

 

5,299,000

 

5,099,000

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

General

5,101,000

4,901,000

Workers' Compensation

198,000

198,000

 

(a) Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $4,732,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $4,732,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 48.5 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 48.5 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(b) $279,000 each year is for health care enforcement.

 

(c)(1) $200,000 in fiscal year 2018 is to create and execute a statewide education and outreach campaign to protect seniors, meaning those 60 years of age or older, vulnerable adults, as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 626.5572, subdivision 21, and their caregivers from financial fraud and exploitation.

 

(2) The education and outreach campaign must be statewide, and must include, but is not limited to, the dissemination of information through television, print, or other media, training and outreach to senior living facilities, and the creation of a senior fraud toolkit.


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(3) The commissioner of commerce shall report by January 15, 2018, to the chairs and ranking minority members of the committees of the house of representatives and senate having jurisdiction over commerce issues regarding the results of the statewide education and outreach campaign, and recommendations for supporting ongoing efforts to prevent financial fraud from occurring to, and the financial exploitation of, seniors, vulnerable adults, and their caregivers.

 

Subd. 7.  Energy Resources

 

4,099,000

 

4,299,000

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

General

3,999,000

3,999,000

Special Revenue

100,000

300,000

 

(a) Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $3,689,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $3,689,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 26.8 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 26.8 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(b) $430,000 each year is for costs associated with competitive rates for energy-intensive, trade-exposed electric utility customers.  All general fund appropriations for costs associated with competitive rates for energy-intensive, trade-exposed electric utility customers are recovered through assessments under Minnesota Statutes, section 216B.62.

 

(c) $832,000 each year is for energy regulation and planning unit staff.

 

(d) $200,000 in fiscal year 2019 is to remediate insulation from households that are eligible for weatherization assistance under Minnesota's weatherization assistance program state plan under Minnesota Statutes, section 216C.264.  Remediation must be done in conjunction with federal weatherization assistance program services.  This is a onetime appropriation.

 

(e) $100,000 each year is from the energy fund account in the special revenue fund established in Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.779, subdivision 1, to administer the "Made in Minnesota" solar energy production incentive program in Minnesota Statutes, section 216C.417.  Any remaining unspent funds cancel back to the energy fund account at the end of the biennium.

 

Subd. 8.  Insurance

 

4,868,000

 

4,868,000

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

General

4,315,000

4,315,000

Workers' Compensation

553,000

553,000


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(a) Of the amounts appropriated in this subdivision, no more than $4,431,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $4,431,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 37.3 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 37.3 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(b) $642,000 each year is for health insurance rate review staffing.

 

(c) $412,000 each year is for actuarial work to prepare for implementation of principle-based reserves.

 

Sec. 8.  PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION

 

$7,242,000

 

$7,242,000

 

(a) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.285, the Public Utilities Commission and its members must not allow transfers of money appropriated in this section between divisions or programs of the Public Utilities Commission.

 

(b) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16B.37, subdivision 4, the Public Utilities Commission and its members must not allow billing between divisions or programs within the Public Utilities Commission, or otherwise use any "Internal Billing Expenditures."

 

(c) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16B.37, subdivision 4, and section 471.59, or any other law to the contrary, except for work performed by MN.IT, under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 16E, the Public Utilities Commission and its members must not allow billing or transfers between other executive branch agencies or departments and the Public Utilities Commission.

 

(d) Of the amount appropriated in this section, no more than $6,072,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $6,072,000 in fiscal year 2019 may be expended on full-time equivalent positions, totaling no more than 55 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2018 and 55 full-time equivalent positions in fiscal year 2019.

 

(e) $21,000 each year is for the purposes of Minnesota Statutes, section 237.045.

 

Sec. 9.  PUBLIC FACILITIES AUTHORITY

$7,450,000

 

$0

 

(a) $300,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for a grant to the city of New Trier to replace water infrastructure under Hogan Avenue, including related road reconstruction, and to acquire land for predesign, design, and construction of a storm water pond that will be colocated with the pond of the new subdivision.  This appropriation does not require a nonstate contribution.


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(b) $3,500,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for a grant for land acquisition, design, engineering, and construction of facilities and infrastructure necessary for Phase 3 of the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System project.  Phase 3 includes extension of the project from the Lincoln-Pipestone Rural Water System connection near Adrian to Worthington, construction of a reservoir in Nobles County and a meter building in Worthington, and acquisition and installation of a supervisory control and data acquisition system.

 

(c) $1,200,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for a grant to the Clear Lake‑Clearwater Sewer Authority to remove and replace the existing wastewater treatment facility.  This project is intended to prevent the discharge of phosphorus into the Mississippi River.  This appropriation is not available until the commissioner of management and budget determines that at least $200,000 is committed to the project from nonstate sources and the authority has applied for at least two grants to offset the cost.  An amount equal to any grant money received by the authority must be returned to the general fund.

 

(d) $1,200,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for a grant to the Ramsey/Washington Recycling and Energy Board to design, construct, and equip capital improvements to the Ramsey/Washington Recycling and Energy Center in Newport.

 

(e) $750,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for a grant to the city of Cold Spring to acquire land, predesign, design, engineer, construct, furnish, and equip water infrastructure, including drilling new wells, a water treatment plant, and piping for water distribution.

 

(f) $500,000 in fiscal year 2018 is for a grant to the Big Lake Area Sanitary District to construct a pressure sewer system and force main to convey sewage to the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District connection in the city of Cloquet.  This appropriation is in addition to the appropriation in Laws 2014, chapter 294, article 1, section 22, subdivision 4.

 

Sec. 10.  DEPARTMENT OF IRON RANGE RESOURCES AND REHABILITATION. 

 

$1,500,000

 

 

$0

 

This appropriation is from the energy fund account in the special revenue fund established in Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.779, subdivision 1, for grants for innovative energy solutions on the Iron Range.

 

Sec. 11.  GENERAL FUND TRANSFER TO ENERGY FUND ACCOUNT.

 

The commissioner of management and budget must transfer $500,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $3,500,000 in fiscal year 2019 from the general fund to the energy fund account in the special revenue fund established in Minnesota Statutes, section 116C.779, subdivision 1.


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Sec. 12.  MINNESOTA FILM AND TV BOARD APPROPRIATION CANCELLATION.

 

All unspent funds, estimated to be $350,000, appropriated for the film production jobs program under Minnesota Statutes, section 116U.26, under Laws 2016, chapter 189, article 7, section 2, subdivision 2, are canceled to the general fund the day following final enactment of this section.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

ARTICLE 2

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY POLICY

 

Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 175.45, is amended to read:

 

175.45 COMPETENCY STANDARDS FOR DUAL TRAINING.

 

Subdivision 1.  Duties; goal.  The commissioner of labor and industry shall convene industry representatives, identify occupational competency standards for dual training, and provide technical assistance to develop dual‑training programs.  The goal of dual training is to provide employees of an employer with training to acquire competencies that the employer requires.  The competency standards shall be identified for employment in occupations in advanced manufacturing, health care services, information technology, and agriculture.  Competency standards are not rules and are exempt from the rulemaking provisions of chapter 14, and the provisions in section 14.386 concerning exempt rules do not apply.

 

Subd. 2.  Definition; competency standards Definitions.  For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given them:

 

(1) "competency standards" means the specific knowledge and skills necessary for a particular occupation.; and

 

(2) "dual-training program" means an employment-based earn-as-you-learn program where the trainee is employed by a participating employer and receives structured on-the-job training and technical instruction in accordance with the competency standards.

 

Subd. 3.  Competency standards identification process.  In identifying competency standards, the commissioner shall consult with the commissioner of the Office of Higher Education and the commissioner of employment and economic development and convene recognized industry experts, representative employers, higher education institutions, representatives of the disabled community, and representatives of labor to assist in identifying credible competency standards.  Competency standards must be consistent with, to the extent available and practical, recognized international and national standards.

 

Subd. 4.  Duties.  The commissioner shall:

 

(1) convene industry representatives to identify, develop, and implement dual-training programs;

 

(2) identify competency standards for entry level entry-level and higher skill levels;

 

(2) (3) verify the competency standards and skill levels and their transferability by subject matter expert representatives of each respective industry;

 

(3) (4) develop models for Minnesota educational institutions to engage in providing education and training to meet the competency standards established;


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(4) (5) encourage participation by employers and labor in the competency standard identification process for occupations in their industry; and

 

(5) (6) align dual training competency standards dual-training programs with other workforce initiatives.; and

 

(7) provide technical assistance to develop dual-training programs.

 

Subd. 5.  Notification.  The commissioner must communicate identified competency standards to the commissioner of the Office of Higher Education for the purpose of the dual training dual-training competency grant program under section 136A.246.  The commissioner of labor and industry shall maintain the competency standards on the department's Web site.

 

Sec. 2.  [175.46] YOUTH SKILLS TRAINING PROGRAM.

 

Subdivision 1.  Program established; grants authorized.  The commissioner shall approve youth skills training programs established for the purpose of providing work-based skills training for student learners ages 16 and older.

 

Subd. 2.  Definitions.  (a) For purposes of this section, the terms in this subdivision have the meanings given.

 

(b) "School district" means a school district or charter school.

 

(c) "Local partnership" means a school district, nonpublic school, intermediate school district, or postsecondary institution, in partnership with other school districts, nonpublic schools, intermediate school districts, postsecondary institutions, workforce development authorities, economic development authorities, nonprofit organizations, labor unions, or individuals who have an agreement with one or more local employers to be responsible for implementing and coordinating a local youth skills training program.

 

(d) "Student learner" means a student who is both enrolled in a course of study at a public or nonpublic school to obtain related instruction for academic credit and is employed under a written agreement to obtain on-the-job skills training under a youth skills training program approved under this section.

 

(e) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of labor and industry.

 

Subd. 3.  Duties.  (a) The commissioner shall:

 

(1) approve youth skills training programs in high growth, high demand occupations that provide:

 

(i) that the work of the student learner in the occupations declared particularly hazardous shall be incidental to the training;

 

(ii) that the work shall be intermittent and for short periods of time, and under the direct and close supervision of a qualified and experienced person;

 

(iii) that safety instruction shall be provided to the student learner and may be given by the school and correlated by the employer with on-the-job training;

 

(iv) a schedule of organized and progressive work processes to be performed on the job;

 

(v) a schedule of wage rates in compliance with section 177.24; and


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(vi) whether the student learner will obtain secondary school academic credit, postsecondary credit, or both, for the training program;

 

(2) approve occupations and maintain a list of approved occupations for programs under this section;

 

(3) work with individuals representing industry and labor to develop new youth skills training programs;

 

(4) develop model program guides;

 

(5) monitor youth skills training programs;

 

(6) provide technical assistance to local partnership grantees;

 

(7) work with providers to identify paths for receiving postsecondary credit for participation in the youth skills training program; and

 

(8) approve other activities as necessary to implement the program.

 

(b) The commissioner shall collaborate with stakeholders, including, but not limited to, representatives of secondary school institutions, career and technical education instructors, postsecondary institutions, businesses, and labor, in developing youth skills training programs, and identifying and approving occupations and competencies for youth skills training programs.

 

Subd. 4.  Training agreement.  Each student learner shall sign a written training agreement on a form prescribed by the commissioner.  Each agreement shall contain the name of the student learner, and be signed by the employer, the school coordinator or administrator, and the student learner, or if the student learner is a minor, by the student's parent or legal guardian.  Copies of each agreement shall be kept on file by both the school and the employer.

 

Subd. 5.  Program approval.  The commissioner may grant exemptions from the provisions of chapter 181A for student learners participating in youth skills training programs approved by the commissioner under this section.  The approval of a youth skills training program will be reviewed annually.  The approval of a youth skills training program may be revoked at any time if the commissioner finds that:

 

(1) all provisions of subdivision 3 have not been met in the previous year; or

 

(2) reasonable precautions have not been observed for the safety of minors.

 

The commissioner shall maintain and annually update a list of occupations and tasks suitable for student learners in compliance with federal law.

 

Subd. 6.  Interactions with education finance.  (a) For the purpose of computing state aids for the enrolling school district, the hours a student learner participates in a youth skills training program under this section must be counted in the student's hours of average daily membership under section 126C.05.

 

(b) Educational expenses for a participating student learner must be included in the enrolling district's career and technical revenue as provided under section 124D.4531.

 

Subd. 7.  Academic credit.  A school district may grant academic credit to student learners participating in youth skills training programs under this section in accordance with local requirements.


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Subd. 8.  Postsecondary credit.  A postsecondary institution may award postsecondary credit to a student learner who successfully completes a youth skills training program.

 

Subd. 9.  Work-based learning program.  A youth skills training program shall qualify as a work-based learning program if it meets requirements for a career and technical education program and is supervised by a qualified teacher with appropriate licensure for a work-based learning teacher-coordinator.

 

Subd. 10.  School coordinator.  Unless otherwise required for a work-based learning program, a youth skills training program may be supervised by a qualified teacher or by an administrator as determined by the school district.

 

Subd. 11.  Other apprenticeship programs.  (a) This section shall not affect programs under section 124D.47.

 

(b) A registered apprenticeship program governed by chapter 178 may grant credit toward the completion of a registered apprenticeship for the successful completion of a youth skills training program under this section.

 

Subd. 12.  Outcomes.  The following outcomes are expected of a local youth skills training program:

 

(1) at least 80 percent of the student learners who participate in a youth skills training program receive a high school diploma when eligible on completion of the training program; and

 

(2) at least 60 percent of the student learners who participate in a youth skills training program receive a recognized credential on completion of the training program.

 

Subd. 13.  Reporting.  (a) By February 1, 2019, and annually thereafter, the commissioner shall report on the activity and outcomes of the program for the preceding fiscal year to the chairs of the legislative committees with jurisdiction over jobs and economic growth policy and finance.  At a minimum, the report must include:

 

(1) the number of student learners who commenced the training program and the number who completed the training program; and

 

(2) recommendations, if any, for changes to the program.

 

(b) The initial report shall include a detailed description of the differences between the state and federal systems in child safety standards.

 

Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 326B.092, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 7.  License fees and license renewal fees.  (a) The license fee for each license is the base license fee plus any applicable board fee, continuing education fee, and contractor recovery fund fee and additional assessment, as set forth in this subdivision.

 

(b) For purposes of this section, "license duration" means the number of years for which the license is issued except that if the initial license is not issued for a whole number of years, the license duration shall be rounded up to the next whole number.

 

(c) The base license fee shall depend on whether the license is classified as an entry level, master, journeyman, or business license, and on the license duration.  The base license fee shall be:


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License Classification

License Duration

 

 

 

 

1 year

        2 years

 

 

Entry level

$10

$20

 

 

Journeyworker

$20

$40

 

 

Master

$40

$80

 

 

Business

 

$180

 

 

(d) If there is a continuing education requirement for renewal of the license, then a continuing education fee must be included in the renewal license fee.  The continuing education fee for all license classifications shall be:  $10 if the renewal license duration is one year; and $20 if the renewal license duration is two years.

 

(e) If the license is issued under sections 326B.31 to 326B.59 or 326B.90 to 326B.925, then a board fee must be included in the license fee and the renewal license fee.  The board fee for all license classifications shall be:  $4 if the license duration is one year; and $8 if the license duration is two years.

 

(f) If the application is for the renewal of a license issued under sections 326B.802 to 326B.885, then the contractor recovery fund fee required under section 326B.89, subdivision 3, and any additional assessment required under section 326B.89, subdivision 16, must be included in the license renewal fee.

 

(g) Notwithstanding the fee amounts described in paragraphs (c) to (f), for the period July 1, 2015 2017, through June 30, 2017 September 30, 2021, the following fees apply:

 

 

License Classification

License Duration

 

 

 

 

1 year

        2 years

 

 

Entry level

$10

$20

 

 

Journeyworker

$15

$ 35 $30

 

 

Master

$30

$ 75 $60

 

 

Business

 

$ 160 $120

 

 

If there is a continuing education requirement for renewal of the license, then a continuing education fee must be included in the renewal license fee.  The continuing education fee for all license classifications shall be $5.

 

Sec. 4.  [326B.108] PLACES OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION SUBJECT TO CODE.

 

Subdivision 1.  Definition.  For purposes of this section, "place of public accommodation" means a publicly or privately owned facility that is designed for occupancy by 200 or more people and includes a sports or entertainment arena, stadium, theater, community or convention hall, special event center, indoor amusement facility or water park, or swimming pool.

 

Subd. 2.  Application.  Construction, additions, and alterations to a place of public accommodation must be designed and constructed to comply with the State Building Code.

 

Subd. 3.  Enforcement.  In a municipality that has not adopted the code by ordinance under section 326B.121, subdivision 2, the commissioner shall enforce this section in accordance with section 326B.107, subdivision 1.


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Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 326B.153, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Building permits.  (a) Fees for building permits submitted as required in section 326B.106 326B.107 include:

 

(1) the fee as set forth in the fee schedule in paragraph (b) or as adopted by a municipality; and

 

(2) the surcharge required by section 326B.148.

 

(b) The total valuation and fee schedule is:

 

(1) $1 to $500, $29.50 $21;

 

(2) $501 to $2,000, $28 $21 for the first $500 plus $3.70 $2.75 for each additional $100 or fraction thereof, to and including $2,000;

 

(3) $2,001 to $25,000, $83.50 $62.25 for the first $2,000 plus $16.55 $12.50 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof, to and including $25,000;

 

(4) $25,001 to $50,000, $464.15 $349.75 for the first $25,000 plus $12 $9 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof, to and including $50,000;

 

(5) $50,001 to $100,000, $764.15 $574.75 for the first $50,000 plus $8.45 $6.25 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof, to and including $100,000;

 

(6) $100,001 to $500,000, $1,186.65 $887.25 for the first $100,000 plus $6.75 $5 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof, to and including $500,000;

 

(7) $500,001 to $1,000,000, $3,886.65 $2,887.25 for the first $500,000 plus $5.50 $4.25 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof, to and including $1,000,000; and

 

(8) $1,000,001 and up, $6,636.65 $5,012.25 for the first $1,000,000 plus $4.50 $2.75 for each additional $1,000 or fraction thereof.

 

(c) Other inspections and fees are:

 

(1) inspections outside of normal business hours (minimum charge two hours), $63.25 per hour;

 

(2) reinspection fees, $63.25 per hour;

 

(3) inspections for which no fee is specifically indicated (minimum charge one-half hour), $63.25 per hour; and

 

(4) additional plan review required by changes, additions, or revisions to approved plans (minimum charge one‑half hour), $63.25 per hour.

 

(d) If the actual hourly cost to the jurisdiction under paragraph (c) is greater than $63.25, then the greater rate shall be paid.  Hourly cost includes supervision, overhead, equipment, hourly wages, and fringe benefits of the employees involved.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  Paragraph (a) is effective July 1, 2017.  Paragraph (b) is effective July 1, 2017, and the amendments to it expire October 1, 2021.


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Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 326B.37, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 16.  Wind electric systems.  (a) The inspection fee for the installation of a wind turbine is:

 

(1) zero watts to and including 100,000 watts, $80;

 

(2) 100,001 watts to and including 500,000 watts, $105;

 

(3) 500,001 watts to and including 1,000,000 watts, $120;

 

(4) 1,000,001 watts to and including 1,500,000 watts, $125;

 

(5) 1,500,001 watts to and including 2,000,000 watts, $130;

 

(6) 2,000,001 watts to and including 3,000,000 watts, $145; and

 

(7) 3,000,001 watts and larger, $160.

 

(b) For the purpose of paragraph (a), the watt rating is the total estimated alternating current energy output of one individual wind turbine.

 

Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 326B.37, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 17.  Solar photovoltaic systems.  (a) The inspection fee for the installation of a solar photovoltaic system is:

 

(1) zero watts to and including 5,000 watts, $60;

 

(2) 5,001 watts to and including 10,000 watts, $100;

 

(3) 10,001 watts to and including 20,000 watts, $150;

 

(4) 20,001 watts to and including 30,000 watts, $200;

 

(5) 30,001 watts to and including 40,000 watts, $250;

 

(6) 40,001 watts to and including 1,000,000 watts, $250, and $25 for each additional 10,000 watts over 40,000 watts;

 

(7) 1,000,001 watts to 5,000,000 watts, $2,650, and $15 for each additional 10,000 watts over 1,000,000 watts; and

 

(8) 5,000,001 watts and larger, $8,650, and $10 for each additional 10,000 watts over 5,000,000 watts.

 

(b) For the purpose of paragraph (a), the watt rating is the total estimated alternating current energy output of the solar photovoltaic system.

 

Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 326B.435, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Powers; duties; administrative support.  (a) The board shall have the power to:

 

(1) elect its chair, vice-chair, and secretary;


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(2) adopt bylaws that specify the duties of its officers, the meeting dates of the board, and containing such other provisions as may be useful and necessary for the efficient conduct of the business of the board;

 

(3) adopt the Plumbing Code that must be followed in this state and any Plumbing Code amendments thereto.  The Plumbing Code shall include the minimum standards described in sections 326B.43, subdivision 1, and 326B.52, subdivision 1.  The board shall adopt the Plumbing Code and any amendments thereto pursuant to chapter 14 and as provided in subdivision 6, paragraphs (b), (c), and (d);

 

(4) review requests for final interpretations and issue final interpretations as provided in section 326B.127, subdivision 5;

 

(5) adopt rules that regulate the licensure, certification, or registration of plumbing contractors, journeymen, unlicensed individuals, master plumbers, restricted master plumbers, restricted journeymen, restricted plumbing contractors, backflow prevention rebuilders and testers, water conditioning contractors, and water conditioning installers, and other persons engaged in the design, installation, and alteration of plumbing systems or engaged in or working at the business of water conditioning installation or service, or engaged in or working at the business of medical gas system installation, maintenance, or repair, except for those individuals licensed under section 326.02, subdivisions 2 and 3.  The board shall adopt these rules pursuant to chapter 14 and as provided in subdivision 6, paragraphs (e) and (f);

 

(6) adopt rules that regulate continuing education for individuals licensed as master plumbers, journeyman plumbers, restricted master plumbers, restricted journeyman plumbers, registered unlicensed individuals, water conditioning contractors masters, and water conditioning installers journeymen, and for individuals certified under sections 326B.437 and 326B.438.  The board shall adopt these rules pursuant to chapter 14 and as provided in subdivision 6, paragraphs (e) and (f);

 

(7) refer complaints or other communications to the commissioner, whether oral or written, as provided in subdivision 8, that allege or imply a violation of a statute, rule, or order that the commissioner has the authority to enforce pertaining to code compliance, licensure, or an offering to perform or performance of unlicensed plumbing services;

 

(8) approve per diem and expenses deemed necessary for its members as provided in subdivision 3;

 

(9) approve license reciprocity agreements;

 

(10) select from its members individuals to serve on any other state advisory council, board, or committee; and

 

(11) recommend the fees for licenses, registrations, and certifications.

 

Except for the powers granted to the Plumbing Board, the Board of Electricity, and the Board of High Pressure Piping Systems, the commissioner of labor and industry shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter and any rules promulgated pursuant thereto.

 

(b) The board shall comply with section 15.0597, subdivisions 2 and 4.

 

(c) The commissioner shall coordinate the board's rulemaking and recommendations with the recommendations and rulemaking conducted by the other boards created pursuant to this chapter.  The commissioner shall provide staff support to the board.  The support includes professional, legal, technical, and clerical staff necessary to perform rulemaking and other duties assigned to the board.  The commissioner of labor and industry shall supply necessary office space and supplies to assist the board in its duties.


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Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 326B.50, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Water conditioning installation.  "Water conditioning installation" means the installation of appliances, appurtenances, and fixtures designed to treat water so as to alter, modify, add or remove mineral, chemical or bacterial content, said installation to be made in a water distribution system serving:

 

(1) a single family residential unit, which has been initially established by a licensed plumber, and does not involve a direct connection without an air gap to a soil or waste pipe.; or

 

(2) a multifamily or nonresidential building, where the plumbing installation has been initially established by a licensed plumber.  Isolation valves shall be required for all water conditioning installations and shall be readily accessible.  Water conditioning installation does not include:

 

(i) a valve that allows isolation of the water conditioning installation;

 

(ii) piping greater than two-inch nominal pipe size; or

 

(iii) a direct connection without an air gap to a soil or waste pipe.

 

Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 326B.50, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 5.  Direct supervision.  "Direct supervision," with respect to direct supervision of a registered unlicensed individual, means that:

 

(1) at all times while the registered unlicensed individual is performing water conditioning installation work, a direct supervisor is present at the location where the registered unlicensed individual is working;

 

(2) the direct supervisor is physically present and immediately available to the registered unlicensed individual at all times for assistance and direction;

 

(3) any form of electronic supervision does not meet the requirement of being physically present;

 

(4) the direct supervisor reviews the water conditioning installation work performed by the registered unlicensed individual before the water conditioning installation is operated; and

 

(5) the direct supervisor determines that all water conditioning installation work performed by the registered unlicensed individual is performed in compliance with sections 326B.50 to 326B.59, all rules adopted under these sections, the Minnesota Plumbing Code, and all orders issued under section 326B.082.

 

Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 326B.50, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 6.  Direct supervisor.  "Direct supervisor" means a master plumber, journeyman plumber, restricted master plumber, restricted journeyman plumber, water conditioning master, or water conditioning journeyman responsible for providing direct supervision of a registered unlicensed individual.

 

Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 326B.55, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Qualifications for licensing.  (a) A water conditioning master license shall be issued only to an individual who has demonstrated skill in planning, superintending, and servicing, and installing water conditioning installations, and has successfully passed the examination for water conditioning masters.  A water conditioning journeyman license shall only be issued to an individual other than a water conditioning master who has


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demonstrated practical knowledge of water conditioning installation, and has successfully passed the examination for water conditioning journeymen.  A water conditioning journeyman must successfully pass the examination for water conditioning masters before being licensed as a water conditioning master.

 

(b) Each water conditioning contractor must designate a responsible licensed master plumber or a responsible licensed water conditioning master, who shall be responsible for the performance of all water conditioning installation and servicing in accordance with the requirements of sections 326B.50 to 326B.59, all rules adopted under sections 326B.50 to 326B.59, the Minnesota Plumbing Code, and all orders issued under section 326B.082.  If the water conditioning contractor is an individual or sole proprietorship, the responsible licensed master must be the individual, proprietor, or managing employee.  If the water conditioning contractor is a partnership, the responsible licensed master must be a general partner or managing employee.  If the water conditioning contractor is a limited liability company, the responsible licensed master must be a chief manager or managing employee.  If the water conditioning contractor is a corporation, the responsible licensed master must be an officer or managing employee.  If the responsible licensed master is a managing employee, the responsible licensed master must be actively engaged in performing water conditioning work on behalf of the water conditioning contractor and cannot be employed in any capacity as a water conditioning master or water conditioning journeyman for any other water conditioning contractor.  An individual must not be the responsible licensed master for more than one water conditioning contractor.

 

(c) All applications and renewals for water conditioning contractor licenses shall include a verified statement that the applicant or licensee has complied with paragraph (b).

 

(d) Each application and renewal for a water conditioning master license, water conditioning journeyman license, or a water conditioning contractor license shall be accompanied by all fees required by section 326B.092.

 

Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 326B.55, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 4.  Plumber's apprentices.  (a) A plumber's apprentice who is registered under section 326B.47 is authorized to assist in water conditioning installation and water conditioning servicing only while under the direct supervision of a master plumber, journeyman plumber, restricted master plumber, restricted journeyman plumber, water conditioning master, or water conditioning journeyman.  The master or journeyman is responsible for ensuring that all water conditioning work performed by the plumber's apprentice complies with the plumbing code and rules adopted under sections 326B.50 to 326B.59.  The supervising master or journeyman must be licensed and must be employed by the same employer as the plumber's apprentice.  Licensed individuals shall not permit plumber's apprentices to perform water conditioning work except under the direct supervision of an individual actually licensed to perform such work.  Plumber's apprentices shall not supervise the performance of plumbing work or make assignments of plumbing work to unlicensed individuals.

 

(b) Water conditioning contractors employing plumber's apprentices to perform water conditioning work shall maintain records establishing compliance with this subdivision that shall identify all plumber's apprentices performing water conditioning work, and shall permit the department to examine and copy all such records.

 

Sec. 14.  [326B.555] REGISTERED UNLICENSED INDIVIDUALS.

 

Subdivision 1.  Registration; supervision; records.  (a) All unlicensed individuals engaged in water conditioning installation must be registered under subdivision 3.

 

(b) A registered unlicensed individual is authorized to assist in water conditioning installations in a single family residential unit only when a master plumber, journeyman plumber, restricted master plumber, restricted journeyman plumber, water conditioning master, or water conditioning journeyman is available and responsible for ensuring that all water conditioning installation work performed by the unlicensed individual complies with the applicable


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provisions of the plumbing and water conditioning codes and rules adopted pursuant to such codes.  For all other water conditioning installation work, the registered unlicensed individual must be under the direct supervision of a responsible licensed water conditioning master.

 

(c) Water conditioning contractors employing registered unlicensed individuals to perform water conditioning installation work shall maintain records establishing compliance with this subdivision that shall identify all unlicensed individuals performing water conditioning installations, and shall permit the department to examine and copy all such records.

 

Subd. 2.  Journeyman exam.  A registered unlicensed individual who has completed 875 hours of practical water conditioning installation, servicing, and training is eligible to take the water conditioning journeyman examination.  Up to 100 hours of practical water conditioning installation and servicing experience prior to becoming a registered unlicensed individual may be applied to the practical experience requirement.  However, none of this practical experience may be applied if the unlicensed individual did not have any practical experience in the 12-month period immediately prior to becoming a registered unlicensed individual.

 

Subd. 3.  Registration, renewals, and fees.  An unlicensed individual may register by completing and submitting to the commissioner an application form provided by the commissioner, with all fees required by section 326B.58.  A completed application form must state the date, the individual's age, schooling, previous experience and employer, and other information required by the commissioner.  The plumbing board may prescribe rules, not inconsistent with this section, for the registration of unlicensed individuals.  Applications for initial registration may be submitted at any time.  Registration must be renewed annually and shall be for the period from July 1 of each year to June 30 of the following year.

 

Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 326B.805, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Prohibition.  Except as provided in subdivision 6, no persons required to be licensed by subdivision 1 may act or hold themselves out as a residential building contractor, residential remodeler, residential roofer, or manufactured home installer for compensation without a license issued by the commissioner.  Unlicensed residential building contractor, residential remodeler, or residential roofer activity is a gross misdemeanor.

 

Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 326B.89, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Definitions.  (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given them.

 

(b) "Gross annual receipts" means the total amount derived from residential contracting or residential remodeling activities, regardless of where the activities are performed, and must not be reduced by costs of goods sold, expenses, losses, or any other amount.

 

(c) "Licensee" means a person licensed as a residential contractor or residential remodeler.

 

(d) "Residential real estate" means a new or existing building constructed for habitation by one to four families, and includes detached garages intended for storage of vehicles associated with the residential real estate.

 

(e) "Fund" means the contractor recovery fund.

 

(f) "Owner" when used in connection with real property, means a person who has any legal or equitable interest in real property and includes a condominium or townhome association that owns common property located in a condominium building or townhome building or an associated detached garage.  Owner does not include any real estate developer or any owner using, or intending to use, the property for a business purpose and not as owner‑occupied residential real estate.


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Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 326B.89, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 5.  Payment limitations.  The commissioner shall not pay compensation from the fund to an owner or a lessee in an amount greater than $75,000 per licensee.  The commissioner shall not pay compensation from the fund to owners and lessees in an amount that totals more than $150,000 $300,000 per licensee.  The commissioner shall only pay compensation from the fund for a final judgment that is based on a contract directly between the licensee and the homeowner or lessee that was entered into prior to the cause of action and that requires licensure as a residential building contractor or residential remodeler.

 

Sec. 18.  Laws 2015, First Special Session chapter 1, article 1, section 5, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Workers' Compensation

 

15,226,000

 

17,782,000

 

This appropriation is from the workers' compensation fund.

 

$4,000,000 in fiscal year 2016 and $6,000,000 in fiscal year 2017 are for workers' compensation system upgrades and are available through June 30, 2021.  The base appropriation for this purpose is $3,000,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $3,000,000 in fiscal year 2019.  The base appropriation for fiscal year 2020 and beyond is zero.

 

This appropriation includes funds for information technology project services and support subject to the provisions of Minnesota Statutes, section 16E.0466.  Any ongoing information technology costs will be incorporated into the service level agreement and will be paid to the Office of MN.IT Services by the commissioner of labor and industry under the rates and mechanism specified in that agreement.

 

Sec. 19.  RULEMAKING.

 

The commissioner of labor and industry shall amend Minnesota Rules, part 1309.0313, IRC sections R313.1 to R313.3, to establish that one- and two-family dwellings and two-unit townhouses are not required to have installed automatic fire sprinkler systems.  The commissioner may use the exempt provisions of Minnesota Statutes, section 14.386, except that paragraph (b) shall not apply.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 20.  REPEALER.

 

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 326B.89, subdivision 14, is repealed.

 

ARTICLE 3

EMPLOYMENT, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT POLICY

 

Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116J.01, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 5.  Departmental organization.  (a) The commissioner shall organize the department as provided in section 15.06.

 

(b) The commissioner may establish divisions and offices within the department.  The commissioner may employ four one deputy commissioners commissioner in the unclassified service.


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(c) The commissioner shall:

 

(1) employ assistants and other officers, employees, and agents that the commissioner considers necessary to discharge the functions of the commissioner's office;

 

(2) define the duties of the officers, employees, and agents, and delegate to them any of the commissioner's powers, duties, and responsibilities, subject to the commissioner's control and under conditions prescribed by the commissioner.

 

(d) The commissioner shall ensure that there are at least three employment and economic development officers in state offices in nonmetropolitan areas of the state who will work with local units of government on developing local employment and economic development.

 

Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116J.013, is amended to read:

 

116J.013 COST-OF-LIVING STUDY; ANNUAL REPORT.

 

(a) The commissioner shall conduct an annual cost-of-living study in Minnesota.  The study shall include:

 

(1) a calculation of the statewide basic needs cost of living, including reasonable retirement and long-term care savings, adjusted for family size;

 

(2) a calculation of the basic needs cost of living, including reasonable retirement and long-term care savings, adjusted for family size, for each county;

 

(3) an analysis of statewide and county cost-of-living data, employment data, and job vacancy data; and

 

(4) recommendations to aid in the assessment of employment and economic development planning needs throughout the state.

 

(b) The commissioner shall report on the cost-of-living study and recommendations by February 1 of each year to the governor and to the chairs of the standing committees of the house of representatives and the senate having jurisdiction over employment and economic development issues.

 

Sec. 3.  [116J.4221] RURAL POLICY AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER FUND.

 

(a) A rural policy and development center fund is established as an account in the special revenue fund in the state treasury.  The commissioner of management and budget shall credit to the account the amounts authorized under this section and appropriations and transfers to the account.  The State Board of Investment shall ensure that account money is invested under section 11A.24.  All money earned by the account must be credited to the account.  The principal of the account and any unexpended earnings must be invested and reinvested by the State Board of Investment.

 

(b) Gifts and donations, including land or interests in land, may be made to the account.  Noncash gifts and donations must be disposed of for cash as soon as the board prudently can maximize the value of the gift or donation.  Gifts and donations of marketable securities may be held or be disposed of for cash at the option of the board.  The cash receipts of gifts and donations of cash or capital assets and marketable securities disposed of for cash must be credited immediately to the principal of the account.  The value of marketable securities at the time the gift or donation is made must be credited to the principal of the account and any earnings from the marketable securities are earnings of the account.  The earnings in the account are annually appropriated to the board of the Center for Rural Policy and Development to carry out the duties of the center.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.


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Sec. 4.  [116J.6582] SHRIMP PRODUCTION INCENTIVE.

 

Subdivision 1.  Definitions.  (a) For the purposes of this section, the terms defined in this subdivision have the meanings given them.

 

(b) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of employment and economic development.

 

(c) "Feed" means pelletized material produced from agricultural sources.

 

Subd. 2.  Eligibility.  (a) A facility eligible for payment under this section must acquire at least 80 percent of feed from Minnesota.  The facility must be located in Minnesota, must begin production at a specific location by June 30, 2025, and must not begin production before July 1, 2019.  Eligible facilities include existing companies and facilities that are adding shrimp production capacity, or retrofitting existing capacity, as well as new companies and facilities.  Eligible shrimp production facilities must produce at least 25,000 pounds of shrimp each quarter.

 

(b) No payments shall be made for shrimp production that occurs after June 30, 2028, for those eligible producers under paragraph (a).

 

(c) An eligible producer of shrimp shall not transfer the producer's eligibility for payments under this section to a facility at a different location.

 

(d) A producer that ceases production for any reason is ineligible to receive payments under this section until the producer resumes production.

 

Subd. 3.  Payment amounts; limits.  (a) The commissioner shall make payments to eligible producers of shrimp.  The amount of the payment for each eligible producer's quarterly production is 69 cents per pound of shrimp produced at a specific location for three years after the start of production.

 

(b) Total payments under this section to an eligible shrimp producer in a quarter may not exceed the amount necessary for 2,000,000 pounds of shrimp produced.  Total payments under this section to all eligible shrimp producers in a quarter may not exceed $1,250,000.  If the total amount for which all shrimp producers are eligible in a quarter exceeds the amount available for payments, the commissioner shall award payments on a pro rata basis within the limits of available funding.

 

(c) For purposes of this section, an entity that holds a controlling interest in more than one shrimp facility is considered a single eligible producer.

 

Subd. 4.  Claims.  (a) By the last day of October, January, April, and July, each eligible shrimp producer shall file a claim for payment for shrimp production during the preceding three calendar months.  An eligible shrimp producer that files a claim under this subdivision shall include a statement of the eligible producer's total pounds of shrimp produced during the quarter covered by the claim.  For each claim and statement of total pounds of shrimp filed under this subdivision, the pounds of shrimp produced must be examined by a certified public accounting firm with a valid permit to practice under chapter 326A, in accordance with Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

 

(b) The commissioner must issue payments by November 15, February 15, May 15, and August 15.  A separate payment must be made for each claim filed.

 

Subd. 5.  Report.  By January 15 each year, the commissioner shall report on the program under this section to the legislative committees with jurisdiction over agricultural policy and finance and economic development.  The report shall include information on production and incentive expenditures under the program.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective beginning July 1, 2019.


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Sec. 5.  [116J.9922] CENTRAL MINNESOTA OPPORTUNITY GRANT PROGRAM.

 

Subdivision 1.  Definitions.  (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given.

 

(b) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of employment and economic development.

 

(c) "Community initiative" means a nonprofit organization which provides services to central Minnesota communities of color in one or more of the program areas listed in subdivision 4, paragraph (a).

 

(d) "Foundation" means the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.

 

Subd. 2.  Establishment.  The commissioner shall establish a central Minnesota opportunity grant program, administered by the foundation, to identify and support community initiatives in the St. Cloud area that enhance long-term economic self-sufficiency by improving education, housing, and economic outcomes for central Minnesota communities of color.

 

Subd. 3.  Grant to the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.  The commissioner shall award all grant funds to the foundation, which shall administer the central Minnesota opportunity grant program.  The foundation may use up to five percent of grant funds for administrative costs.

 

Subd. 4.  Grants to community initiatives.  (a) The foundation must award funds through a competitive grant process to community initiatives that will provide services, either alone or in partnership with another nonprofit organization, in one or more of the following areas:

 

(1) economic development, including but not limited to programs to foster entrepreneurship or small business development;

 

(2) education, including but not limited to programs to encourage civic engagement or provide youth after‑school or recreation programs; or

 

(3) housing, including but not limited to programs to prevent and respond to homelessness or to provide access to loans or grants for housing stability and affordability.

 

(b) To receive grant funds, a community initiative must submit a written application to the foundation, using a form developed by the foundation.  This grant application must include:

 

(1) a description of the activities that will be funded by the grant;

 

(2) an estimate of the cost of each grant activity;

 

(3) the total cost of the project;

 

(4) the sources and amounts of nonstate funds supplementing the grant;

 

(5) how the project aims to achieve stated outcomes in areas including improved job training; workforce development; small business support; early childhood, kindergarten through grade 12, and higher education achievement; and access to housing, including loans; and

 

(6) any additional information requested by the foundation.


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(c) In awarding grants under this subdivision, the foundation shall give weight to applications from organizations that demonstrate:

 

(1) a history of successful provision of the services listed in paragraph (a); and

 

(2) a history of successful fund-raising from private sources for such services.

 

(d) In evaluating grant applications, the foundation shall not consider the composition of a community initiative's governing board.

 

(e) Grant funds may be used by a community initiative for the following purposes:

 

(1) operating costs, including but not limited to staff, office space, computers, software, and Web development and maintenance services;

 

(2) program costs;

 

(3) travel within Minnesota;

 

(4) consultants directly related to and necessary for delivering services listed in paragraph (a); and

 

(5) capacity building.

 

Subd. 5.  Reports to the legislature.  By January 15, 2019, and each January 15 thereafter through 2022, the commissioner must submit a report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the house of representatives and the senate committees with jurisdiction over economic development that details the use of grant funds.  This report must include data on the number of individuals served and, to the extent practical, measures of progress toward achieving the outcomes stated in subdivision 4, paragraph (b), clause (5).

 

Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116L.17, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Definitions.  (a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given them in this subdivision.

 

(b) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of employment and economic development.

 

(c) "Dislocated worker" means an individual who is a resident of Minnesota at the time employment ceased or was working in the state at the time employment ceased and:

 

(1) has been permanently separated or has received a notice of permanent separation from public or private sector employment and is eligible for or has exhausted entitlement to unemployment benefits, and is unlikely to return to the previous industry or occupation;

 

(2) has been long-term unemployed and has limited opportunities for employment or reemployment in the same or a similar occupation in the area in which the individual resides, including older individuals who may have substantial barriers to employment by reason of age;

 

(3) has been terminated or has received a notice of termination of employment as a result of a plant closing or a substantial layoff at a plant, facility, or enterprise;


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(4) has been self-employed, including farmers and ranchers, and is unemployed as a result of general economic conditions in the community in which the individual resides or because of natural disasters;

 

(5) MS 2011 Supp [Expired, 2011 c 84 art 3 s 1]

 

(6) (5) is a veteran as defined by section 197.447, has been discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions within the last 36 months, and (i) is unemployed or (ii) is employed in a job verified to be below the skill level and earning capacity of the veteran;

 

(7) (6) is an individual determined by the United States Department of Labor to be covered by trade adjustment assistance under United States Code, title 19, sections 2271 to 2331, as amended; or

 

(8) (7) is a displaced homemaker.  A "displaced homemaker" is an individual who has spent a substantial number of years in the home providing homemaking service and (i) has been dependent upon the financial support of another; and now due to divorce, separation, death, or disability of that person, must find employment to self support; or (ii) derived the substantial share of support from public assistance on account of dependents in the home and no longer receives such support.  To be eligible under this clause, the support must have ceased while the worker resided in Minnesota.

 

For the purposes of this section, "dislocated worker" does not include an individual who was an employee, at the time employment ceased, of a political committee, political fund, principle campaign committee, or party unit, as those terms are used in chapter 10A, or an organization required to file with the federal elections commission.

 

(d) "Eligible organization" means a state or local government unit, nonprofit organization, community action agency, business organization or association, or labor organization.

 

(e) "Plant closing" means the announced or actual permanent shutdown of a single site of employment, or one or more facilities or operating units within a single site of employment.

 

(f) "Substantial layoff" means a permanent reduction in the workforce, which is not a result of a plant closing, and which results in an employment loss at a single site of employment during any 30-day period for at least 50 employees excluding those employees that work less than 20 hours per week.

 

Sec. 7.  Laws 2014, chapter 312, article 2, section 14, as amended by Laws 2016, chapter 189, article 7, section 8, is amended to read:

 

Sec. 14.  ASSIGNED RISK TRANSFER.

 

(a) By June 30, 2015, if the commissioner of commerce determines on the basis of an audit that there is an excess surplus in the assigned risk plan created under Minnesota Statutes, section 79.252, the commissioner of management and budget shall transfer the amount of the excess surplus, not to exceed $10,500,000, to the general fund.  This transfer occurs prior to any transfer under Minnesota Statutes, section 79.251, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (1).  This is a onetime transfer.

 

(b) By June 30, 2015, and each year thereafter, if the commissioner of commerce determines on the basis of an audit that there is an excess surplus in the assigned risk plan created under Minnesota Statutes, section 79.252, the commissioner of management and budget shall transfer the amount of the excess surplus, not to exceed $4,820,000 each year, to the Minnesota minerals 21st century fund under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.423.  This transfer occurs prior to any transfer under Minnesota Statutes, section 79.251, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (1), but after the transfer transfers authorized in paragraph paragraphs (a) and (f).  The total amount authorized for all transfers under this paragraph must not exceed $24,100,000.  This paragraph expires the day following the transfer in which the total amount transferred under this paragraph to the Minnesota minerals 21st century fund equals $24,100,000.


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(c) By June 30, 2015, if the commissioner of commerce determines on the basis of an audit that there is an excess surplus in the assigned risk plan created under Minnesota Statutes, section 79.252, the commissioner of management and budget shall transfer the amount of the excess surplus, not to exceed $4,820,000, to the general fund.  This transfer occurs prior to any transfer under Minnesota Statutes, section 79.251, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (1), but after any transfers authorized in paragraphs (a) and (b).  If a transfer occurs under this paragraph, the amount transferred is appropriated from the general fund in fiscal year 2015 to the commissioner of labor and industry for the purposes of section 15.  Both the transfer and appropriation under this paragraph are onetime.

 

(d) By June 30, 2016, if the commissioner of commerce determines on the basis of an audit that there is an excess surplus in the assigned risk plan created under Minnesota Statutes, section 79.252, the commissioner of management and budget shall transfer the amount of the excess surplus, not to exceed $4,820,000, to the general fund.  This transfer occurs prior to any transfer under Minnesota Statutes, section 79.251, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (1), but after the transfers authorized in paragraphs (a) and (b).  If a transfer occurs under this paragraph, the amount transferred is appropriated from the general fund in fiscal year 2016 to the commissioner of labor and industry for the purposes of section 15.  Both the transfer and appropriation under this paragraph are onetime.

 

(e) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 16A.28, the commissioner of management and budget shall transfer to the general fund, any unencumbered or unexpended balance of the appropriations under paragraphs (c) and (d) remaining on June 30, 2016, or the date the commissioner of commerce determines that an excess surplus in the assigned risk plan does not exist, whichever occurs earlier.

 

(f) By June 30, 2017, and each year thereafter, if the commissioner of commerce determines on the basis of an audit that there is an excess surplus in the assigned risk plan created under Minnesota Statutes, section 79.252, the commissioner of management and budget shall transfer the amount of the excess surplus, not to exceed $2,000,000 each year, to the rural policy and development center fund under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.4221.  This transfer occurs prior to any transfer under paragraph (b) or under Minnesota Statutes, section 79.251, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (1).  The total amount authorized for all transfers under this paragraph must not exceed $2,000,000.  This paragraph expires the day following the transfer in which the total amount transferred under this paragraph to the rural policy and development center fund equals $2,000,000.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 8.  Laws 2015, First Special Session chapter 1, article 1, section 2, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 6.  Vocational Rehabilitation

 

 

 

 

 

Appropriations by Fund

 

General

22,611,000

21,611,000

Workforce Development

7,830,000

7,830,000

 

(a) $10,800,000 each year is from the general fund for the state's vocational rehabilitation program under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 268A.

 

(b) $2,261,000 each year is from the general fund for grants to centers for independent living under Minnesota Statutes, section 268A.11.

 

(c) $5,745,000 each year from the general fund and $6,830,000 each year from the workforce development fund are for extended employment services for persons with severe disabilities under Minnesota Statutes, section 268A.15.


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(d) $250,000 in fiscal year 2016 and $250,000 in fiscal year 2017 are for rate increases to providers of extended employment services for persons with severe disabilities under Minnesota Statutes, section 268A.15.  This appropriation is added to the agency's base.

 

(e) $2,555,000 each year is from the general fund for grants to programs that provide employment support services to persons with mental illness under Minnesota Statutes, sections 268A.13 and 268A.14.

 

(f) $1,000,000 each year is from the workforce development fund for grants under Minnesota Statutes, section 268A.16, for employment services for persons, including transition-aged youth, who are deaf, deafblind, or hard-of-hearing.  If the amount in the first year is insufficient, the amount in the second year is available in the first year.

 

(g) $1,000,000 in fiscal year 2016 is for a grant to Assistive Technology of Minnesota, a statewide nonprofit organization that is exclusively dedicated to the issues of access to and the acquisition of assistive technology.  The purpose of the grant is to acquire assistive technology and to work in tandem with individuals using this technology to create career paths Assistive Technology of Minnesota must use the funds to provide low‑interest loans to individuals of all ages and types of disabilities to purchase assistive technology and employment-related equipment.  This is a onetime appropriation.

 

(h) For purposes of this subdivision, Minnesota Diversified Industries, Inc. is an eligible provider of services for persons with severe disabilities under Minnesota Statutes, section 268A.15.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective retroactively from July 1, 2015.

 

Sec. 9.  Laws 2016, chapter 189, article 7, section 46, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Qualification requirements.  To qualify for assistance under this section, a business must:

 

(1) be located within one of the following municipalities surrounding Lake Mille Lacs:

 

(i) in Crow Wing County, the city of Garrison, township of Garrison, or township of Roosevelt;

 

(ii) in Aitkin County, the township of Hazelton, township of Wealthwood, township of Malmo, or township of Lakeside; or

 

(iii) in Mille Lacs County, the city of Isle, city of Wahkon, city of Onamia, township of East Side, township of Isle Harbor, township of South Harbor, or township of Kathio;

 

(2) document a reduction of at least ten five percent in gross receipts in any two-year period since 2010; and


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(3) be a business in one of the following industries, as defined within the North American Industry Classification System:  accommodation, restaurants, bars, amusement and recreation, food and beverages retail, sporting goods, miscellaneous retail, general retail, museums, historical sites, health and personal care, gas station, general merchandise, business and professional membership, movies, or nonstore retailer, as determined by Mille Lacs County in consultation with the commissioner of employment and economic development.

 

Sec. 10.  Laws 2016, chapter 189, article 7, section 46, the effective date, is amended to read:

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section, except for subdivision 4, is effective July 1, 2016, and expires June 30, 2017 2018.  Subdivision 4 is effective July 1, 2016, and expires on the date the last loan is repaid or forgiven as provided under this section.

 

Sec. 11.  GREATER MINNESOTA COMMUNITY DESIGN PILOT PROJECT.

 

Subdivision 1.  Creation.  The Minnesota Design Center at the University of Minnesota shall partner with relevant organizations in selected communities within greater Minnesota to establish a pilot project for community design.  The pilot project shall identify current and future opportunities for rural development, create designs, seek funding from existing sources, and assist with the implementation of economically, environmentally, and culturally sensitive projects that respond to current community conditions, needs, capabilities, and aspirations in support of the selected communities.  For the purposes of this section, "greater Minnesota" is limited to the following counties:  Blue Earth, Brown, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Le Sueur, Martin, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Sibley, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan, and Winona.

 

Subd. 2.  Community selection.  In order to be considered for inclusion in the pilot project, communities with fewer than 12,000 residents within the counties listed in subdivision 1 must submit a letter of interest to the Minnesota Design Center.  The Minnesota Design Center may choose up to ten communities for participation in the pilot project.

 

Subd. 3.  Pilot project activities.  Among other activities, the Minnesota Design Center, in partnership with relevant organizations within the selected communities, shall:

 

(1) assess community capacity to engage in design, development, and implementation;

 

(2) create community and project designs that respond to a community's culture and needs, reinforce its identity as a special place, and support its future aspirations;

 

(3) create an implementation strategy; and

 

(4) build capacity to implement design work by identifying potential funding strategies and sources and assisting in grant writing to secure funding.

 

Sec. 12.  DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; MANDATED REPORT HOLIDAY.

 

(a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any report required by state law from the Department of Employment and Economic Development that is due in fiscal year 2018 or 2019 is optional.  The commissioner of employment and economic development may produce any reports at the commissioner's discretion or as may be required by federal law.

 

(b) This section does not apply to workforce programs outcomes reporting under Minnesota Statutes, section 116L.98.


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Sec. 13.  ONETIME EXCEPTION TO RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF MINNESOTA INVESTMENT FUND LOCAL GOVERNMENT LOAN REPAYMENT FUNDS.

 

Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.8731, subdivision 2, a home rule charter or statutory city, county, or town that has uncommitted money received from repayment of funds awarded under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.8731, may choose to transfer 20 percent of the balance of that money to the state general fund before June 30, 2018.  A home rule charter or statutory city, county, or town that does so may then use the remaining 80 percent of the uncommitted money for any purposes not otherwise forbidden by law other than Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.8731, but must submit a report by January 20, 2020, to the chairs and ranking minority members of the house of representatives and the senate committees with jurisdiction over economic development that details how the money was used.

 

Sec. 14.  EXISTING DEPUTY COMMISSIONERS MAY SERVE UNTIL JANUARY 1, 2019.

 

All existing deputy commissioners under Minnesota Statutes, section 116J.01, may serve until January 1, 2019.  Vacancies that occur in these positions before January 1, 2019, must not be filled.

 

Sec. 15.  REPEALER.

 

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116J.549, is repealed.

 

ARTICLE 4

IRON RANGE RESOURCES AND REHABILITATION POLICY

 

Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 3.732, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Definitions.  As used in this section and section 3.736 the terms defined in this section have the meanings given them.

 

(1) "State" includes each of the departments, boards, agencies, commissions, courts, and officers in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the state of Minnesota and includes but is not limited to the Housing Finance Agency, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, the Higher Education Facilities Authority, the Health Technology Advisory Committee, the Armory Building Commission, the Zoological Board, the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, the Minnesota Historical Society, the State Agricultural Society, the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, state hospitals, and state penal institutions.  It does not include a city, town, county, school district, or other local governmental body corporate and politic.

 

(2) "Employee of the state" means all present or former officers, members, directors, or employees of the state, members of the Minnesota National Guard, members of a bomb disposal unit approved by the commissioner of public safety and employed by a municipality defined in section 466.01 when engaged in the disposal or neutralization of bombs or other similar hazardous explosives, as defined in section 299C.063, outside the jurisdiction of the municipality but within the state, or persons acting on behalf of the state in an official capacity, temporarily or permanently, with or without compensation.  It does not include either an independent contractor except, for purposes of this section and section 3.736 only, a guardian ad litem acting under court appointment, or members of the Minnesota National Guard while engaged in training or duty under United States Code, title 10, or title 32, section 316, 502, 503, 504, or 505, as amended through December 31, 1983.  Notwithstanding sections 43A.02 and 611.263, for purposes of this section and section 3.736 only, "employee of the state" includes a district public defender or assistant district public defender in the Second or Fourth Judicial District, a member of the Health Technology Advisory Committee, and any officer, agent, or employee of the state of Wisconsin performing work for the state of Minnesota pursuant to a joint state initiative.


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(3) "Scope of office or employment" means that the employee was acting on behalf of the state in the performance of duties or tasks lawfully assigned by competent authority.

 

(4) "Judicial branch" has the meaning given in section 43A.02, subdivision 25.

 

Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 3.736, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Exclusions.  Without intent to preclude the courts from finding additional cases where the state and its employees should not, in equity and good conscience, pay compensation for personal injuries or property losses, the legislature declares that the state and its employees are not liable for the following losses:

 

(a) a loss caused by an act or omission of a state employee exercising due care in the execution of a valid or invalid statute or rule;

 

(b) a loss caused by the performance or failure to perform a discretionary duty, whether or not the discretion is abused;

 

(c) a loss in connection with the assessment and collection of taxes;

 

(d) a loss caused by snow or ice conditions on a highway or public sidewalk that does not abut a publicly owned building or a publicly owned parking lot, except when the condition is affirmatively caused by the negligent acts of a state employee;

 

(e) a loss caused by wild animals in their natural state, except as provided in section 3.7371;

 

(f) a loss other than injury to or loss of property or personal injury or death;

 

(g) a loss caused by the condition of unimproved real property owned by the state, which means land that the state has not improved, state land that contains idled or abandoned mine pits or shafts, and appurtenances, fixtures, and attachments to land that the state has neither affixed nor improved;

 

(h) a loss involving or arising out of the use or operation of a recreational motor vehicle, as defined in section 84.90, subdivision 1, within the right-of-way of a trunk highway, as defined in section 160.02, except that the state is liable for conduct that would entitle a trespasser to damages against a private person;

 

(i) a loss incurred by a user arising from the construction, operation, or maintenance of the outdoor recreation system, as defined in section 86A.04, or for a loss arising from the construction, operation, maintenance, or administration of grants-in-aid trails as defined in section 85.018, or for a loss arising from the construction, operation, or maintenance of a water access site created by the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, except that the state is liable for conduct that would entitle a trespasser to damages against a private person.  For the purposes of this clause, a water access site, as defined in section 86A.04 or created by the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board, that provides access to an idled, water filled mine pit, also includes the entire water filled area of the pit and, further, includes losses caused by the caving or slumping of the mine pit walls;

 

(j) a loss of benefits or compensation due under a program of public assistance or public welfare, except if state compensation for loss is expressly required by federal law in order for the state to receive federal grants-in-aid;

 

(k) a loss based on the failure of a person to meet the standards needed for a license, permit, or other authorization issued by the state or its agents;


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(l) a loss based on the usual care and treatment, or lack of care and treatment, of a person at a state hospital or state corrections facility where reasonable use of available appropriations has been made to provide care;

 

(m) loss, damage, or destruction of property of a patient or inmate of a state institution except as provided under section 3.7381;

 

(n) a loss for which recovery is prohibited by section 169A.48, subdivision 2;

 

(o) a loss caused by an aeration, bubbler, water circulation, or similar system used to increase dissolved oxygen or maintain open water on the ice of public waters, that is operated under a permit issued by the commissioner of natural resources;

 

(p) a loss incurred by a visitor to the Minnesota Zoological Garden, except that the state is liable for conduct that would entitle a trespasser to damages against a private person;

 

(q) a loss arising out of a person's use of a logging road on public land that is maintained exclusively to provide access to timber on that land by harvesters of the timber, and is not signed or otherwise held out to the public as a public highway; and

 

(r) a loss incurred by a user of property owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the Minnesota National Guard or the Department of Military Affairs, except that the state is liable for conduct that would entitle a trespasser to damages against a private person.

 

The state will not pay punitive damages.

 

Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 15.01, is amended to read:

 

15.01 DEPARTMENTS OF THE STATE.

 

The following agencies are designated as the departments of the state government:  the Department of Administration; the Department of Agriculture; the Department of Commerce; the Department of Corrections; the Department of Education; the Department of Employment and Economic Development; the Department of Health; the Department of Human Rights; the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation; the Department of Labor and Industry; the Department of Management and Budget; the Department of Military Affairs; the Department of Natural Resources; the Department of Public Safety; the Department of Human Services; the Department of Revenue; the Department of Transportation; the Department of Veterans Affairs; and their successor departments.

 

Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 15.38, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 7.  Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board.  After seeking a recommendation from the Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation, the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board may purchase insurance it considers the commissioner deems necessary and appropriate to insure facilities operated by the board commissioner.

 

Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 15A.0815, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Group II salary limits.  The salary for a position listed in this subdivision shall not exceed 120 percent of the salary of the governor.  This limit must be adjusted annually on January 1.  The new limit must equal the limit for the prior year increased by the percentage increase, if any, in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers from October of the second prior year to October of the immediately prior year.  The commissioner of management and budget must publish the limit on the department's Web site.  This subdivision applies to the following positions:


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Executive director of Gambling Control Board;

 

Commissioner, of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board;

 

Commissioner, Bureau of Mediation Services;

 

Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities;

 

Chair, Metropolitan Council;

 

School trust lands director;

 

Executive director of pari-mutuel racing; and

 

Commissioner, Public Utilities Commission.

 

Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 43A.02, subdivision 22, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 22.  Executive branch.  "Executive branch" means heads of all agencies of state government, elective or appointive, established by statute or Constitution and all employees of those agency heads who have within their particular field of responsibility statewide jurisdiction and who are not within the legislative or judicial branches of government.  The executive branch also includes employees of the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board.  The executive branch does not include agencies with jurisdiction in specifically defined geographical areas, such as regions, counties, cities, towns, municipalities, or school districts, the University of Minnesota, the Public Employees Retirement Association, the Minnesota State Retirement System, the Teachers Retirement Association, the Minnesota Historical Society, and all of their employees, and any other entity which is incorporated, even though it receives state funds.

 

Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 85.0146, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Advisory council created.  The Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area Citizens Advisory Council is established.  Membership on the advisory council shall include:

 

(1) a representative of the Cuyuna Range Mineland Recreation Area Joint Powers Board;

 

(2) a representative of the Croft Mine Historical Park Joint Powers Board;

 

(3) a designee of the Cuyuna Range Mineland Reclamation Committee who has worked as a miner in the local area;

 

(4) a representative of the Crow Wing County Board;

 

(5) an elected state official;

 

(6) a representative of the Grand Rapids regional office of the Department of Natural Resources;

 

(7) a designee of the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board;

 

(8) a designee of the local business community selected by the area chambers of commerce;

 

(9) a designee of the local environmental community selected by the Crow Wing County District 5 commissioner;


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(10) a designee of a local education organization selected by the Crosby-Ironton School Board;

 

(11) a designee of one of the recreation area user groups selected by the Cuyuna Range Chamber of Commerce; and

 

(12) a member of the Cuyuna Country Heritage Preservation Society.

 

Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116D.04, subdivision 1a, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 1a.  Definitions.  For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms have the meanings given to them in this subdivision.

 

(a) "Natural resources" has the meaning given it in section 116B.02, subdivision 4.

 

(b) "Pollution, impairment or destruction" has the meaning given it in section 116B.02, subdivision 5.

 

(c) "Environmental assessment worksheet" means a brief document which is designed to set out the basic facts necessary to determine whether an environmental impact statement is required for a proposed action.

 

(d) "Governmental action" means activities, including projects wholly or partially conducted, permitted, assisted, financed, regulated, or approved by units of government including the federal government.

 

(e) "Governmental unit" means any state agency and any general or special purpose unit of government in the state including, but not limited to, watershed districts organized under chapter 103D, counties, towns, cities, port authorities, housing authorities, and economic development authorities established under sections 469.090 to 469.108, but not including courts, school districts, the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation, and regional development commissions other than the Metropolitan Council.

 

Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116J.423, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Use of fund.  The commissioner shall use money in the fund to make loans or equity investments in mineral, steel, or any other industry processing, production, manufacturing, or technology project that would enhance the economic diversification and that is located within the taconite relief tax relief area as defined under section 273.134.  The commissioner must, prior to making any loans or equity investments and after consultation with industry and public officials, develop a strategy for making loans and equity investments that assists the taconite relief area in retaining and enhancing its economic competitiveness.  Money in the fund may also be used to pay for the costs of carrying out the commissioner's due diligence duties under this section.

 

Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116J.424, is amended to read:

 

116J.424 IRON RANGE RESOURCES AND REHABILITATION BOARD CONTRIBUTION.

 

The commissioner of the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board with approval by the board, after consultation with the Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation and complying with the requirements for expenditures under section 298.22, may provide an equal match for any loan or equity investment made for a project located in the tax relief area defined in section 273.134, paragraph (b), by the Minnesota 21st century fund created by section 116J.423.  The match may be in the form of a loan or equity investment, notwithstanding whether the fund makes a loan or equity investment.  The state shall not acquire an equity interest because of an equity investment or loan by the board and the board at its sole discretion shall commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation and the commissioner, after consultation with the commission, shall have sole discretion to decide what interest it the fund acquires in a project.  The commissioner of employment and economic development may require a commitment from the board commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation to make the match prior to disbursing money from the fund.


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Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116J.994, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Subsidy agreement.  (a) A recipient must enter into a subsidy agreement with the grantor of the subsidy that includes:

 

(1) a description of the subsidy, including the amount and type of subsidy, and type of district if the subsidy is tax increment financing;

 

(2) a statement of the public purposes for the subsidy;

 

(3) measurable, specific, and tangible goals for the subsidy;

 

(4) a description of the financial obligation of the recipient if the goals are not met;

 

(5) a statement of why the subsidy is needed;

 

(6) a commitment to continue operations in the jurisdiction where the subsidy is used for at least five years after the benefit date;

 

(7) the name and address of the parent corporation of the recipient, if any; and

 

(8) a list of all financial assistance by all grantors for the project.

 

(b) Business subsidies in the form of grants must be structured as forgivable loans.  For other types of business subsidies, the agreement must state the fair market value of the subsidy to the recipient, including the value of conveying property at less than a fair market price, or other in-kind benefits to the recipient.

 

(c) If a business subsidy benefits more than one recipient, the grantor must assign a proportion of the business subsidy to each recipient that signs a subsidy agreement.  The proportion assessed to each recipient must reflect a reasonable estimate of the recipient's share of the total benefits of the project.

 

(d) The state or local government agency and the recipient must both sign the subsidy agreement and, if the grantor is a local government agency, the agreement must be approved by the local elected governing body, except for the St. Paul Port Authority and a seaway port authority.

 

(e) Notwithstanding the provision in paragraph (a), clause (6), a recipient may be authorized to move from the jurisdiction where the subsidy is used within the five-year period after the benefit date if, after a public hearing, the grantor approves the recipient's request to move.  For the purpose of this paragraph, if the grantor is a state government agency other than the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, "jurisdiction" means a city or township.

 

Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116J.994, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 5.  Public notice and hearing.  (a) Before granting a business subsidy that exceeds $500,000 for a state government grantor and $150,000 for a local government grantor, the grantor must provide public notice and a hearing on the subsidy.  A public hearing and notice under this subdivision is not required if a hearing and notice on the subsidy is otherwise required by law.

 

(b) Public notice of a proposed business subsidy under this subdivision by a state government grantor, other than the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board, must be published in the State Register.  Public notice of a proposed business subsidy under this subdivision by a local government grantor or the commissioner of


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Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board must be published in a local newspaper of general circulation.  The public notice must identify the location at which information about the business subsidy, including a summary of the terms of the subsidy, is available.  Published notice should be sufficiently conspicuous in size and placement to distinguish the notice from the surrounding text.  The grantor must make the information available in printed paper copies and, if possible, on the Internet.  The government agency must provide at least a ten-day notice for the public hearing.

 

(c) The public notice must include the date, time, and place of the hearing.

 

(d) The public hearing by a state government grantor other than the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board must be held in St. Paul.

 

(e) If more than one nonstate grantor provides a business subsidy to the same recipient, the nonstate grantors may designate one nonstate grantor to hold a single public hearing regarding the business subsidies provided by all nonstate grantors.  For the purposes of this paragraph, "nonstate grantor" includes the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board.

 

(f) The public notice of any public meeting about a business subsidy agreement, including those required by this subdivision and by subdivision 4, must include notice that a person with residence in or the owner of taxable property in the granting jurisdiction may file a written complaint with the grantor if the grantor fails to comply with sections 116J.993 to 116J.995, and that no action may be filed against the grantor for the failure to comply unless a written complaint is filed.

 

Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116J.994, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 7.  Reports by recipients to grantors.  (a) A business subsidy grantor must monitor the progress by the recipient in achieving agreement goals.

 

(b) A recipient must provide information regarding goals and results for two years after the benefit date or until the goals are met, whichever is later.  If the goals are not met, the recipient must continue to provide information on the subsidy until the subsidy is repaid.  The information must be filed on forms developed by the commissioner in cooperation with representatives of local government.  Copies of the completed forms must be sent to the local government agency that provided the subsidy or to the commissioner if the grantor is a state agency.  If the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board is the grantor, the copies must be sent to the board.  The report must include:

 

(1) the type, public purpose, and amount of subsidies and type of district, if the subsidy is tax increment financing;

 

(2) the hourly wage of each job created with separate bands of wages;

 

(3) the sum of the hourly wages and cost of health insurance provided by the employer with separate bands of wages;

 

(4) the date the job and wage goals will be reached;

 

(5) a statement of goals identified in the subsidy agreement and an update on achievement of those goals;

 

(6) the location of the recipient prior to receiving the business subsidy;


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(7) the number of employees who ceased to be employed by the recipient when the recipient relocated to become eligible for the business subsidy;

 

(8) why the recipient did not complete the project outlined in the subsidy agreement at their previous location, if the recipient was previously located at another site in Minnesota;

 

(9) the name and address of the parent corporation of the recipient, if any;

 

(10) a list of all financial assistance by all grantors for the project; and

 

(11) other information the commissioner may request.

 

A report must be filed no later than March 1 of each year for the previous year.  The local agency and the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board must forward copies of the reports received by recipients to the commissioner by April 1.

 

(c) Financial assistance that is excluded from the definition of "business subsidy" by section 116J.993, subdivision 3, clauses (4), (5), (8), and (16), is subject to the reporting requirements of this subdivision, except that the report of the recipient must include instead:

 

(1) the type, public purpose, and amount of the financial assistance, and type of district if the assistance is tax increment financing;

 

(2) progress towards meeting goals stated in the assistance agreement and the public purpose of the assistance;

 

(3) if the agreement includes job creation, the hourly wage of each job created with separate bands of wages;

 

(4) if the agreement includes job creation, the sum of the hourly wages and cost of health insurance provided by the employer with separate bands of wages;

 

(5) the location of the recipient prior to receiving the assistance; and

 

(6) other information the grantor requests.

 

(d) If the recipient does not submit its report, the local government agency must mail the recipient a warning within one week of the required filing date.  If, after 14 days of the postmarked date of the warning, the recipient fails to provide a report, the recipient must pay to the grantor a penalty of $100 for each subsequent day until the report is filed.  The maximum penalty shall not exceed $1,000.

 

Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 216B.161, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Definitions.  (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given them in this subdivision.

 

(b) "Area development rate" means a rate schedule established by a utility that provides customers within an area development zone service under a base utility rate schedule, except that charges may be reduced from the base rate as agreed upon by the utility and the customer consistent with this section.

 

(c) "Area development zone" means a contiguous or noncontiguous area designated by an authority or municipality for development or redevelopment and within which one of the following conditions exists:


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(1) obsolete buildings not suitable for improvement or conversion or other identified hazards to the health, safety, and general well-being of the community;

 

(2) buildings in need of substantial rehabilitation or in substandard condition; or

 

(3) low values and damaged investments.

 

(d) "Authority" means a rural development financing authority established under sections 469.142 to 469.151; a housing and redevelopment authority established under sections 469.001 to 469.047; a port authority established under sections 469.048 to 469.068; an economic development authority established under sections 469.090 to 469.108; a redevelopment agency as defined in sections 469.152 to 469.165; the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board established under section 298.22; a municipality that is administering a development district created under sections 469.124 to 469.133 or any special law; a municipality that undertakes a project under sections 469.152 to 469.165, except a town located outside the metropolitan area as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 2, or with a population of 5,000 persons or less; or a municipality that exercises the powers of a port authority under any general or special law.

 

(e) "Municipality" means a city, however organized, and, with respect to a project undertaken under sections 469.152 to 469.165, "municipality" has the meaning given in sections 469.152 to 469.165, and, with respect to a project undertaken under sections 469.142 to 469.151 or a county or multicounty project undertaken under sections 469.004 to 469.008, also includes any county.

 

Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 216B.1694, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Definition.  For the purposes of this section, the term "innovative energy project" means a proposed energy-generation facility or group of facilities which may be located on up to three sites:

 

(1) that makes use of an innovative generation technology utilizing coal as a primary fuel in a highly efficient combined-cycle configuration with significantly reduced sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate, and mercury emissions from those of traditional technologies;

 

(2) that the project developer or owner certifies is a project capable of offering a long-term supply contract at a hedged, predictable cost; and

 

(3) that is designated by the commissioner of the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board as a project that is located in the taconite tax relief area on a site that has substantial real property with adequate infrastructure to support new or expanded development and that has received prior financial and other support from the board.

 

Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 276A.01, subdivision 8, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 8.  Municipality.  "Municipality" means a city, town, or township located in whole or part within the area.  If a municipality is located partly within and partly without the area, the references in sections 276A.01 to 276A.09 to property or any portion thereof subject to taxation or taxing jurisdiction within the municipality are to the property or portion thereof that is located in that portion of the municipality within the area, except that the fiscal capacity of the municipality must be computed upon the basis of the valuation and population of the entire municipality.  A municipality shall be excluded from the area if its municipal comprehensive zoning and planning policies conscientiously exclude most commercial-industrial development, for reasons other than preserving an agricultural use.  The commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board and the commissioner of revenue shall jointly make this determination annually and shall notify those municipalities that are ineligible to participate in the tax base sharing program provided in this chapter for the following year.  Before making the determination, the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation must consult the Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation.


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Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 276A.01, subdivision 17, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 17.  School fund allocation.  (a) "School fund allocation" means an amount up to 25 percent of the areawide levy certified by the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board, after consultation with the Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation, to be used for the purposes of the Iron Range school consolidation and cooperatively operated school account under section 298.28, subdivision 7a.

 

(b) The allocation under paragraph (a) shall only be made after the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board, after consultation with the Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation, has certified by June 30 that the Iron Range school consolidation and cooperatively operated account has insufficient funds to make payments as authorized under section 298.28, subdivision 7a.

 

Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 276A.06, subdivision 8, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 8.  Certification of values; payment.  The administrative auditor shall determine for each county the difference between the total levy on distribution value pursuant to subdivision 3, clause (1), including the school fund allocation within the county and the total tax on contribution value pursuant to subdivision 7, within the county.  On or before May 16 of each year, the administrative auditor shall certify the differences so determined and the county's portion of the school fund allocation to each county auditor.  In addition, the administrative auditor shall certify to those county auditors for whose county the total tax on contribution value exceeds the total levy on distribution value the settlement the county is to make to the other counties of the excess of the total tax on contribution value over the total levy on distribution value in the county.  On or before June 15 and November 15 of each year, each county treasurer in a county having a total tax on contribution value in excess of the total levy on distribution value shall pay one-half of the excess to the other counties in accordance with the administrative auditor's certification.  On or before June 15 and November 15 of each year, each county treasurer shall pay to the administrative auditor that county's share of the school fund allocation.  On or before December 1 of each year, the administrative auditor shall pay the school fund allocation to the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board for deposit in the Iron Range school consolidation and cooperatively operated account.

 

Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 282.38, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Development.  In any county where the county board by proper resolution sets aside funds for forest development pursuant to section 282.08, clause (5), item (i), or section 459.06, subdivision 2, the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation with the approval of the board, after consultation with the Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation, may upon request of the county board assist said county in carrying out any project for the long range development of its forest resources through matching of funds or otherwise.

 

Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 282.38, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Not to affect commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation.  Nothing herein shall be construed to limit or abrogate the authority of the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation to give temporary assistance to any county in the development of its land use program.

 

Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.001, subdivision 8, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 8.  Commissioner.  "Commissioner" means the commissioner of revenue of the state of Minnesota, except that when used in sections 298.22 to 298.227 and 298.291 to 298.298, "commissioner" means the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation.


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Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.001, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 11.  Commission.  "Commission" means the Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation, as established under section 298.22.

 

Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.018, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Within taconite assistance area.  The proceeds of the tax paid under sections 298.015 and 298.016 on ores, metals, or minerals mined or extracted within the taconite assistance area defined in section 273.1341, shall be allocated as follows:

 

(1) five percent to the city or town within which the minerals or energy resources are mined or extracted, or within which the concentrate was produced.  If the mining and concentration, or different steps in either process, are carried on in more than one taxing district, the commissioner shall apportion equitably the proceeds among the cities and towns by attributing 50 percent of the proceeds of the tax to the operation of mining or extraction, and the remainder to the concentrating plant and to the processes of concentration, and with respect to each thereof giving due consideration to the relative extent of the respective operations performed in each taxing district;

 

(2) ten percent to the taconite municipal aid account to be distributed as provided in section 298.282;

 

(3) ten percent to the school district within which the minerals or energy resources are mined or extracted, or within which the concentrate was produced.  If the mining and concentration, or different steps in either process, are carried on in more than one school district, distribution among the school districts must be based on the apportionment formula prescribed in clause (1);

 

(4) 20 percent to a group of school districts comprised of those school districts wherein the mineral or energy resource was mined or extracted or in which there is a qualifying municipality as defined by section 273.134, paragraph (b), in direct proportion to school district indexes as follows:  for each school district, its pupil units determined under section 126C.05 for the prior school year shall be multiplied by the ratio of the average adjusted net tax capacity per pupil unit for school districts receiving aid under this clause as calculated pursuant to chapters 122A, 126C, and 127A for the school year ending prior to distribution to the adjusted net tax capacity per pupil unit of the district.  Each district shall receive that portion of the distribution which its index bears to the sum of the indices for all school districts that receive the distributions;

 

(5) 20 percent to the county within which the minerals or energy resources are mined or extracted, or within which the concentrate was produced.  If the mining and concentration, or different steps in either process, are carried on in more than one county, distribution among the counties must be based on the apportionment formula prescribed in clause (1), provided that any county receiving distributions under this clause shall pay one percent of its proceeds to the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools;

 

(6) 20 percent to St. Louis County acting as the counties' fiscal agent to be distributed as provided in sections 273.134 to 273.136;

 

(7) five percent to the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board for the purposes of section 298.22;

 

(8) three percent to the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund; and

 

(9) seven percent to the taconite environmental protection fund.

 

The proceeds of the tax shall be distributed on July 15 each year.


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Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.17, is amended to read:

 

298.17 OCCUPATION TAXES TO BE APPORTIONED.

 

(a) All occupation taxes paid by persons, copartnerships, companies, joint stock companies, corporations, and associations, however or for whatever purpose organized, engaged in the business of mining or producing iron ore or other ores, when collected shall be apportioned and distributed in accordance with the Constitution of the state of Minnesota, article X, section 3, in the manner following:  90 percent shall be deposited in the state treasury and credited to the general fund of which four-ninths shall be used for the support of elementary and secondary schools; and ten percent of the proceeds of the tax imposed by this section shall be deposited in the state treasury and credited to the general fund for the general support of the university.

 

(b) Of the money apportioned to the general fund by this section:  (1) there is annually appropriated and credited to the mining environmental and regulatory account in the special revenue fund an amount equal to that which would have been generated by a 2-1/2 cent tax imposed by section 298.24 on each taxable ton produced in the preceding calendar year.  Money in the mining environmental and regulatory account is appropriated annually to the commissioner of natural resources to fund agency staff to work on environmental issues and provide regulatory services for ferrous and nonferrous mining operations in this state.  Payment to the mining environmental and regulatory account shall be made by July 1 annually.  The commissioner of natural resources shall execute an interagency agreement with the Pollution Control Agency to assist with the provision of environmental regulatory services such as monitoring and permitting required for ferrous and nonferrous mining operations; (2) there is annually appropriated and credited to the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board account in the special revenue fund an amount equal to that which would have been generated by a 1.5 cent tax imposed by section 298.24 on each taxable ton produced in the preceding calendar year, to be expended for the purposes of section 298.22; and (3) there is annually appropriated and credited to the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board account in the special revenue fund for transfer to the Iron Range school consolidation and cooperatively operated school account under section 298.28, subdivision 7a, an amount equal to that which would have been generated by a six cent tax imposed by section 298.24 on each taxable ton produced in the preceding calendar year.  Payment to the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board account shall be made by May 15 annually.

 

(c) The money appropriated pursuant to paragraph (b), clause (2), shall be used (i) to provide environmental development grants to local governments located within any county in region 3 as defined in governor's executive order number 60, issued on June 12, 1970, which does not contain a municipality qualifying pursuant to section 273.134, paragraph (b), or (ii) to provide economic development loans or grants to businesses located within any such county, provided that the county board or an advisory group appointed by the county board to provide recommendations on economic development shall make recommendations to the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board regarding the loans.  Payment to the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board account shall be made by May 15 annually.

 

(d) Of the money allocated to Koochiching County, one-third must be paid to the Koochiching County Economic Development Commission.

 

Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.22, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  The Office of Commissioner Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation.  (a) The Office of the Commissioner Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation is created as an agency in the executive branch of state government.  The governor shall appoint the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation under section 15.06.

 

(b) The commissioner may hold other positions or appointments that are not incompatible with duties as commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation.  The commissioner may appoint a deputy commissioner.  All expenses of the commissioner, including the payment of staff and other assistance as may be necessary, must be


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paid out of the amounts appropriated by section 298.28 or otherwise made available by law to the commissioner.  Notwithstanding chapters 16A, 16B, and 16C, the commissioner may utilize contracting options available under section 471.345 when the commissioner determines it is in the best interest of the agency.  The agency is not subject to sections 16E.016 and 16C.05.

 

(c) When the commissioner determines that distress and unemployment exists or may exist in the future in any county by reason of the removal of natural resources or a possibly limited use of natural resources in the future and any resulting decrease in employment, the commissioner may use whatever amounts of the appropriation made to the commissioner of revenue in section 298.28 that are determined to be necessary and proper in the development of the remaining resources of the county and in the vocational training and rehabilitation of its residents, except that the amount needed to cover cost overruns awarded to a contractor by an arbitrator in relation to a contract awarded by the commissioner or in effect after July 1, 1985, is appropriated from the general fund.  For the purposes of this section, "development of remaining resources" includes, but is not limited to, the promotion of tourism.

 

(d) The commissioner shall annually submit a budget proposal to the Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation.  The commission must review and make recommendations on the commissioner's budget proposal and the governor must approve the commissioner's budget proposal as provided in subdivisions 1b, 1c, and 11.  This paragraph applies to transfers and expenditures from the following funds or accounts:

 

(1) the taconite area environmental protection fund under section 298.223, including grants under section 298.2961;

 

(2) the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund under sections 298.291 to 298.298, including grants under section 298.2961;

 

(3) the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation account in the special revenue fund;

 

(4) the Iron Range school consolidation and cooperatively operated school account under section 298.28, subdivision 7a, except as provided under paragraph (e);

 

(5) the Minnesota 21st century fund match requirements under section 116J.424; and

 

(6) the Iron Range higher education account under section 298.28, subdivision 9d.

 

(e) Paragraph (d) does not apply to expenditures for:

 

(1) the commissioner's obligations under sections 298.221; 298.2211, subdivision 4; 298.225, subdivision 2; and 298.292, subdivision 2, clause (3);

 

(2) payments of amounts authorized under section 298.28, subdivisions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7a, clause (4), and 9a; or

 

(3) other expenditures required to pay bonds or binding contracts entered into prior to the effective date of this section.

 

Sec. 26.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.22, subdivision 1a, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 1a.  Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board.  (a) The Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board is created in the legislative branch.  The commissioner shall consult the commission before making expenditures or undertaking projects authorized under this chapter.  The commission consists of the state senators and representatives elected from state senatorial or legislative districts in which one-third or more of the residents reside in a taconite assistance area as defined in


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section 273.1341.  One additional state senator shall also be appointed by the senate Subcommittee on Committees of the Committee on Rules and Administration.  All expenditures and projects made by the commissioner shall first be submitted to the board for approval.  The expenses of the board shall be paid by the state from the funds raised pursuant to this section.  Members of the board may be reimbursed for expenses in the manner provided in sections 3.099, subdivision 1, and 3.101, and may receive per diem payments during the interims between legislative sessions in the manner provided in section 3.099, subdivision 1.

 

The members shall be appointed in January of every odd-numbered year, and shall serve until January of the next odd-numbered year.  Vacancies on the board shall be filled in the same manner as original members were chosen.

 

(b) The most senior legislator will serve as temporary chair for the purposes of convening the first meeting, at which members shall develop procedures to elect a chair.  The chair shall preside and convene meetings as often as necessary to conduct duties prescribed by this chapter.  The commission must meet at least quarterly to review the actions of the commissioner.

 

(c) The appointed legislative member shall serve on the commission for a two-year term, beginning January 1 of each odd-numbered year.  The appointed legislative member serves until their successor is appointed and qualified.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.  The additional state senator shall be appointed under this section no later than July 1, 2018.

 

Sec. 27.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.22, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 1b.  Evaluation of proposed budgets and projects.  (a) In evaluating budgets proposed by the commissioner, the commission must consider factors including but not limited to the extent to which the proposed budget:

 

(1) contributes to increasing the effectiveness of promoting or managing Iron Range economic and workforce development, community development, minerals and natural resources development, and any other issue as determined by the commission; and

 

(2) advances the strategic plan adopted under subdivision 1c.

 

(b) In evaluating projects proposed by the commissioner, the commission must consider factors including but not limited to:

 

(1) whether, and the extent to which, an applicant could complete the proposed project without funding from the commissioner;

 

(2) job creation or retention goals for the proposed project, including but not limited to wages and benefits; whether the jobs created are full time, part time, temporary, or permanent; and whether the stated job creation or retention goals in the proposal can be adequately measured using methods established by the commissioner;

 

(3) how and to what extent the proposed project is expected to impact the economic climate of the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation services area;

 

(4) how the proposed project would meet match requirements, if any; and

 

(5) whether the proposed project meets the written objectives, priorities, and policies established by the commissioner.


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Sec. 28.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.22, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 1c.  Strategic plan required.  The commissioner, in consultation with the commission, shall adopt a strategic plan for making expenditures including identifying the priority areas for funding for the next six years.  The strategic plan must be reviewed every two years.  The strategic plan must have clearly stated short- and long-term goals and strategies for expenditures, provide measurable outcomes for expenditures, and determine areas of emphasis for funding.

 

Sec. 29.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.22, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 1d.  Administrative and staff assistance.  The Legislative Coordinating Commission shall provide administrative and staff support to the commission.  The commissioner shall provide additional information and research assistance to the commission, as requested by the commission.

 

Sec. 30.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.22, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 1e.  Expenses of the commission.  All expenses of the commission, including the payment of per diems and expenses under subdivision 1a must be paid out of the amounts appropriated by section 298.28 or otherwise made available by law to the commissioner.

 

Sec. 31.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.22, subdivision 5a, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 5a.  Forest trust.  The commissioner, upon approval by the board after consultation with the commission, may purchase forest lands in the taconite assistance area defined in under section 273.1341 with funds specifically authorized for the purchase.  The acquired forest lands must be held in trust for the benefit of the citizens of the taconite assistance area as the Iron Range Miners' Memorial Forest.  The forest trust lands shall be managed and developed for recreation and economic development purposes.  The commissioner, upon approval by the board after consultation with the commission, may sell forest lands purchased under this subdivision if the board finds commissioner determines that the sale advances the purposes of the trust.  Proceeds derived from the management or sale of the lands and from the sale of timber or removal of gravel or other minerals from these forest lands shall be deposited into an Iron Range Miners' Memorial Forest account that is established within the state financial accounts.  Funds may be expended from the account upon approval by the board by the commissioner, after consultation with the commission, to purchase, manage, administer, convey interests in, and improve the forest lands.  With approval by the board, After consultation with the commission, the commissioner may transfer money in the Iron Range Miners' Memorial Forest account may be transferred into the corpus of the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund established under sections 298.291 to 298.294.  The property acquired under the authority granted by this subdivision and income derived from the property or the operation or management of the property are exempt from taxation by the state or its political subdivisions while held by the forest trust.  The commissioner's actions under this subdivision must at all times comply with the requirements for expenditures under subdivisions 1, 1b, 1c, and 11.

 

Sec. 32.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.22, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 6.  Private entity participation.  The board commissioner, after consultation with the commission, may acquire an equity interest in any project for which it the commissioner provides funding.  The commissioner may, after consultation with the commission, establish, participate in the management of, and dispose of the assets of charitable foundations, nonprofit limited liability companies, and nonprofit corporations associated with any project for which it the commissioner provides funding, including specifically, but without limitation, a corporation within the meaning of section 317A.011, subdivision 6.  The commissioner's actions under this subdivision must at all times comply with the requirements for expenditures under subdivisions 1, 1b, 1c, and 11.


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Sec. 33.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.22, subdivision 10, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 10.  Sale or privatization of functions.  The commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation may not sell or privatize the Ironworld Discovery Center or Giants Ridge Golf and Ski Resort without prior approval by the board first seeking the recommendation of the commission.

 

Sec. 34.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.22, subdivision 11, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 11.  Budgeting.  The commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation shall annually prepare a budget for operational expenditures, programs, and projects, and submit it to the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board commission.  After the commission has been consulted, its recommendations and the commissioner's budget shall be submitted to the governor.  Once the budget is approved by the board and the governor, the commissioner may spend money in accordance with the approved budget.  If unanticipated needs for funds arise outside of the annual budget process, the commissioner must consult the commission and receive the governor's approval before spending the funds.

 

Sec. 35.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.22, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 13.  Grants and loans; requirements.  (a) Prior to awarding any grants or approving loans from any fund or account from which the commissioner has the authority under law to expend money, the commissioner must evaluate applications based on criteria including, but not limited to:

 

(1) whether, and the extent to which, an applicant could complete a project without funding from the commissioner;

 

(2) job creation or retention goals for the project, including but not limited to wages and benefits, and whether the jobs created are full time, part time, temporary, or permanent;

 

(3) whether the applicant's stated job creation or retention goals can be adequately measured using methods established by the commissioner;

 

(4) how and to what extent the project proposed by the applicant is expected to impact the economic climate of the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation services area;

 

(5) how the applicant would meet match requirements, if any; and

 

(6) whether the project for which a grant or loan application has been submitted meets the written objectives, priorities, and policies established by the commissioner.

 

(b) The commissioner, if appropriate, must include incentives in loan and grant award agreements to promote and assist grant recipients in achieving the stated job creation and retention objectives established by the commissioner.

 

(c) For all loans and grants awarded from funds under the commissioner's authority pursuant to this chapter, the commissioner must:

 

(1) create and maintain a database for tracking loan and grant awards;

 

(2) create and maintain an objective mechanism for measuring job creation and retention;

 

(3) verify achievement of job creation and retention goals by grant and loan recipients;


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(4) monitor grant and loan awards to ensure that projects comply with applicable Iron Range resources and rehabilitation policies; and

 

(5) verify that grant or loan recipients have met applicable matching fund requirements.

 

Sec. 36.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.22, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 14.  Expenditures; taconite assistance area.  Expenditures subject to the requirements of this section may be expended only within or for the benefit of the taconite assistance area defined in section 273.1341.

 

Sec. 37.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.22, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 15.  Reports to the legislature.  The commissioner shall submit to the chairs and ranking minority members of the senate and house of representatives committees with primary jurisdiction over economic development policy an annual report of expenditures under this section.

 

Sec. 38.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.221, is amended to read:

 

298.221 RECEIPTS FROM CONTRACTS; APPROPRIATION.

 

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c), all money paid to the state of Minnesota pursuant to the terms of any contract entered into by the state under authority of section 298.22 and any fees which may, in the discretion of the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation, be charged in connection with any project pursuant to that section as amended, shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board account in the special revenue fund and are hereby appropriated for the purposes of section 298.22.

 

(b) Notwithstanding section 16A.013, merchandise may be accepted by the commissioner of the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board for payment of advertising contracts if the commissioner determines that the merchandise can be used for special event prizes or mementos at facilities operated by the board commissioner.  Nothing in this paragraph authorizes the commissioner or a member of the board commission to receive merchandise for personal use.

 

(c) All fees charged by the commissioner in connection with public use of the state-owned ski and golf facilities at the Giants Ridge Recreation Area and all other revenues derived by the commissioner from the operation or lease of those facilities and from the lease, sale, or other disposition of undeveloped lands at the Giants Ridge Recreation Area must be deposited into an Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board account that is created within the state enterprise fund.  All funds deposited in the enterprise fund account are appropriated to the commissioner to be expended, subject to approval by the board, and may only be used, as follows:

 

(1) to pay costs associated with the construction, equipping, operation, repair, or improvement of the Giants Ridge Recreation Area facilities or lands;

 

(2) to pay principal, interest and associated bond issuance, reserve, and servicing costs associated with the financing of the facilities; and

 

(3) to pay the costs of any other project authorized under section 298.22.


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Sec. 39.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.2211, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Project approval.  All projects authorized by this section shall be submitted by the commissioner to the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board for approval by the board To get approval of a project under this section, the commissioner must comply with all the requirements for expenditures under section 298.22.  Prior to the commencement of a project involving the exercise by the commissioner of any authority of sections 469.174 to 469.179, the governing body of each municipality in which any part of the project is located and the county board of any county containing portions of the project not located in an incorporated area shall by majority vote approve or disapprove the project.  Any project approved by the board and the applicable governing bodies, if any, together with detailed information concerning the project, its costs, the sources of its funding, and the amount of any bonded indebtedness to be incurred in connection with the project, shall be transmitted to the governor, who shall approve, disapprove, or return the proposal for additional consideration within 30 days of receipt.  No project authorized under this section shall be undertaken, and no obligations shall be issued and no tax increments shall be expended for a project authorized under this section until the project has been approved by the governor.

 

Sec. 40.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.2211, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 6.  Fee setting.  Fees for admission to or use of facilities operated by the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board that have been established according to prevailing market conditions and to recover operating costs need not be set by rule.

 

Sec. 41.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.2212, is amended to read:

 

298.2212 INVESTMENT OF FUNDS.

 

All funds credited to the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board account in the special revenue fund for the purposes of section 298.22 must be invested pursuant to law.  The net interest and dividends from the investments are included and become part of the funds available for purposes of section 298.22.

 

Sec. 42.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.2214, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Iron Range Higher Education Committee; membership.  The members of the committee shall consist of:

 

(1) one member appointed by the governor;

 

(2) one member appointed by the president of the University of Minnesota;

 

(3) four members of the Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board appointed by the chair;

 

(4) the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation; and

 

(5) the president of the Northeast Higher Education District or its successor.

 

Sec. 43.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.223, is amended to read:

 

298.223 TACONITE AREA ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FUND.

 

Subdivision 1.  Creation; purposes.  A fund called the taconite environmental protection fund is created for the purpose of reclaiming, restoring and enhancing those areas of northeast Minnesota located within the taconite assistance area defined in section 273.1341, that are adversely affected by the environmentally damaging operations


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involved in mining taconite and iron ore and producing iron ore concentrate and for the purpose of promoting the economic development of northeast Minnesota.  The taconite environmental protection fund shall be used for the following purposes:

 

(1) to initiate investigations into matters the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board determines are in need of study and which will determine the environmental problems requiring remedial action;

 

(2) reclamation, restoration, or reforestation of mine lands not otherwise provided for by state law;

 

(3) local economic development projects but only if those projects are approved by the board, and public works, including construction of sewer and water systems located within the taconite assistance area defined in section 273.1341;

 

(4) monitoring of mineral industry related health problems among mining employees; and

 

(5) local public works projects under section 298.227, paragraph (c).

 

Subd. 2.  Administration.  (a) The taconite area environmental protection fund shall be administered by the commissioner of the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board.  The commissioner shall by September 1 of each year submit to the board a list of projects to be funded from the taconite area environmental protection fund, with such supporting information including description of the projects, plans, and cost estimates as may be necessary. in compliance with the requirements for expenditures under section 298.22.

 

(b) Each year no less than one-half of the amounts deposited into the taconite environmental protection fund must be used for public works projects, including construction of sewer and water systems, as specified under subdivision 1, clause (3).  The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board may waive the requirements of this paragraph.

 

(c) Upon approval by the board, the list of projects approved under this subdivision shall be submitted to the governor by November 1 of each year.  By December 1 of each year, the governor shall approve or disapprove, or return for further consideration, each project.  Funds for a project may be expended only upon approval of the project by the board and the governor.  The commissioner may submit supplemental projects to the board and governor for approval at any time.

 

Subd. 3.  Appropriation.  There is annually appropriated to the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation taconite area environmental protection funds necessary to carry out approved projects and programs and the funds necessary for administration of this section.  Annual administrative costs, not including detailed engineering expenses for the projects, shall not exceed five percent of the amount annually expended from the fund.

 

Funds for the purposes of this section are provided by section 298.28, subdivision 11, relating to the taconite area environmental protection fund.

 

Sec. 44.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.227, is amended to read:

 

298.227 TACONITE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUND.

 

(a) An amount equal to that distributed pursuant to each taconite producer's taxable production and qualifying sales under section 298.28, subdivision 9a, shall be held by the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board in a separate taconite economic development fund for each taconite and direct reduced ore producer.  Money from the fund for each producer shall be released by the commissioner after review by a joint committee consisting of an equal number of representatives of the salaried employees and the nonsalaried


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production and maintenance employees of that producer.  The District 11 director of the United States Steelworkers of America, on advice of each local employee president, shall select the employee members.  In nonorganized operations, the employee committee shall be elected by the nonsalaried production and maintenance employees.  The review must be completed no later than six months after the producer presents a proposal for expenditure of the funds to the committee.  The funds held pursuant to this section may be released only for workforce development and associated public facility improvement, or for acquisition of plant and stationary mining equipment and facilities for the producer or for research and development in Minnesota on new mining, or taconite, iron, or steel production technology, but only if the producer provides a matching expenditure equal to the amount of the distribution to be used for the same purpose beginning with distributions in 2014.  Effective for proposals for expenditures of money from the fund beginning May 26, 2007, the commissioner may not release the funds before the next scheduled meeting of the board.  If a proposed expenditure is not approved by the board under the requirements for expenditures under section 298.22, the funds must be deposited in the Taconite Environmental Protection Fund under sections 298.222 to 298.225.  If a producer uses money which has been released from the fund prior to May 26, 2007 to procure haulage trucks, mobile equipment, or mining shovels, and the producer removes the piece of equipment from the taconite tax relief area defined in section 273.134 within ten years from the date of receipt of the money from the fund, a portion of the money granted from the fund must be repaid to the taconite economic development fund.  The portion of the money to be repaid is 100 percent of the grant if the equipment is removed from the taconite tax relief area within 12 months after receipt of the money from the fund, declining by ten percent for each of the subsequent nine years during which the equipment remains within the taconite tax relief area.  If a taconite production facility is sold after operations at the facility had ceased, any money remaining in the fund for the former producer may be released to the purchaser of the facility on the terms otherwise applicable to the former producer under this section.  If a producer fails to provide matching funds for a proposed expenditure within six months after the commissioner approves release of the funds, the funds are available for release to another producer in proportion to the distribution provided and under the conditions of this section.  Any portion of the fund which is not released by the commissioner within one year of its deposit in the fund shall be divided between the taconite environmental protection fund created in section 298.223 and the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund created in section 298.292 for placement in their respective special accounts.  Two-thirds of the unreleased funds shall be distributed to the taconite environmental protection fund and one-third to the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund.

 

(b)(i) Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph (a), setting the amount of distributions and the review process, an amount equal to ten cents per taxable ton of production in 2007, for distribution in 2008 only, that would otherwise be distributed under paragraph (a), may be used for a loan or grant for the cost of providing for a value‑added wood product facility located in the taconite tax relief area and in a county that contains a city of the first class.  This amount must be deducted from the distribution under paragraph (a) for which a matching expenditure by the producer is not required.  The granting of the loan or grant is subject to approval by the board.  If the money is provided as a loan, interest must be payable on the loan at the rate prescribed in section 298.2213, subdivision 3.  (ii) Repayments of the loan and interest, if any, must be deposited in the taconite environment protection fund under sections 298.222 to 298.225.  If a loan or grant is not made under this paragraph by July 1, 2012, the amount that had been made available for the loan under this paragraph must be transferred to the taconite environment protection fund under sections 298.222 to 298.225.  (iii) Money distributed in 2008 to the fund established under this section that exceeds ten cents per ton is available to qualifying producers under paragraph (a) on a pro rata basis.

 

(c) Repayment or transfer of money to the taconite environmental protection fund under paragraph (b), item (ii), must be allocated by the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board for public works projects in house legislative districts in the same proportion as taxable tonnage of production in 2007 in each house legislative district, for distribution in 2008, bears to total taxable tonnage of production in 2007, for distribution in 2008.  Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, expenditures under this paragraph do not require approval by the governor.  For purposes of this paragraph, "house legislative districts" means the legislative districts in existence on May 15, 2009.


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Sec. 45.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.27, is amended to read:

 

298.27 COLLECTION AND PAYMENT OF TAX.

 

The taxes provided by section 298.24 shall be paid directly to each eligible county and the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board.  The commissioner of revenue shall notify each producer of the amount to be paid each recipient prior to February 15.  Every person subject to taxes imposed by section 298.24 shall file a correct report covering the preceding year.  The report must contain the information required by the commissioner of revenue.  The report shall be filed by each producer on or before February 1.  A remittance equal to 50 percent of the total tax required to be paid hereunder shall be paid on or before February 24.  A remittance equal to the remaining total tax required to be paid hereunder shall be paid on or before August 24.  On or before February 25 and August 25, the county auditor shall make distribution of the payments previously received by the county in the manner provided by section 298.28.  Reports shall be made and hearings held upon the determination of the tax in accordance with procedures established by the commissioner of revenue.  The commissioner of revenue shall have authority to make reasonable rules as to the form and manner of filing reports necessary for the determination of the tax hereunder, and by such rules may require the production of such information as may be reasonably necessary or convenient for the determination and apportionment of the tax.  All the provisions of the occupation tax law with reference to the assessment and determination of the occupation tax, including all provisions for appeals from or review of the orders of the commissioner of revenue relative thereto, but not including provisions for refunds, are applicable to the taxes imposed by section 298.24 except in so far as inconsistent herewith.  If any person subject to section 298.24 shall fail to make the report provided for in this section at the time and in the manner herein provided, the commissioner of revenue shall in such case, upon information possessed or obtained, ascertain the kind and amount of ore mined or produced and thereon find and determine the amount of the tax due from such person.  There shall be added to the amount of tax due a penalty for failure to report on or before February 1, which penalty shall equal ten percent of the tax imposed and be treated as a part thereof.

 

If any person responsible for making a tax payment at the time and in the manner herein provided fails to do so, there shall be imposed a penalty equal to ten percent of the amount so due, which penalty shall be treated as part of the tax due.

 

In the case of any underpayment of the tax payment required herein, there may be added and be treated as part of the tax due a penalty equal to ten percent of the amount so underpaid.

 

A person having a liability of $120,000 or more during a calendar year must remit all liabilities by means of a funds transfer as defined in section 336.4A-104, paragraph (a).  The funds transfer payment date, as defined in section 336.4A-401, must be on or before the date the tax is due.  If the date the tax is due is not a funds transfer business day, as defined in section 336.4A-105, paragraph (a), clause (4), the payment date must be on or before the funds transfer business day next following the date the tax is due.

 

Sec. 46.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.28, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 7.  Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board account.  For the 1998 distribution, 6.5 cents per taxable ton shall be paid to the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board account for the purposes of section 298.22.  That amount shall be increased for distribution years 1999 through 2014 and for distribution in 2018 and subsequent years in the same proportion as the increase in the implicit price deflator as provided in section 298.24, subdivision 1.  The amount distributed pursuant to this subdivision shall be expended within or for the benefit of the taconite assistance area defined in section 273.1341 and in compliance with the requirements for expenditures under section 298.22.  No part of the fund provided in this subdivision may be used to provide loans for the operation of private business unless the loan is approved by the governor.


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Sec. 47.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.28, subdivision 7a, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 7a.  Iron Range school consolidation and cooperatively operated school account.  (a) The following amounts must be allocated to the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board account to be deposited in the Iron Range school consolidation and cooperatively operated school account that is hereby created:

 

(1)(i) for distributions in 2015 through 2023, ten cents per taxable ton of the tax imposed under section 298.24; and

 

(ii) for distributions beginning in 2024, five cents per taxable ton of the tax imposed under section 298.24;

 

(2) the amount as determined under section 298.17, paragraph (b), clause (3);

 

(3)(i) for distributions in 2015, an amount equal to two-thirds of the increased tax proceeds attributable to the increase in the implicit price deflator as provided in section 298.24, subdivision 1, with the remaining one-third to be distributed to the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund;

 

(ii) for distributions in 2016, an amount equal to two-thirds of the sum of the increased tax proceeds attributable to the increase in the implicit price deflator as provided in section 298.24, subdivision 1, for distribution years 2015 and 2016, with the remaining one-third to be distributed to the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund; and

 

(iii) for distributions in 2017, an amount equal to two-thirds of the sum of the increased tax proceeds attributable to the increase in the implicit price deflator as provided in section 298.24, subdivision 1, for distribution years 2015, 2016, and 2017, with the remaining one-third to be distributed to the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund; and

 

(4) any other amount as provided by law.

 

(b) Expenditures from this account shall be made only to provide disbursements to assist school districts with the payment of bonds that were issued for qualified school projects, or for any other school disbursement as approved by the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board, after consultation with the commission.  For purposes of this section, "qualified school projects" means school projects within the taconite assistance area as defined in section 273.1341, that were (1) approved, by referendum, after April 3, 2006; and (2) approved by the commissioner of education pursuant to section 123B.71.

 

(c) Beginning in fiscal year 2019, the disbursement to school districts for payments for bonds issued under section 123A.482, subdivision 9, must be increased each year to offset any reduction in debt service equalization aid that the school district qualifies for in that year, under section 123B.53, subdivision 6, compared with the amount the school district qualified for in fiscal year 2018.

 

(d) No expenditure under this section shall be made unless approved by seven members of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board the commissioner has complied with the requirements for expenditures under section 298.22.

 

Sec. 48.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.28, subdivision 9c, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 9c.  Distribution; city of Eveleth.  0.20 cent per taxable ton must be paid to the city of Eveleth for distribution in 2013 and thereafter, to be used for the support of the Hockey Hall of Fame, provided that it continues to operate in that city, and provided that the city of Eveleth certifies to the St. Louis County auditor that it has received donations for the support of the Hockey Hall of Fame from other donors.  If the Hockey Hall of Fame ceases to operate in the city of Eveleth prior to receipt of the distribution in any year, and the governing body of the city determines that it is unlikely to resume operation there within a six-month period, the distribution under this subdivision shall be made to the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board.


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Sec. 49.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.28, subdivision 9d, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 9d.  Iron Range higher education account.  Five cents per taxable ton must be allocated to the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board to be deposited in an Iron Range higher education account that is hereby created, to be used for higher education programs conducted at educational institutions in the taconite assistance area defined in section 273.1341.  The Iron Range Higher Education committee under section 298.2214, and the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board, after complying with all the requirements for expenditures under section 298.22, must approve all expenditures from the account.

 

Sec. 50.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.28, subdivision 11, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 11.  Remainder.  (a) The proceeds of the tax imposed by section 298.24 which remain after the distributions and payments in subdivisions 2 to 10a, as certified by the commissioner of revenue, and paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) have been made, together with interest earned on all money distributed under this section prior to distribution, shall be divided between the taconite environmental protection fund created in section 298.223 and the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund created in section 298.292 as follows:  Two-thirds to the taconite environmental protection fund and one-third to the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund.  The proceeds shall be placed in the respective special accounts.

 

(b) There shall be distributed to each city, town, and county the amount that it received under Minnesota Statutes 1978, section 294.26, in calendar year 1977; provided, however, that the amount distributed in 1981 to the unorganized territory number 2 of Lake County and the town of Beaver Bay based on the between-terminal trackage of Erie Mining Company will be distributed in 1982 and subsequent years to the unorganized territory number 2 of Lake County and the towns of Beaver Bay and Stony River based on the miles of track of Erie Mining Company in each taxing district.

 

(c) There shall be distributed to the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board account the amounts it received in 1977 under Minnesota Statutes 1978, section 298.22.  The amount distributed under this paragraph shall be expended within or for the benefit of the taconite assistance area defined in section 273.1341.

 

(d) There shall be distributed to each school district 62 percent of the amount that it received under Minnesota Statutes 1978, section 294.26, in calendar year 1977.

 

Sec. 51.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.292, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Use of money.  Money in the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund may be used for the following purposes:

 

(1) to provide loans, loan guarantees, interest buy-downs and other forms of participation with private sources of financing, but a loan to a private enterprise shall be for a principal amount not to exceed one-half of the cost of the project for which financing is sought, and the rate of interest on a loan to a private enterprise shall be no less than the lesser of eight percent or an interest rate three percentage points less than a full faith and credit obligation of the United States government of comparable maturity, at the time that the loan is approved;

 

(2) to fund reserve accounts established to secure the payment when due of the principal of and interest on bonds issued pursuant to section 298.2211;

 

(3) to pay in periodic payments or in a lump-sum payment any or all of the interest on bonds issued pursuant to chapter 474 for the purpose of constructing, converting, or retrofitting heating facilities in connection with district heating systems or systems utilizing alternative energy sources;


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(4) to invest in a venture capital fund or enterprise that will provide capital to other entities that are engaging in, or that will engage in, projects or programs that have the purposes set forth in subdivision 1.  No investments may be made in a venture capital fund or enterprise unless at least two other unrelated investors make investments of at least $500,000 in the venture capital fund or enterprise, and the investment by the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund may not exceed the amount of the largest investment by an unrelated investor in the venture capital fund or enterprise.  For purposes of this subdivision, an "unrelated investor" is a person or entity that is not related to the entity in which the investment is made or to any individual who owns more than 40 percent of the value of the entity, in any of the following relationships:  spouse, parent, child, sibling, employee, or owner of an interest in the entity that exceeds ten percent of the value of all interests in it.  For purposes of determining the limitations under this clause, the amount of investments made by an investor other than the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund is the sum of all investments made in the venture capital fund or enterprise during the period beginning one year before the date of the investment by the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund; and

 

(5) to purchase forest land in the taconite assistance area defined in section 273.1341 to be held and managed as a public trust for the benefit of the area for the purposes authorized in section 298.22, subdivision 5a.  Property purchased under this section may be sold by the commissioner upon approval by the board, after consultation with the commission.  The net proceeds must be deposited in the trust fund for the purposes and uses of this section.

 

Money from the trust fund shall be expended only in or for the benefit of the taconite assistance area defined in section 273.1341.

 

Sec. 52.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.296, is amended to read:

 

298.296 OPERATION OF FUND.

 

Subdivision 1.  Project approval.  The board and commissioner shall by August 1 of each year prepare a list of projects to be funded from the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust with necessary supporting information including description of the projects, plans, and cost estimates must comply with the requirements for expenditures under section 298.22.  These Projects shall be consistent with the priorities established in section 298.292 and shall not be approved by the board unless it proposed by the commissioner unless the commissioner finds that:

 

(a) the project will materially assist, directly or indirectly, the creation of additional long-term employment opportunities;

 

(b) the prospective benefits of the expenditure exceed the anticipated costs; and

 

(c) in the case of assistance to private enterprise, the project will serve a sound business purpose.

 

Each project must be approved by over one-half of all of the members of the board and the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation.  The list of projects shall be submitted to the governor, who shall, by November 15 of each year, approve or disapprove, or return for further consideration, each project.  The money for a project may be expended only upon approval of the project by the governor.  The board may submit supplemental projects for approval at any time.

 

Subd. 2.  Expenditure of funds.  (a) Before January 1, 2028, funds may be expended on projects and for administration of the trust fund only from the net interest, earnings, and dividends arising from the investment of the trust at any time, including net interest, earnings, and dividends that have arisen prior to July 13, 1982, plus $10,000,000 made available for use in fiscal year 1983, except that any amount required to be paid out of the trust fund to provide the property tax relief specified in Laws 1977, chapter 423, article X, section 4, and to make school bond payments and payments to recipients of taconite production tax proceeds pursuant to section 298.225, may be taken from the corpus of the trust.


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(b) Additionally, upon recommendation by the board, the commissioner, after consulting the commission, may choose to make up to $13,000,000 from the corpus of the trust may be made available for use as provided in subdivision 4, and up to $10,000,000 from the corpus of the trust may be made available for use as provided in section 298.2961.

 

(c) Additionally, an amount equal to 20 percent of the value of the corpus of the trust on May 18, 2002, not including the funds authorized in paragraph (b), plus the amounts made available under section 298.28, subdivision 4, and Laws 2002, chapter 377, article 8, section 17, may be expended on projects.  Funds The commissioner may be expended expend funds for projects under this paragraph only if the project:

 

(1) the project is for the purposes established under section 298.292, subdivision 1, clause (1) or (2); and

 

(2) is approved by two-thirds of all of the members of the board the commissioner complied with the requirements for expenditures under section 298.22.

 

No money made available under this paragraph or paragraph (d) can be used for administrative or operating expenses of the Department of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board or expenses relating to any facilities owned or operated by the board commissioner on May 18, 2002.

 

(d) Upon recommendation by a unanimous vote of all members of the board, The commissioner may spend amounts in addition to those authorized under paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) may be expended on projects described in section 298.292, subdivision 1, if the commissioner complies with the requirements for expenditures under section 298.22.

 

(e) Annual administrative costs, not including detailed engineering expenses for the projects, shall not exceed five percent of the net interest, dividends, and earnings arising from the trust in the preceding fiscal year.

 

(f) Principal and interest received in repayment of loans made pursuant to this section, and earnings on other investments made under section 298.292, subdivision 2, clause (4), shall be deposited in the state treasury and credited to the trust.  These receipts are appropriated to the board for the purposes of sections 298.291 to 298.298.

 

(g) Additionally, notwithstanding section 298.293, upon the approval of the board if the commissioner complies with the requirements for expenditures under section 298.22, money from the corpus of the trust may be expanded to purchase forest lands within the taconite assistance area as provided in sections 298.22, subdivision 5a, and 298.292, subdivision 2, clause (5).

 

Subd. 3.  Administration.  The commissioner and staff of the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board shall administer the program under which funds are expended pursuant to sections 298.292 to 298.298.

 

Subd. 4.  Temporary loan authority.  (a) The board may recommend that If the commissioner complies with the requirements for expenditures under section 298.22, the commissioner may use up to $7,500,000 from the corpus of the trust may be used for loans, loan guarantees, grants, or equity investments as provided in this subdivision.  The money would be available for loans for construction and equipping of facilities constituting (1) a value added iron products plant, which may be either a new plant or a facility incorporated into an existing plant that produces iron upgraded to a minimum of 75 percent iron content or any iron alloy with a total minimum metallic content of 90 percent; or (2) a new mine or minerals processing plant for any mineral subject to the net proceeds tax imposed under section 298.015.  A loan or loan guarantee under this paragraph may not exceed $5,000,000 for any facility.


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(b) Additionally, the board must reserve the first $2,000,000 of the net interest, dividends, and earnings arising from the investment of the trust after June 30, 1996, to be used must be reserved for grants, loans, loan guarantees, or equity investments for the purposes set forth in paragraph (a).  This amount must be reserved until it is used as described in this subdivision.

 

(c) Additionally, the board may recommend that up to $5,500,000 from the corpus of the trust may be used for additional grants, loans, loan guarantees, or equity investments for the purposes set forth in paragraph (a).

 

(d) The board commissioner, after consultation with the commission, may require that it the fund receive an equity percentage in any project to which it contributes under this section.

 

Sec. 53.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.2961, is amended to read:

 

298.2961 PRODUCER GRANTS.

 

Subdivision 1.  Appropriation.  (a) $10,000,000 is appropriated from the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund to a special account in the taconite area environmental protection fund for grants to producers on a project-by-project basis as provided in this section.

 

(b) The proceeds of the tax designated under section 298.28, subdivision 9b, are appropriated for grants to producers on a project-by-project basis as provided in this section.

 

Subd. 2.  Projects; approval.  (a) Projects funded must be for:

 

(1) environmentally unique reclamation projects; or

 

(2) pit or plant repairs, expansions, or modernizations other than for a value added iron products plant.

 

(b) To be proposed by the board, a project must be approved by the board.  The money for a project may be spent only upon approval of the project by the governor.  The board may submit supplemental projects for approval at any time For all such projects, the commissioner must comply with the requirements for expenditures under section 298.22.

 

(c) The board commissioner, after consultation with the commission, may require that it the fund receive an equity percentage in any project to which it contributes under this section.

 

Subd. 3.  Redistribution.  (a) If a taconite production facility is sold after operations at the facility had ceased, any money remaining in the taconite environmental fund for the former producer may be released to the purchaser of the facility on the terms otherwise applicable to the former producer under this section.

 

(b) Any portion of the taconite environmental fund that is not released by the commissioner within three years of its deposit in the taconite environmental fund shall be divided between the taconite environmental protection fund created in section 298.223 and the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund created in section 298.292 for placement in their respective special accounts.  Two-thirds of the unreleased funds must be distributed to the taconite environmental protection fund and one-third to the Douglas J. Johnson economic protection trust fund.

 

Subd. 4.  Grant and loan fund.  (a) A fund is established to receive distributions under section 298.28, subdivision 9b, and to make grants or loans as provided in this subdivision.  Any grant or loan made under this subdivision must be approved by the board, established under section 298.22 comply with the requirements for expenditures under section 298.22.

 

(b) All distributions received in 2009 and subsequent years are allocated for projects under section 298.223, subdivision 1.


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Sec. 54.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.297, is amended to read:

 

298.297 ADVISORY COMMITTEES.

 

Before submission of a project to the board commission, the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation shall appoint a technical advisory committee consisting of one or more persons who are knowledgeable in areas related to the objectives of the proposal.  Members of the committees shall be compensated as provided in section 15.059, subdivision 3.  The board shall not act commission shall not make recommendations on a proposal until it has received the evaluation and recommendations of the technical advisory committee or until 15 days have elapsed since the proposal was transmitted to the advisory committee, whichever occurs first.

 

Sec. 55.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.46, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Unmined iron ore; valuation petition.  When in the opinion of the duly constituted authorities of a taxing district there are in existence reserves of unmined iron ore located in such district, these authorities may petition the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board for authority to petition the county assessor to verify the existence of such reserves and to ascertain the value thereof by drilling in a manner consistent with established engineering and geological exploration methods, in order that such taxing district may be able to forecast in a proper manner its future economic and fiscal potentials.  The commissioner may grant the authority to petition only after consultation with the commission.

 

Sec. 56.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.46, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 5.  Payment of costs; reimbursement.  The cost of such exploration or drilling plus any damages to the property which may be assessed by the district court shall be paid by the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board from amounts appropriated to that board the commissioner under section 298.22.  The commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board shall be reimbursed for one-half of the amounts thus expended.  Such reimbursement shall be made by the taxing districts in the proportion that each such taxing district's levy on the property involved bears to the total levy on such property.  Such reimbursement shall be made to the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board in the manner provided by section 298.221.

 

Sec. 57.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 298.46, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 6.  Refusal to reimburse; reduction of other payments.  If any taxing district refuses to pay its share of the reimbursement as provided in subdivision 5, the county auditor is hereby authorized to reduce payments required to be made by the county to such taxing district under other provisions of law.  Thereafter the auditor shall draw a warrant, which shall be deposited with the state treasury in accordance with section 298.221, to the credit of the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board.

 

Sec. 58.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 466.03, subdivision 6c, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 6c.  Water access sites.  Any claim based upon the construction, operation, or maintenance by a municipality of a water access site created by the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board.  A water access site under this subdivision that provides access to an idled, water filled mine pit also includes the entire water filled area of the pit, and, further, claims related to a mine pit water access site under this subdivision include those based upon the caving or slumping of mine pit walls.


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Sec. 59.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 469.310, subdivision 9, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 9.  Local government unit.  "Local government unit" means a statutory or home rule charter city, county, town, the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation agency, regional development commission, or a federally designated economic development district.

 

Sec. 60.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 474A.02, subdivision 21, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 21.  Preliminary resolution.  "Preliminary resolution" means a resolution adopted by the governing body or board of the issuer, or in the case of the by the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board by the commissioner.  The resolution must express a preliminary intention of the issuer to issue obligations for a specific project, identify the proposed project, and disclose the proposed amount of qualified bonds to be issued.  Preliminary resolutions for mortgage bonds and student loan bonds need not identify a specific project.

 

Sec. 61.  Laws 2010, chapter 389, article 5, section 7, is amended to read:

 

Sec. 7.  GIANTS RIDGE RECREATION AREA TAXING AUTHORITY.

 

Subdivision 1.  Additional taxes authorized.  Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 477A.016, or any other law, ordinance, or charter provision to the contrary, the city of Biwabik, upon approval both by its governing body and by the vote of at least seven members of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, may impose any or all of the taxes described in this section.

 

Subd. 2.  Use of proceeds.  The proceeds of any taxes imposed under this section, less refunds and costs of collection, must be deposited into the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board account enterprise fund created under the provisions of Minnesota Statutes, section 298.221, paragraph (c), and must be dedicated and expended by the commissioner of the Iron Range resources and rehabilitation Board, upon approval by the vote of at least seven members of after consultation with the Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, to pay costs for the construction, renovation, improvement, expansion, and maintenance of public recreational facilities located in those portions of the city within the Giants Ridge Recreation Area as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 298.22, subdivision 7, or to pay any principal, interest, or premium on any bond issued to finance the construction, renovation, improvement, or expansion of such public recreational facilities.

 

Subd. 3.  Lodging tax.  (a) The city of Biwabik, upon approval both by its governing body and by the vote of at least seven members of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, may impose, by ordinance, a tax of not more than five percent on the gross receipts subject to the lodging tax under Minnesota Statutes, section 469.190.  This tax is in addition to any tax imposed under Minnesota Statutes, section 469.190, and may be imposed only on gross lodging receipts generated within the Giants Ridge Recreation Area as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 298.22, subdivision 7.

 

(b) If, after July 31, 2017, the city of Biwabik changes by ordinance the rate of the tax imposed under paragraph (a), the change must be approved by both the governing body of the city of Biwabik and the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation, after the commissioner consults with the Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation.

 

Subd. 4.  Admissions and recreation tax.  (a) The city of Biwabik, upon approval both by its governing body and by the vote of at least seven members of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, may impose, by ordinance, a tax of not more than five percent on admission receipts to entertainment and recreational facilities and on receipts from the rental of recreation equipment, at sites within the Giants Ridge Recreation Area as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 298.22, subdivision 7.  The provisions of Minnesota Statutes, section 297A.99, except for subdivisions 2 and 3, govern the imposition, administration, collection, and enforcement of the tax authorized in this subdivision.


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(b) If the city imposes the tax under paragraph (a), it must include in the ordinance an exemption for purchases of season tickets or passes.

 

(c) If, after July 31, 2017, the city of Biwabik changes by ordinance the rate of the tax imposed under paragraph (a), the change must be approved by both the governing body of the city of Biwabik and the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation, after the commissioner consults with the Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation.

 

Subd. 5.  Food and beverage tax.  (a) The city of Biwabik, upon approval both by its governing body and by the vote of at least seven members of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, may impose, by ordinance, an additional sales tax of not more than one percent on gross receipts of food and beverages sold whether it is consumed on or off the premises by restaurants and places of refreshment as defined by resolution of the city within the Giants Ridge Recreation Area as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 298.22, subdivision 7.  The provisions of Minnesota Statutes, section 297A.99, except for subdivisions 2 and 3, govern the imposition, administration, collection, and enforcement of the tax authorized in this subdivision.

 

(b) If, after July 31, 2017, the city of Biwabik changes by ordinance the rate of the tax imposed under paragraph (a), the change must be approved by both the governing body of the city of Biwabik and the commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation, after the commissioner consults with the Legislative Commission on Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective August 1, 2017, without local approval pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 645.023, subdivision 1, paragraph (a).

 

Sec. 62.  REVISOR'S INSTRUCTION.

 

The revisor of statutes, with cooperation from the House Research Department and the Office of Senate Counsel, Research, and Fiscal Analysis, shall prepare legislation that makes conforming changes in accordance with the provisions of this article.  The revisor shall submit the proposal, in a form ready for introduction, during the 2018 regular legislative session to the chairs and ranking minority members of the senate and house of representatives committees with jurisdiction over taxes.

 

Sec. 63.  REPEALER.

 

Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 298.22, subdivision 8; 298.2213; and 298.298, are repealed.

 

ARTICLE 5

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ADVISORY COUNCIL

POLICY

 

Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.046, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3.  Penalties; application.  (a) Any person that violates the requirements of this section and any taxpaying employer that violates subdivision 1, paragraph (b), or any nonprofit or government employer that violates subdivision 2, paragraph (b), is subject to the penalties under section 268.184, subdivision 1a.  Penalties are credited to the trust fund.

 

(b) Section 268.051, subdivision 4, does not apply to contracts under this section.  This section does not limit or prevent the application of section 268.051, subdivision 4, to any other transactions or acquisitions involving the taxpaying employer.  This section does not limit or prevent the application of section 268.051, subdivision 4a.


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(c) An assignment of an account upon the execution of a contract under this section and a termination of a contract with the corresponding assignment of the account is not considered a separation from employment of any worker covered by the contract.  Nothing under this subdivision causes the person to be liable for any amounts past due under this chapter from the taxpaying employer or the nonprofit or government employer.

 

(d) This section applies to, but is not limited to, persons registered under section 79.255, but does not apply to persons that obtain An exemption from registration under section 79.255, subdivision 9, does not determine the application of this section.

 

Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.065, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Employee leasing company, professional employer organization, or similar person.  (a) A person whose work force consists of 50 percent or more of workers provided by an employee leasing company, professional employer organization, or similar person for a fee, is jointly and severally liable for the unpaid amounts that are due under this chapter or section 116L.20 on the wages paid on the contract with the employee leasing company, professional employer organization, or similar person.

 

(b) This subdivision applies to, but is not limited to, persons registered under section 79.255, but does not apply to agreements with persons that obtain An exemption from registration under section 79.255, subdivision 9, does not determine the application of this section.

 

Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.085, subdivision 13, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 13.  Suspension from employment.  (a) An applicant who has been suspended from employment without pay for 30 calendar days or less, as a result of employment misconduct or aggravated employment misconduct as defined under section 268.095, subdivision 6, is ineligible for unemployment benefits beginning the Sunday of the week that the applicant was suspended and continuing for the duration of the suspension.

 

(b) A suspension from employment without pay that is of indefinite duration or is for more than 30 calendar days is considered, at the time the suspension begins, a discharge from employment under subject to section 268.095, subdivision 5.

 

(c) A suspension from employment with pay, regardless of duration, is not considered a separation from employment and the applicant is ineligible for unemployment benefits for the duration of the suspension with pay.

 

Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.095, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 5.  Discharge defined.  (a) A discharge from employment occurs when any words or actions by an employer would lead a reasonable employee to believe that the employer will no longer allow the employee to work for the employer in any capacity.  A layoff because of lack of work is a discharge.

 

(b) A suspension from employment without pay that is of an indefinite duration or is for more than 30 calendar days is considered a discharge at the time the suspension begins.

 

(b) (c) When determining if an applicant was discharged, the theory of a constructive discharge does not apply.

 

(c) (d) An employee who gives notice of intention to quit the employment and is not allowed by the employer to work the entire notice period is discharged from the employment as of the date the employer will no longer allow the employee to work.  If the discharge occurs within 30 calendar days before the intended date of quitting, then, as of the intended date of quitting, the separation from employment is a quit from employment subject to subdivision 1.


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(d) (e) The end of a job assignment with the client of a staffing service is a discharge from employment with the staffing service unless subdivision 2, paragraph (e), applies.

 

Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.101, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Determination.  (a) The commissioner must determine any issue of ineligibility raised by information required from an applicant under subdivision 1, paragraph (a) or (c), and send to the applicant and any involved employer, by mail or electronic transmission, a document titled a determination of eligibility or a determination of ineligibility, as is appropriate.  The determination on an issue of ineligibility as a result of a quit or a discharge of the applicant must state the effect on the employer under section 268.047.  A determination must be made in accordance with this paragraph even if a notified employer has not raised the issue of ineligibility.

 

(b) The commissioner must determine any issue of ineligibility raised by an employer and send to the applicant and that employer, by mail or electronic transmission, a document titled a determination of eligibility or a determination of ineligibility as is appropriate.  The determination on an issue of ineligibility as a result of a quit or discharge of the applicant must state the effect on the employer under section 268.047.

 

If a base period employer:

 

(1) was not the applicant's most recent employer before the application for unemployment benefits;

 

(2) did not employ the applicant during the six calendar months before the application for unemployment benefits; and

 

(3) did not raise an issue of ineligibility as a result of a quit or discharge of the applicant within ten calendar days of notification under subdivision 1, paragraph (b);

 

then any exception under section 268.047, subdivisions 2 and 3, begins the Sunday two weeks following the week that the issue of ineligibility as a result of a quit or discharge of the applicant was raised by the employer.

 

A communication from an employer must specifically set out why the applicant should be determined ineligible for unemployment benefits for that communication to be considered to have raised an issue of ineligibility for purposes of this section.  A statement of "protest" or a similar term without more information does not constitute raising an issue of ineligibility for purposes of this section.

 

(c) Subject to section 268.031, an issue of ineligibility is determined based upon that information required of an applicant, any information that may be obtained from an applicant or employer, and information from any other source.

 

(d) Regardless of the requirements of this subdivision, the commissioner is not required to send to an applicant a copy of the determination where the applicant has satisfied a period of ineligibility because of a quit or a discharge under section 268.095, subdivision 10.

 

(e) The commissioner may department is authorized to issue a determination on an issue of ineligibility within 24 months from the establishment of a benefit account based upon information from any source, even if the issue of ineligibility was not raised by the applicant or an employer.

 

If an applicant obtained unemployment benefits through fraud misrepresentation under section 268.18, subdivision 2, the department is authorized to issue a determination of ineligibility may be issued within 48 months of the establishment of the benefit account.


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If the department has filed an intervention in a worker's compensation matter under section 176.361, the department is authorized to issue a determination of ineligibility within 48 months of the establishment of the benefit account.

 

(f) A determination of eligibility or determination of ineligibility is final unless an appeal is filed by the applicant or employer within 20 calendar days after sending.  The determination must contain a prominent statement indicating the consequences of not appealing.  Proceedings on the appeal are conducted in accordance with section 268.105.

 

(g) An issue of ineligibility required to be determined under this section includes any question regarding the denial or allowing of unemployment benefits under this chapter except for issues under section 268.07.  An issue of ineligibility for purposes of this section includes any question of effect on an employer under section 268.047.

 

ARTICLE 6

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ADVISORY COUNCIL

HOUSEKEEPING

 

Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.035, subdivision 20, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 20.  Noncovered employment.  "Noncovered employment" means:

 

(1) employment for the United States government or an instrumentality thereof, including military service;

 

(2) employment for a state, other than Minnesota, or a political subdivision or instrumentality thereof;

 

(3) employment for a foreign government;

 

(4) employment covered under the federal Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act;

 

(5) employment for a church or convention or association of churches, or a nonprofit organization operated primarily for religious purposes that is operated, supervised, controlled, or principally supported by a church or convention or association of churches;

 

(6) employment for an elementary or secondary school with a curriculum that includes religious education that is operated by a church, a convention or association of churches, or a nonprofit organization that is operated, supervised, controlled, or principally supported by a church or convention or association of churches;

 

(6) (7) employment for Minnesota or a political subdivision, or a nonprofit organization, of a duly ordained or licensed minister of a church in the exercise of a ministry or by a member of a religious order in the exercise of duties required by the order;

 

(7) (8) employment for Minnesota or a political subdivision, or a nonprofit organization, of an individual receiving rehabilitation of "sheltered" work in a facility conducted for the purpose of carrying out a program of rehabilitation for individuals whose earning capacity is impaired by age or physical or mental deficiency or injury or a program providing "sheltered" work for individuals who because of an impaired physical or mental capacity cannot be readily absorbed in the competitive labor market.  This clause applies only to services performed in a facility certified by the Rehabilitation Services Branch of the department or in a day training or habilitation program licensed by the Department of Human Services;

 

(8) (9) employment for Minnesota or a political subdivision, or a nonprofit organization, of an individual receiving work relief or work training as part of an unemployment work relief or work training program assisted or financed in whole or in part by any federal agency or an agency of a state or political subdivision thereof.  This clause does not apply to programs that require unemployment benefit coverage for the participants;


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(9) (10) employment for Minnesota or a political subdivision, as an elected official, a member of a legislative body, or a member of the judiciary;

 

(10) (11) employment as a member of the Minnesota National Guard or Air National Guard;

 

(11) (12) employment for Minnesota or a political subdivision, or instrumentality thereof, of an individual serving on a temporary basis in case of fire, flood, tornado, or similar emergency;

 

(12) (13) employment as an election official or election worker for Minnesota or a political subdivision, if the compensation for that employment was less than $1,000 in a calendar year;

 

(13) (14) employment for Minnesota that is a major policy-making or advisory position in the unclassified service;

 

(14) (15) employment for Minnesota in an unclassified position established under section 43A.08, subdivision 1a;

 

(15) (16) employment for a political subdivision of Minnesota that is a nontenured major policy making or advisory position;

 

(16) (17) domestic employment in a private household, local college club, or local chapter of a college fraternity or sorority, if the wages paid in any calendar quarter in either the current or prior calendar year to all individuals in domestic employment totaled less than $1,000.

 

"Domestic employment" includes all service in the operation and maintenance of a private household, for a local college club, or local chapter of a college fraternity or sorority as distinguished from service as an employee in the pursuit of an employer's trade or business;

 

(17) (18) employment of an individual by a son, daughter, or spouse, and employment of a child under the age of 18 by the child's father or mother;

 

(18) (19) employment of an inmate of a custodial or penal institution;

 

(19) (20) employment for a school, college, or university, by a student who is enrolled and whose primary relation to the school, college, or university is as a student.  This does not include an individual whose primary relation to the school, college, or university is as an employee who also takes courses;

 

(20) (21) employment of an individual who is enrolled as a student in a full-time program at a nonprofit or public educational institution that maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and has a regularly organized body of students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are carried on, taken for credit at the institution, that combines academic instruction with work experience, if the employment is an integral part of the program, and the institution has so certified to the employer, except that this clause does not apply to employment in a program established for or on behalf of an employer or group of employers;

 

(21) (22) employment of university, college, or professional school students in an internship or other training program with the city of St. Paul or the city of Minneapolis under Laws 1990, chapter 570, article 6, section 3;

 

(22) (23) employment for a hospital by a patient of the hospital.  "Hospital" means an institution that has been licensed by the Department of Health as a hospital;

 

(23) (24) employment as a student nurse for a hospital or a nurses' training school by an individual who is enrolled and is regularly attending classes in an accredited nurses' training school;


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(24) (25) employment as an intern for a hospital by an individual who has completed a four-year course in an accredited medical school;

 

(25) (26) employment as an insurance salesperson, by other than a corporate officer, if all the wages from the employment is solely by way of commission.  The word "insurance" includes an annuity and an optional annuity;

 

(26) (27) employment as an officer of a township mutual insurance company or farmer's mutual insurance company under chapter 67A;

 

(27) (28) employment of a corporate officer, if the officer directly or indirectly, including through a subsidiary or holding company, owns 25 percent or more of the employer corporation, and employment of a member of a limited liability company, if the member directly or indirectly, including through a subsidiary or holding company, owns 25 percent or more of the employer limited liability company;

 

(28) (29) employment as a real estate salesperson, other than a corporate officer, if all the wages from the employment is solely by way of commission;

 

(29) (30) employment as a direct seller as defined in United States Code, title 26, section 3508;

 

(30) (31) employment of an individual under the age of 18 in the delivery or distribution of newspapers or shopping news, not including delivery or distribution to any point for subsequent delivery or distribution;

 

(31) (32) casual employment performed for an individual, other than domestic employment under clause (16) (17), that does not promote or advance that employer's trade or business;

 

(32) (33) employment in "agricultural employment" unless it is "covered agricultural employment" under subdivision 11; or

 

(33) (34) if employment during one-half or more of any pay period was covered employment, all the employment for the pay period is covered employment; but if during more than one-half of any pay period the employment was noncovered employment, then all of the employment for the pay period is noncovered employment.  "Pay period" means a period of not more than a calendar month for which a payment or compensation is ordinarily made to the employee by the employer.

 

Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.035, subdivision 21d, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 21d.  Staffing service.  A "staffing service" is an employer whose business involves employing individuals directly for the purpose of furnishing temporary assignment workers to clients support or supplement the workforce of the business that is a client of the staffing service.

 

Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.051, subdivision 9, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 9.  Assessments, fees, and surcharges; treatment.  Any assessment, fee, or surcharge imposed under the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law is treated the same as, and considered as, a tax.  Any assessment, fee, or surcharge is subject to the same collection procedures that apply to past due taxes.

 

Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.07, subdivision 3b, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3b.  Limitations on applications and benefit accounts.  (a) An application for unemployment benefits is effective the Sunday of the calendar week that the application was filed.  An application for unemployment benefits may be backdated one calendar week before the Sunday of the week the application was actually filed if the


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applicant requests the backdating within seven calendar days of the date the application is filed.  An application may be backdated only if the applicant was unemployed during the period of the backdating.  If an individual attempted to file an application for unemployment benefits, but was prevented from filing an application by the department, the application is effective the Sunday of the calendar week the individual first attempted to file an application.

 

(b) A benefit account established under subdivision 2 is effective the date the application for unemployment benefits was effective.

 

(c) A benefit account, once established, may later be withdrawn only if:

 

(1) the applicant has not been paid any unemployment benefits on that benefit account; and

 

(2) a new application for unemployment benefits is filed and a new benefit account is established at the time of the withdrawal.

 

A benefit account may be withdrawn after the expiration of the benefit year, and the new work requirements of subdivision 2, paragraph (b), do not apply if the applicant was not paid any unemployment benefits on the benefit account that is being withdrawn.

 

A determination or amended determination of eligibility or ineligibility issued under section 268.101, that was sent before the withdrawal of the benefit account, remains in effect and is not voided by the withdrawal of the benefit account.

 

(d) An application for unemployment benefits is not allowed before the Sunday following the expiration of the benefit year on a prior benefit account.  Except as allowed under paragraph (c), an applicant may establish only one benefit account each 52 calendar weeks.  This paragraph applies to benefit accounts established under any federal law or the law of any other state.

 

Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.085, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Eligibility conditions.  An applicant may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits for any week if:

 

(1) the applicant has filed a continued request for unemployment benefits for that week under section 268.0865;

 

(2) the week for which unemployment benefits are requested is in the applicant's benefit year;

 

(3) the applicant was unemployed as defined in section 268.035, subdivision 26;

 

(4) the applicant was available for suitable employment as defined in subdivision 15.  The applicant's weekly unemployment benefit amount is reduced one-fifth for each day the applicant is unavailable for suitable employment.  This clause does not apply to an applicant who is in reemployment assistance training, or each day the applicant is on jury duty or serving as an election judge;

 

(5) the applicant was actively seeking suitable employment as defined in subdivision 16.  This clause does not apply to an applicant who is in reemployment assistance training or who was on jury duty throughout the week;

 

(6) the applicant has served a nonpayable period of one week that the applicant is otherwise eligible for some amount of unemployment benefits.  This clause does not apply if the applicant would have been eligible for federal disaster unemployment assistance because of a disaster in Minnesota, but for the applicant's establishment of a benefit account under section 268.07; and


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(7) the applicant has been participating in reemployment assistance services, such as development of, and adherence to, a work search plan, if the applicant has been directed to participate by the commissioner.  This clause does not apply if the applicant has good cause for failing to participate.  "Good cause" is a reason that would have prevented a reasonable person acting with due diligence from participating.

 

Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.085, subdivision 13a, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 13a.  Leave of absence.  (a) An applicant on a voluntary leave of absence is ineligible for unemployment benefits for the duration of the leave of absence.  An applicant on an involuntary leave of absence is not ineligible under this subdivision.

 

A leave of absence is voluntary when work that the applicant can then perform is available with the applicant's employer but the applicant chooses not to work.  A medical leave of absence is not presumed to be voluntary.

 

(b) A period of vacation requested by the applicant, paid or unpaid, is considered a voluntary leave of absence.  A vacation period assigned by an employer under:  (1) a uniform vacation shutdown; (2) a collective bargaining agreement; or (3) an established employer policy, is considered an involuntary leave of absence.

 

(c) A leave of absence is a temporary stopping of work that has been approved by the employer.  A voluntary leave of absence is not considered a quit and an involuntary leave of absence is not considered a discharge from employment for purposes of section 268.095.

 

(d) An applicant who is on a paid leave of absence, whether the leave of absence is voluntary or involuntary, is ineligible for unemployment benefits for the duration of the leave.

 

(e) This subdivision applies to a leave of absence from a base period employer, an employer during the period between the end of the base period and the effective date of the benefit account, or an employer during the benefit year.

 

Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.105, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Request for reconsideration.  (a) Any party, or the commissioner, may within 20 calendar days of the sending of the unemployment law judge's decision under subdivision 1a, file a request for reconsideration asking the judge to reconsider that decision.

 

(b) Upon a request for reconsideration having been filed, the chief unemployment law judge must send a notice, by mail or electronic transmission, to all parties that a request for reconsideration has been filed.  The notice must inform the parties:

 

(1) that reconsideration is the procedure for the unemployment law judge to correct any factual or legal mistake in the decision, or to order an additional hearing when appropriate;

 

(2) of the opportunity to provide comment on the request for reconsideration, and the right under subdivision 5 to obtain a copy of any recorded testimony and exhibits offered or received into evidence at the hearing;

 

(3) that providing specific comments as to a perceived factual or legal mistake in the decision, or a perceived mistake in procedure during the hearing, will assist the unemployment law judge in deciding the request for reconsideration;

 

(4) of the right to obtain any comments and submissions provided by any other party regarding the request for reconsideration; and


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(5) of the provisions of paragraph (c) regarding additional evidence.

 

This paragraph does not apply if paragraph (d) is applicable.  Sending the notice does not mean the unemployment law judge has decided the request for reconsideration was timely filed.

 

(c) In deciding a request for reconsideration, the unemployment law judge must not consider any evidence that was not submitted at the hearing, except for purposes of determining whether to order an additional hearing.

 

The unemployment law judge must order an additional hearing if a party shows that evidence which was not submitted at the hearing:

 

(1) would likely change the outcome of the decision and there was good cause for not having previously submitted that evidence; or

 

(2) would show that the evidence that was submitted at the hearing was likely false and that the likely false evidence had an effect on the outcome of the decision.

 

"Good cause" for purposes of this paragraph is a reason that would have prevented a reasonable person acting with due diligence from submitting the evidence.

 

(d) If the party who filed the request for reconsideration failed to participate in the hearing, the unemployment law judge must issue an order setting aside the decision and ordering an additional hearing if the party who failed to participate had good cause for failing to do so.  The party who failed to participate in the hearing must be informed of the requirement to show good cause for failing to participate.  If the unemployment law judge determines that good cause for failure to participate has not been shown, the judge must state that in the decision issued under paragraph (f).

 

Submission of a written statement at the hearing does not constitute participation for purposes of this paragraph.

 

"Good cause" for purposes of this paragraph is a reason that would have prevented a reasonable person acting with due diligence from participating in the hearing.

 

(e) A request for reconsideration must be decided by the unemployment law judge who issued the decision under subdivision 1a unless that judge:

 

(1) is no longer employed by the department;

 

(2) is on an extended or indefinite leave; or

 

(3) has been removed from the proceedings by the chief unemployment law judge.

 

(f) If a request for reconsideration is timely filed, the unemployment law judge must issue:

 

(1) a decision affirming the findings of fact, reasons for decision, and decision issued under subdivision 1a;

 

(2) a decision modifying the findings of fact, reasons for decision, and decision under subdivision 1a; or

 

(3) an order setting aside the findings of fact, reasons for decision, and decision issued under subdivision 1a, and ordering an additional hearing.


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The unemployment law judge must issue a decision dismissing the request for reconsideration as untimely if the judge decides the request for reconsideration was not filed within 20 calendar days after the sending of the decision under subdivision 1a.

 

The unemployment law judge must send to all parties, by mail or electronic transmission, the decision or order issued under this subdivision.  A decision affirming or modifying the previously issued findings of fact, reasons for decision, and decision, or a decision dismissing the request for reconsideration as untimely, is the final decision on the matter and is binding on the parties unless judicial review is sought under subdivision 7.

 

ARTICLE 7

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ADVISORY COUNCIL

TECHNICAL

 

Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.031, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Standard of proof.  All issues of fact under the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law are determined by a preponderance of the evidence.

 

Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.035, subdivision 15, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 15.  Employment.  (a) "Employment" means service performed by:

 

(1) an individual who is considered an employee under the common law of employer-employee and not considered an independent contractor;

 

(2) an officer of a corporation;

 

(3) a member of a limited liability company who is considered an employee under the common law of employer‑employee; or

 

(4) product demonstrators in retail stores or other locations to aid in the sale of products.  The person that pays the wages is considered the employer; or.

 

(5) an individual who performs services for a person for compensation, as:

 

(i) an agent-driver or commission-driver engaged in distributing meat products, vegetable products, fruit products, beverages, or laundry or dry cleaning services; or

 

(ii) a traveling or city salesperson, other than as an agent-driver or commission-driver, engaged full-time in the solicitation on behalf of the person, of orders from wholesalers, retailers, contractors, or operators of hotels, restaurants, or other similar establishments for merchandise for resale or supplies for use in their business operations.

 

This clause applies only if the contract of service provides that substantially all of the services are to be performed personally by the individual, and the services are part of a continuing relationship with the person for whom the services are performed, and the individual does not have a substantial investment in facilities used in connection with the performance of the services, other than facilities for transportation.

 

(b) Employment does not include service as a juror.


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(c) Construction industry employment is defined in subdivision 9a.  Trucking and messenger/courier industry employment is defined in subdivision 25b.  Rules on determining worker employment status are described under Minnesota Rules, chapter 3315.

 

Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.035, subdivision 23, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 23.  State's average annual and average weekly wage.  (a) On or before June 30 of each year, the commissioner must calculate, from wage detail reports under section 268.044, the state's average annual wage and the state's average weekly wage in the following manner:

 

(1) the sum of the total monthly covered employment reported by all employers for the prior calendar year is divided by 12 to calculate the average monthly covered employment.;

 

(2) the sum of the total wages paid for all covered employment reported by all employers for the prior calendar year is divided by the average monthly covered employment to calculate the state's average annual wage.; and

 

(3) the state's average annual wage is divided by 52 to calculate the state's average weekly wage.

 

(b) For purposes of calculating the amount of taxable wages under subdivision 24, the state's average annual wage applies to the calendar year following the calculation.

 

(c) For purposes of calculating (1) the state's maximum weekly unemployment benefit amount available on any benefit account under section 268.07, subdivision 2a, and (2) the state's average weekly wage applies to the one-year period beginning the last Sunday in October of the calendar year of the calculation.

 

(d) For purposes of calculating the wage credits necessary to establish a benefit account under section 268.07, subdivision 2, the state's average weekly wage applies to the one-year period beginning the last Sunday in October of the calendar year of the calculation.

 

Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.035, subdivision 30, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 30.  Wages paid.  (a) "Wages paid" means the amount of wages:

 

(1) that have been actually paid; or

 

(2) that have been credited to or set apart so that payment and disposition is under the control of the employee.

 

(b) Wage payments delayed beyond the regularly scheduled pay date are considered "wages paid" on the missed pay date.  Back pay is considered "wages paid" on the date of actual payment.  Any wages earned but not paid with no scheduled date of payment is considered are "wages paid" on the last day of employment.

 

(c) Wages paid does not include wages earned but not paid except as provided for in this subdivision.

 

Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.042, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Employer registration.  (a) Each employer must, upon or before the submission of its first wage detail report under section 268.044, register with the commissioner for a tax account or a reimbursable account, by electronic transmission in a format prescribed by the commissioner.  The employer must provide all required information for registration, including the actual physical street and city address of the employer.


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(b) Within 30 calendar days, each employer must notify the commissioner by electronic transmission, in a format prescribed, of a change in legal entity, of the transfer, sale, or acquisition of a business conducted in Minnesota, in whole or in part, if the transaction results in the creation of a new or different employer or affects the establishment of employer accounts, the assignment of tax rates, or the transfer of experience rating history.

 

(c) Except as provided in subdivision 3, any person that is or becomes an employer subject to the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law with covered employment within any calendar year is considered to be subject to this chapter the entire calendar year.

 

(d) Within 30 calendar days of the termination of business, an employer that has been assigned a tax account or reimbursable account must notify the commissioner by electronic transmission, in a format prescribed by the commissioner, if that employer does not intend or expect to pay wages to any employees in covered employment during the current or the next calendar year.  Upon notification, the employer is no longer required to file wage detail reports under section 268.044, subdivision 1, paragraph (d), and the employer's account must be terminated.

 

(e) An employer that has its account terminated regains its previous tax account under section 268.045, with the experience rating history of that account, if the employer again commences business and again pays wages in covered employment if:

 

(1) less than 14 calendar quarters have elapsed in which no wages were paid for covered employment;

 

(2) the experience rating history regained contains taxable wages; and

 

(3) the experience rating history has not been transferred to a successor under section 268.051, subdivision 4.

 

Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.051, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Payments.  (a) Unemployment insurance taxes and any special assessments, fees, or surcharges accrue and become payable by each employer for each calendar year on the taxable wages that the employer paid to employees in covered employment, except for:

 

(1) nonprofit organizations that elect to make reimbursements as provided in section 268.053; and

 

(2) the state of Minnesota and political subdivisions that make reimbursements, unless they elect to pay taxes as provided in section 268.052.

 

Each employer must pay taxes quarterly, at the employer's assigned tax rate under subdivision 6, on the taxable wages paid to each employee.  The commissioner must compute the tax due from the wage detail report required under section 268.044 and notify the employer of the tax due.  The taxes and any special assessments, fees, or surcharges must be paid to the trust fund and must be received by the department on or before the last day of the month following the end of the calendar quarter.

 

(b) If for any reason the wages on the wage detail report under section 268.044 are adjusted for any quarter, the commissioner must recompute the taxes due for that quarter and assess the employer for any amount due or credit the employer as appropriate.

 

Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.07, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Benefit account requirements.  (a) Unless paragraph (b) applies, to establish a benefit account an applicant must have total wage credits in the applicant's four quarter base period of at least 5.3 percent of the state's average annual wage rounded down to the next lower $100.


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(b) To establish a new benefit account following the expiration of the benefit year on a prior benefit account, an applicant must have performed actual work in subsequent covered employment and have been paid wages in one or more completed calendar quarters that started after the effective date of the prior benefit account.  The wages paid for that employment must be at least enough to meet the requirements of paragraph (a).  A benefit account under this paragraph may not be established effective earlier than the Sunday following the end of the most recent completed calendar quarter in which the requirements of paragraph (a) were met.  An applicant may not establish a second benefit account as a result of one loss of employment.

 

Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.07, subdivision 3a, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 3a.  Right of appeal.  (a) A determination or amended determination of benefit account is final unless an applicant or base period employer within 20 calendar days after the sending of the determination or amended determination files an appeal.  Every determination or amended determination of benefit account must contain a prominent statement indicating in clear language the consequences of not appealing.  Proceedings on the appeal are conducted in accordance with section 268.105.

 

(b) Any applicant or base period employer may appeal from a determination or amended determination of benefit account on the issue of whether services performed constitute employment, whether the employment is considered covered employment, and whether money paid constitutes wages.  Proceedings on the appeal are conducted in accordance with section 268.105.

 

Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.085, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 6.  Receipt of back pay.  (a) Back pay received by an applicant within 24 months of the establishment of the benefit account with respect to any week must be deducted from unemployment benefits paid for that week, and the applicant is considered to have been overpaid the unemployment benefits under section 268.18, subdivision 1.

 

If the back pay is not paid with respect to a specific period, the back pay must be applied to the period immediately following the last day of employment.

 

(b) If the back pay is reduced by the amount of unemployment benefits that have been paid, the amount of back pay withheld and not paid the applicant must be:

 

(1) paid by the taxpaying or reimbursing employer to the trust fund within 30 calendar days and is subject to the same collection procedures that apply to past due taxes and reimbursements; and

 

(2) when received by the trust fund:

 

(i) an overpayment of unemployment benefits must be created which, under section 268.047, subdivision 2, clause (8), clears the employer's tax or reimbursable account of any effect; and

 

(ii) the back pay must then be applied to the unemployment benefit overpayment, eliminating any effect on the applicant.

 

(c) The following must result when applying paragraph (b):

 

(1) an employer neither overpays nor underpays the employer's proper portion of the unemployment benefit costs; and

 

(2) the applicant is placed in the same position as never having been paid the unemployment benefits.

 

(d) This subdivision applies to payments labeled front pay, settlement pay, and other terms describing or dealing with wage loss.


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Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.085, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 7.  School employees; between terms denial.  (a) No Wage credits in any amount from any employment with any an educational institution or institutions earned in any capacity may not be used for unemployment benefit purposes for any week during the period between two successive academic years or terms if:

 

(1) the applicant had employment for any an educational institution or institutions in the prior academic year or term; and

 

(2) there is a reasonable assurance that the applicant will have employment for any an educational institution or institutions in the following academic year or term, unless that.

 

This paragraph applies to a vacation period or holiday recess if the applicant was employed immediately before the vacation period or holiday recess, and there is a reasonable assurance that the applicant will be employed immediately following the vacation period or holiday recess.  This paragraph also applies to the period between two regular but not successive terms if there is an agreement for that schedule between the applicant and the educational institution.

 

This paragraph does not apply if the subsequent employment is substantially less favorable than the employment of the prior academic year or term, or the employment prior to the vacation period or holiday recess.

 

(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to an applicant who, at the end of the prior academic year or term, had an agreement for a definite period of employment between academic years or terms in other than an instructional, research, or principal administrative capacity and the educational institution or institutions failed to provide that employment.

 

(c) If unemployment benefits are denied to any applicant under paragraph (a) who was employed in the prior academic year or term in other than an instructional, research, or principal administrative capacity and who was not offered an opportunity to perform the employment in the following academic year or term, the applicant is entitled to retroactive unemployment benefits for each week during the period between academic years or terms that the applicant filed a timely continued request for unemployment benefits, but unemployment benefits were denied solely because of paragraph (a).

 

(d) An educational assistant is not considered to be in an instructional, research, or principal administrative capacity.

 

(e) Paragraph (a) applies to any vacation period or holiday recess if the applicant was employed immediately before the vacation period or holiday recess, and there is a reasonable assurance that the applicant will be employed immediately following the vacation period or holiday recess.

 

(f) (d) This subdivision applies to employment with an educational service agency if the applicant performed the services at an educational institution or institutions.  "Educational service agency" means a governmental agency or entity established and operated exclusively for the purpose of providing services to one or more educational institutions.

 

(e) This subdivision also applies to employment with Minnesota or, a political subdivision, or a nonprofit organization, if the services are provided to or on behalf of an educational institution or institutions.

 

(g) Paragraphs (a) and (e) apply (f) Paragraph (a) applies beginning the Sunday of the week that there is a reasonable assurance of employment.


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(h) (g) Employment and a reasonable assurance with multiple education institutions must be aggregated for purposes of application of this subdivision.

 

(i) (h) If all of the applicant's employment with any educational institution or institutions during the prior academic year or term consisted of on-call employment, and the applicant has a reasonable assurance of any on-call employment with any educational institution or institutions for the following academic year or term, it is not considered substantially less favorable employment.

 

(j) Paragraph (a) also applies to the period between two regular but not successive terms.

 

(k) (i) A "reasonable assurance" may be written, oral, implied, or established by custom or practice.

 

(l) (j) An "educational institution" is an a school, college, university, or other educational entity operated by Minnesota or, a political subdivision or an instrumentality thereof, or an educational a nonprofit organization described in United States Code, title 26, section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code, and exempt from income tax under section 501(a).

 

(k) An "instructional, research, or principal administrative capacity" does not include an educational assistant.

 

Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.085, subdivision 12, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 12.  Aliens.  (a) An alien is ineligible for unemployment benefits for any week the alien is not authorized to work in the United States under federal law.  Information from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services is considered conclusive, absent specific evidence that the information was erroneous.  Under the existing agreement between the United States and Canada, this paragraph does not apply to an applicant who is a Canadian citizen and has returned to and is living in Canada each week unemployment benefits are requested.

 

(b) Unemployment benefits must not be paid on the basis of An alien's wage credits earned by an alien may not be used for unemployment benefit purposes unless the alien was:

 

(1) was lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of the employment,;

 

(2) was lawfully present for the purposes of the employment,; or

 

(3) was permanently residing in the United States under color of law at the time of the employment.

 

(c) Any Information required of applicants applying for unemployment benefits to determine eligibility because of their alien status must be required from of all applicants.

 

Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.0865, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 5.  Good cause defined.  (a) "Good cause" for purposes of this section is a compelling substantial reason that would have prevented a reasonable person acting with due diligence from filing a continued request for unemployment benefits within the time periods required.

 

(b) "Good cause" does not include forgetfulness, loss of the continued request form if filing by mail, having returned to work, having an appeal pending, or inability to file a continued request for unemployment benefits by the method designated if the applicant was aware of the inability and did not make diligent effort to have the method of filing a continued request changed by the commissioner.  "Good cause" does not include having previously made an attempt to file a continued request for unemployment benefits but where the communication was not considered a continued request because the applicant failed to submit all required information.


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Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.095, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Quit.  An applicant who quit employment is ineligible for all unemployment benefits according to subdivision 10 except when:

 

(1) the applicant quit the employment because of a good reason caused by the employer as defined in subdivision 3;

 

(2) the applicant quit the employment to accept other covered employment that provided equal to or better terms and conditions of employment, but the applicant did not work long enough at the second employment to have sufficient subsequent wages paid to satisfy the period of ineligibility that would otherwise be imposed under subdivision 10 for quitting the first employment;

 

(3) the applicant quit the employment within 30 calendar days of beginning the employment and the employment was unsuitable;

 

(4) the employment was unsuitable and the applicant quit to enter reemployment assistance training;

 

(5) the employment was part time and the applicant also had full-time employment in the base period, from which full-time employment the applicant separated because of reasons for which the applicant is would not be ineligible, and the wage credits from the full-time employment are sufficient to meet the minimum requirements to establish a benefit account under section 268.07;

 

(6) the applicant quit because the employer notified the applicant that the applicant was going to be laid off because of lack of work within 30 calendar days.  An applicant who quit employment within 30 calendar days of a notified date of layoff because of lack of work is ineligible for unemployment benefits through the end of the week that includes the scheduled date of layoff;

 

(7) the applicant quit the employment (i) because the applicant's serious illness or injury made it medically necessary that the applicant quit; or (ii) in order to provide necessary care because of the illness, injury, or disability of an immediate family member of the applicant.  This exception only applies if the applicant informs the employer of the medical problem and requests accommodation and no reasonable accommodation is made available.

 

If the applicant's serious illness is chemical dependency, this exception does not apply if the applicant was previously diagnosed as chemically dependent or had treatment for chemical dependency, and since that diagnosis or treatment has failed to make consistent efforts to control the chemical dependency.

 

This exception raises an issue of the applicant's being available for suitable employment under section 268.085, subdivision 1, that the commissioner must determine;

 

(8) the applicant's loss of child care for the applicant's minor child caused the applicant to quit the employment, provided the applicant made reasonable effort to obtain other child care and requested time off or other accommodation from the employer and no reasonable accommodation is available.

 

This exception raises an issue of the applicant's being available for suitable employment under section 268.085, subdivision 1, that the commissioner must determine;

 

(9) the applicant quit because domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking of the applicant or an immediate family member of the applicant, necessitated the applicant's quitting the employment.


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For purposes of this subdivision:

 

(i) "domestic abuse" has the meaning given in section 518B.01;

 

(ii) "sexual assault" means an act that would constitute a violation of sections 609.342 to 609.3453 or 609.352; and

 

(iii) "stalking" means an act that would constitute a violation of section 609.749; or

 

(10) the applicant quit in order to relocate to accompany a spouse:

 

(1) (i) who is in the military; or

 

(2) (ii) whose job was transferred by the spouse's employer to a new location making it impractical for the applicant to commute.

 

Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.095, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Quit defined.  (a) A quit from employment occurs when the decision to end the employment was, at the time the employment ended, the employee's.

 

(b) When determining if an applicant quit, the theory of a constructive quit does not apply.

 

(c) An employee who has been notified that the employee will be discharged in the future, who chooses to end the employment while employment in any capacity is still available, has quit the employment.

 

(d) A notice of quitting in the future does not constitute a quit at the time the notice is given.  An employee who seeks to withdraw a previously submitted notice of quitting in the future has quit the employment, as of the intended date of quitting, if the employer does not agree that the notice may be withdrawn.

 

(e) An applicant has quit employment with a staffing service if, within five calendar days after completion of a suitable job assignment from a staffing service, the applicant:

 

(1) fails without good cause to affirmatively request an additional suitable job assignment;

 

(2) refuses without good cause an additional suitable job assignment offered; or

 

(3) accepts employment with the client of the staffing service.  Accepting employment with the client of the staffing service meets the requirements of the exception to ineligibility under subdivision 1, clause (2).

 

This paragraph applies only if, at the time of beginning of employment with the staffing service, the applicant signed and was provided a copy of a separate document written in clear and concise language that informed the applicant of this paragraph and that unemployment benefits may be affected.

 

For purposes of this paragraph, "good cause" is a reason that would compel an average, reasonable worker, who would otherwise want an additional suitable job assignment with the staffing service (1) to fail to contact the staffing service, or (2) to refuse an offered assignment.

 

Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.131, is amended to read:

 

268.131 RECIPROCAL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT COMBINED WAGE ARRANGEMENTS FOR WORK IN MULTIPLE STATES.

 

Subdivision 1.  Cooperation with other states on combining wages.  (a) In accordance with the requirements of United States Code, title 26, section 3304(a)(9)(B), the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, the commissioner must participate in reciprocal arrangements with other states for the payment of unemployment benefits on the basis of


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combining an applicant's wages from multiple states for the purposes of collecting unemployment benefits from a single state.  The reciprocal agreement must include provisions for applying the base period of a single state law to a benefit account involving the combining of an applicant's wages and employment and avoiding the duplicate use of wages by reason of such combining.  The commissioner may not enter into any reciprocal arrangement unless it contains provisions for only pay unemployment benefits from the trust fund under this section if:

 

(1) there are reimbursements to the trust fund, by the other state, for unemployment benefits paid from the trust fund to applicants based upon wages and employment covered under the laws of the other state.; and

 

(b) The commissioner is authorized to pay unemployment benefits based upon an applicant's wages paid in covered employment in another state only if (2) the applicant is combining Minnesota wage credits with the wages paid in covered employment from another state or states.

 

(c) Section 268.23 does not apply to this subdivision.

 

(d) On any reciprocal arrangement, (b) Under this section, the wages paid an applicant from employment covered under an unemployment insurance program of another state are considered wages from covered employment for the purpose of determining the applicant's rights to unemployment benefits under the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law.

 

Subd. 2.  Cooperation with foreign governments.  The commissioner is authorized to enter into or cooperate in arrangements whereby facilities and services provided under the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law and facilities and services provided under the unemployment insurance program of any foreign government, may be used for the taking of applications for unemployment benefits and continued requests and the payment of unemployment benefits under this law or under a similar law of a foreign government.

 

Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.18, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Overpayment because of fraud misrepresentation.  (a) An applicant has committed fraud misrepresentation if the applicant is overpaid unemployment benefits by:

 

(1) knowingly misrepresenting, misstating, or failing to disclose any material fact; or

 

(2) making a false statement or representation without a good faith belief as to the correctness of the statement or representation.

 

After the discovery of facts indicating fraud misrepresentation, the commissioner must issue a determination of overpayment penalty assessing a penalty equal to 40 percent of the amount overpaid.  This penalty is in addition to penalties under section 268.182.

 

(b) Unless the applicant files an appeal within 20 calendar days after the sending of a determination of overpayment penalty to the applicant by mail or electronic transmission, the determination is final.  Proceedings on the appeal are conducted in accordance with section 268.105.

 

(c) A determination of overpayment penalty must state the methods of collection the commissioner may use to recover the overpayment, penalty, and interest assessed.  Money received in repayment of overpaid unemployment benefits, penalties, and interest is first applied to the benefits overpaid, then to the penalty amount due, then to any interest due.  62.5 percent of the payments made toward the penalty are credited to the contingent account and 37.5 percent credited to the trust fund.


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(d) The department is authorized to issue a determination of overpayment penalty under this subdivision may be issued within 48 months of the establishment of the benefit account upon which the unemployment benefits were obtained through fraud misrepresentation.

 

Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.18, subdivision 2b, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2b.  Interest.  On any unemployment benefits fraudulently obtained by misrepresentation, and any penalty amounts assessed under subdivision 2, the commissioner must assess interest at the rate of one percent per month on any amount that remains unpaid beginning 30 calendar days after the date of a determination of overpayment penalty.  A determination of overpayment penalty must state that interest will be assessed.  Interest is assessed in the same manner as on employer debt under section 268.057, subdivision 5.  Interest payments collected under this subdivision are credited to the trust fund.

 

Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.18, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 5.  Remedies.  (a) Any method undertaken to recover an overpayment of unemployment benefits, including any penalties and interest, is not considered an election of a method of recovery.

 

(b) Intervention or lack thereof, in whole or in part, in a workers' compensation matter under section 176.361 is not considered an election of a remedy and does not prevent the commissioner from determining any an applicant ineligible for unemployment benefits overpaid under subdivision 1 or 2 or taking action under section 268.182.

 

Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.182, is amended to read:

 

268.182 APPLICANT'S FALSE REPRESENTATIONS; CONCEALMENT OF FACTS FRAUD; CRIMINAL PENALTY.

 

Subdivision 1.  Criminal penalties.  Whoever An individual has committed fraud and is guilty of theft and must be sentenced under section 609.52 if the individual obtains, or attempts to obtain, or aids or abets any other individual to obtain, by means of an intentional false statement or representation, by intentional concealment of a material fact, or by impersonation or other fraudulent means, unemployment benefits that the individual is not entitled or unemployment benefits greater than the individual is entitled to under this chapter, or under the federal law of any state or of the federal government, either personally or for any other individual, is guilty of theft and must be sentenced under section 609.52.

 

Subd. 2.  Administrative penalties.  (a) Any applicant who knowingly makes a false statement or representation, who knowingly fails to disclose a material fact, or who makes a false statement or representation without a good faith belief as to the correctness of the statement or representation, in order to obtain or in an attempt to obtain unemployment benefits may be assessed, in addition to any other penalties, an administrative penalty of being ineligible for unemployment benefits for 13 to 104 weeks.

 

(b) A determination of ineligibility setting out the weeks the applicant is ineligible must be sent to the applicant by mail or electronic transmission.  The department is authorized to issue a determination of ineligibility under this subdivision may be issued within 48 months of the establishment of the benefit account upon which the unemployment benefits were obtained, or attempted to be obtained.  Unless an appeal is filed within 20 calendar days of sending, the determination is final.  Proceedings on the appeal are conducted in accordance with section 268.105.


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Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.184, is amended to read:

 

268.184 EMPLOYER MISCONDUCT; PENALTY MISREPRESENTATION AND MISREPORTING; ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES.

 

Subdivision 1.  Misrepresentation; administrative penalties.  (a) The commissioner must penalize an employer if that employer or any employee, officer, or agent of that employer, is in collusion with any applicant for the purpose of assisting the applicant to receive unemployment benefits fraudulently.  The penalty is $500 or the amount of unemployment benefits determined to be overpaid, whichever is greater.

 

(b) The commissioner must penalize an employer if that employer or any employee, officer, or agent of that employer:  (1) made a false statement or representation knowing it to be false; (2) made a false statement or representation without a good faith belief as to correctness of the statement or representation; (3) or knowingly failed to disclose a material fact; or (4) made an offer of employment to an applicant when, in fact, the employer had no employment available. in order to:

 

(1) assist an applicant to receive unemployment benefits to which the applicant is not entitled;

 

(2) prevent or reduce the payment of unemployment benefits to an applicant; or

 

(3) avoid or reduce any payment required from an employer under this chapter or section 116L.20.

 

The penalty is the greater of $500 or 50 percent of the following resulting from the employer's action:

 

(i) the amount of any overpaid unemployment benefits to an applicant;

 

(ii) the amount of unemployment benefits not paid to an applicant that would otherwise have been paid; or

 

(iii) the amount of any payment required from the employer under this chapter or section 116L.20 that was not paid.

 

(c) (b) The commissioner must penalize an employer if that employer failed or refused to honor a subpoena issued under section 268.188.  The penalty is $500 and any costs of enforcing the subpoena, including attorney fees.

 

(d) (c) Penalties under this subdivision and under section 268.047, subdivision 4, paragraph (b), are in addition to any other penalties and subject to the same collection procedures that apply to past due taxes.  Penalties must be paid within 30 calendar days of issuance of the determination of penalty and credited to the trust fund.

 

(e) (d) The determination of penalty is final unless the employer files an appeal within 20 calendar days after the sending of the determination of penalty to the employer by mail or electronic transmission.  Proceedings on the appeal are conducted in accordance with section 268.105.

 

Subd. 1a.  Notification and misreporting penalties.  (a) If the commissioner finds that any employer or agent of an employer failed to meet the notification requirements of section 268.051, subdivision 4, the employer must be assessed a penalty of $5,000 or two percent of the first full quarterly payroll acquired, whichever is higher.  Payroll is wages paid as defined in section 268.035, subdivision 30.  The penalty under this paragraph must be canceled if the commissioner determines that the failure occurred because of ignorance or inadvertence.

 

(b) If the commissioner finds that any individual advised an employer to violate the employer's notification requirements under section 268.051, subdivision 4, the individual, and that individual's employer, must each be assessed the penalty in paragraph (a).


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(c) If the commissioner finds that any person or agent of a person violated the reporting requirements of section 268.046, the person must be assessed a penalty of $5,000 or two percent of the quarterly payroll reported in violation of section 268.046, whichever is higher.  Payroll is wages paid as defined in section 268.035, subdivision 30.

 

(d) Penalties under this subdivision are in addition to any other penalties and subject to the same collection procedures that apply to past due amounts from an employer.  Penalties must be paid within 30 calendar days after sending of the determination of penalty and credited to the trust fund.

 

(e) The determination of penalty is final unless the person assessed files an appeal within 20 calendar days after sending of the determination of penalty by mail or electronic transmission.  Proceedings on the appeal are conducted in accordance with section 268.105.

 

Subd. 2.  Criminal penalties.  Any employer or any officer or agent of an employer or any other individual who has committed fraud and is guilty of a crime, if in order to avoid or reduce any payment required from an employer under this chapter or section 116L.20, or to prevent or reduce the payment of unemployment benefits to an applicant:

 

(1) makes a false statement or representation knowing it to be false;

 

(2) knowingly fails to disclose a material fact, including notification required under section 268.051, subdivision 4; or

 

(3) knowingly advises or assists an employer in violating clause (1) or (2), to avoid or reduce any payment required from an employer under this chapter or section 116L.20, or to prevent or reduce the payment of unemployment benefits to any applicant,.

 

The individual is guilty of a gross misdemeanor unless if the underpayment exceeds is $500, in that case or less.  The individual is guilty of a felony if the underpayment exceeds $500.

 

Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.194, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Establishment.  There is established as a special state trust fund, separate and apart from all other public money or funds of this state, an unemployment insurance trust fund, that is administered by the commissioner exclusively for the payment of unemployment benefits.  This trust fund consists of:

 

(1) all taxes collected;

 

(2) interest earned upon any money in the trust fund;

 

(3) reimbursements paid by nonprofit organizations, and the state and political subdivisions;

 

(4) tax rate buydown payments under section 268.051, subdivision 7;

 

(5) any money received as a loan from the federal unemployment trust fund in accordance with United States Code, title 42, section 1321, of the Social Security Act;

 

(6) any other money received under a reciprocal unemployment benefit combined wage arrangement with the federal government or any other state;

 

(7) money received from the federal government for unemployment benefits paid under a federal program;

 

(7) (8) money recovered on overpaid unemployment benefits;


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(8) (9) all money credited to the account under this chapter;

 

(9) (10) all money credited to the account of Minnesota in the federal unemployment trust fund under United States Code, title 42, section 1103, of the Social Security Act, also known as the Reed Act; and

 

(10) (11) all money received for the trust fund from any other source.

 

Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 268.194, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 4.  Reimbursements.  The commissioner is authorized to make to other state or federal agencies and to receive from other state or federal agencies, reimbursements from or to the trust fund, in accordance with reciprocal combined wage arrangements entered into under section 268.131.

 

Money received under a reciprocal agreement combined wage arrangement must be placed directly in the unemployment benefit payment account of the trust fund.

 

Sec. 23.  REVISOR'S INSTRUCTION.

 

In the following sections of Minnesota Statutes, the revisor of statutes shall delete the term "considered":  Minnesota Statutes, sections 268.035, subdivisions 21c and 26; 268.07, subdivision 1; 268.085, subdivisions 4a, 13c, 15, and 16; 268.095, subdivision 3; 268.101, subdivision 6; and 268.105, subdivisions 3a and 7.

 

Sec. 24.  REVISOR'S INSTRUCTION.

 

(a) In Minnesota Statutes, section 268.18, the revisor of statutes shall change the term "fraud" to "misrepresentation" and "nonfraud" to "nonmisrepresentation."

 

(b) The revisor of statutes shall renumber Minnesota Statutes, section 268.184, subdivision 2, as Minnesota Statutes, section 268.182, subdivision 1, paragraph (b).

 

(c) The revisor of statutes shall renumber Minnesota Statutes, section 268.182, subdivision 2, as Minnesota Statutes, section 268.183.

 

(d) The revisor of statutes shall make cross-reference changes needed arising out of the renumbering in Minnesota Statutes, section 268.032, subdivision 20.

 

Sec. 25.  REPEALER.

 

Laws 2005, chapter 112, article 1, section 14, is repealed.

 

ARTICLE 8

COMMERCE POLICY

 

Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 45.013, is amended to read:

 

45.013 POWER TO APPOINT STAFF.

 

The commissioner of commerce may appoint four one deputy commissioners commissioner, four assistant commissioners, and an assistant to the commissioner.  Those positions, as well as that of a confidential secretary, are unclassified.  The commissioner may appoint other employees necessary to carry out the duties and responsibilities entrusted to the commissioner.


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Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 45.0135, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 6.  Insurance fraud prevention account.  The insurance fraud prevention account is created in the state treasury.  Money received from assessments under subdivision 7 and transferred from the automobile theft prevention account in section sections 65B.84, subdivision 1, and 297I.11, subdivision 2, is deposited in the account.  Money in this fund is appropriated to the commissioner of commerce for the purposes specified in this section and sections 60A.951 to 60A.956.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective July 1, 2018.

 

Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 65B.84, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Program described; commissioner's duties; appropriation.  (a) The commissioner of commerce shall:

 

(1) develop and sponsor the implementation of statewide plans, programs, and strategies to combat automobile theft, improve the administration of the automobile theft laws, and provide a forum for identification of critical problems for those persons dealing with automobile theft;

 

(2) coordinate the development, adoption, and implementation of plans, programs, and strategies relating to interagency and intergovernmental cooperation with respect to automobile theft enforcement;

 

(3) annually audit the plans and programs that have been funded in whole or in part to evaluate the effectiveness of the plans and programs and withdraw funding should the commissioner determine that a plan or program is ineffective or is no longer in need of further financial support from the fund;

 

(4) develop a plan of operation including:

 

(i) an assessment of the scope of the problem of automobile theft, including areas of the state where the problem is greatest;

 

(ii) an analysis of various methods of combating the problem of automobile theft;

 

(iii) a plan for providing financial support to combat automobile theft;

 

(iv) a plan for eliminating car hijacking; and

 

(v) an estimate of the funds required to implement the plan; and

 

(5) distribute money, in consultation with the commissioner of public safety, pursuant to subdivision 3 from the automobile theft prevention special revenue account for automobile theft prevention activities, including:

 

(i) paying the administrative costs of the program;

 

(ii) providing financial support to the State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies for automobile theft enforcement teams;

 

(iii) providing financial support to state or local law enforcement agencies for programs designed to reduce the incidence of automobile theft and for improved equipment and techniques for responding to automobile thefts;


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(iv) providing financial support to local prosecutors for programs designed to reduce the incidence of automobile theft;

 

(v) providing financial support to judicial agencies for programs designed to reduce the incidence of automobile theft;

 

(vi) providing financial support for neighborhood or community organizations or business organizations for programs designed to reduce the incidence of automobile theft and to educate people about the common methods of automobile theft, the models of automobiles most likely to be stolen, and the times and places automobile theft is most likely to occur; and

 

(vii) providing financial support for automobile theft educational and training programs for state and local law enforcement officials, driver and vehicle services exam and inspections staff, and members of the judiciary.

 

(b) The commissioner may not spend in any fiscal year more than ten percent of the money in the fund for the program's administrative and operating costs.  The commissioner is annually appropriated and must distribute the amount of the proceeds credited to the automobile theft prevention special revenue account each year, less the transfer of $1,300,000 each year to the general fund insurance fraud prevention account described in section 297I.11, subdivision 2.

 

(c) At the end of each fiscal year, the commissioner may transfer any unobligated balances in the auto theft prevention account to the insurance fraud prevention account under section 45.0135, subdivision 6.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective July 1, 2018.

 

Sec. 4.  [239.7511] GAS TAX SIGN ON PETROLEUM DISPENSER.

 

(a) The director must ensure that signs having 12-point font or greater are affixed on retail petroleum dispensers as follows:

 

(1) for regular or premium gasoline, a sign that reads:  "The price for each gallon of gasoline includes the current state gasoline tax of 28.5 cents per gallon and federal gasoline tax of 18.4 cents per gallon.  Revenue from the state fuel tax may be used only for roads and bridges, according to the Minnesota Constitution."; and

 

(2) for diesel fuel, a sign that reads:  "The price for each gallon of diesel fuel includes the current state gasoline tax of 28.5 cents per gallon and federal gasoline tax of 24.4 cents per gallon.  Revenue from the state fuel tax may be used only for roads and bridges, according to the Minnesota Constitution."

 

(b) The director must distribute the signs under this section to the owner or operator of retail petroleum dispensers.  To the extent possible, the director must coordinate the distribution of signs with other duties the director may have involving retail petroleum dispensers.

 

(c) If the amount of the gasoline tax described in paragraph (a), clauses (1) and (2), changes, the director must distribute revised signs to reflect the updated gasoline tax amounts within 12 calendar months of the change.

 

(d) The director is prohibited from assessing any penalty, fine, or fee on the owner or operator of a retail petroleum dispenser that has a missing, destroyed, defaced, or otherwise damaged gas tax sign.


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Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 297I.11, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

 

Subd. 2.  Automobile theft prevention account.  A special revenue account in the state treasury shall be credited with the proceeds of the surcharge imposed under subdivision 1.  Of the revenue in the account, $1,300,000 each year must be transferred to the general fund insurance fraud prevention account under section 45.0135, subdivision 6.  Revenues in excess of $1,300,000 each year may be used only for the automobile theft prevention program described in section 65B.84.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective July 1, 2018.

 

Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 325J.06, is amended to read:

 

325J.06 EFFECT OF NONREDEMPTION.

 

(a) A pledgor shall have no obligation to redeem pledged goods or make any payment on a pawn transaction.  Pledged goods not redeemed within at least 60 days of the date of the pawn transaction, renewal, or extension shall automatically be forfeited to the pawnbroker, and qualified right, title, and interest in and to the goods shall automatically vest in the pawnbroker.

 

(b) The pawnbroker's right, title, and interest in the pledged goods under paragraph (a) is qualified only by the pledgor's right, while the pledged goods remain in possession of the pawnbroker and not sold to a third party, to redeem the goods by paying the loan plus fees and/or interest accrued up to the date of redemption.

 

(c) A pawn transaction that involves holding only the title to property is subject to chapter 168A or 336.

 

Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 345.42, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Commissioner's duty.  Within the calendar year next following the year in which abandoned property has been paid or delivered to the commissioner, the commissioner shall provide public notice of the abandoned property in the manner described in subdivision 1a and frequency otherwise as the commissioner determines to be most effective and efficient in communicating to the persons appearing to be owners of this property.  Public notice may include the use of print, broadcast, or electronic media.  The commissioner shall, at a minimum, expend 15 percent of the funds allocated by the legislature to the operations of the unclaimed property division, to comply with the public notice requirements of this subdivision section and shall report to the legislature annually on how those funds are expended.  Public notice must include public outreach efforts including the use of newspapers and other mass media, but must not include costs incurred by the commissioner to develop, maintain, or improve the Department of Commerce Web site.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 345.42, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 1a.  Public notice.  (a) Public notice provided by the commissioner shall include the following:

 

(1) posting on the Department of Commerce Web site a list of all persons appearing to be owners of abandoned property.  The list shall be arranged in alphabetical order by the last name of the person and further organized by county.  The list of persons must be updated at least three times per year and must remain on the Department of Commerce Web site at all times;

 

(2) publication in a qualified newspaper of a list of persons appearing to be owners of abandoned property having a value of $500 or more.  The list must be published in a qualified newspaper of general circulation in each county, and must include the names of all persons whose last known address is within the county.  The list must be


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published at least once per year.  The commissioner may stagger publication of the entire list of owners by publishing a partial list at least twice, but no more than three times per year.  Each qualified newspaper that publishes the list shall, at no additional charge to the commissioner, also post the list on its Web site or on a central Web site that can be accessed directly from the qualified newspaper's Web site.  The list must be accessible on the Web site for not less than 180 days and at no cost to the public.  The qualified newspaper must include in its publication of the list a reference to its Web site or a central Web site; and

 

(3) dissemination of information to persons appearing to be owners of abandoned property through other means and media, including broadcast media, the Internet, and social media.

 

(b) Beginning July 1, 2017, and annually thereafter, the commissioner shall provide to each member of the legislature a list of all persons appearing to be owners of abandoned property whose last known address is located in the legislator's respective legislative district.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 9.  [471.9998] MERCHANT BAGS.

 

Subdivision 1.  Merchant option.  All merchants, itinerant vendors, and peddlers doing business in this state shall have the option to provide customers a paper, plastic, or reusable bag for the packaging of any item or good purchased, provided such purchase is of a size and manner commensurate with the use of paper, plastic, or reusable bags.

 

Subd. 2.  Prohibition; bag ban.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no political subdivision shall impose any ban upon the use of paper, plastic, or reusable bags for packaging of any item or good purchased from a merchant, itinerant vendor, or peddler.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective May 31, 2017.  Ordinances existing on the effective date of this section that would be prohibited under this section are invalid as of the effective date of this section.

 

Sec. 10.  EXISTING DEPUTY COMMISSIONERS MAY SERVE UNTIL JANUARY 1, 2019.

 

All existing deputy commissioners under Minnesota Statutes, section 45.013, may serve until January 1, 2019.  Vacancies that occur in these positions before January 1, 2019, must not be filled.

 

Sec. 11.  REPORT ON UNCLAIMED PROPERTY DIVISION.

 

The commissioner shall report by February 15, 2018, to the chairs and ranking minority members of the standing committees of the house of representatives and senate having jurisdiction over commerce regarding the process owners of abandoned property must comply with in order to file an allowed claim under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 345.  The report shall include information regarding the documentation and identification necessary for owners of each type of abandoned property under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 345, to file an allowed claim.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

ARTICLE 9

TELECOMMUNICATIONS POLICY

 

Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.01, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 10.  Voice-over-Internet protocol service.  "Voice-over-Internet protocol service" or "VoIP service" means any service that (1) enables real-time two-way voice communications that originate from or terminate at the user's location in Internet protocol or any successor protocol, and (2) permits users generally to receive calls that originate on the public switched telephone network and terminate calls to the public switched telephone network.


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Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 237.01, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 11.  Internet protocol-enabled service.  "Internet protocol-enabled service" or "IP-enabled service" means any service, capability, functionality, or application provided using Internet protocol, or any successor protocol, that enables an end user to send or receive a communication in Internet protocol format or any successor format, regardless of whether that communication is voice, data, or video.

 

Sec. 3.  [237.037] VOICE-OVER-INTERNET PROTOCOL SERVICE AND INTERNET PROTOCOL‑ENABLED SERVICE.

 

Subdivision 1.  Regulation prohibited.  Except as provided in this section, no state agency, including the commission and the Department of Commerce, or political subdivision of this state shall by rule, order, or other means directly or indirectly regulate the entry, rates, terms, quality of service, availability, classification, or any other aspect of VoIP service or IP-enabled service.

 

Subd. 2.  VoIP regulation.  (a) To the extent permitted by federal law, VoIP service is subject to the requirements of sections 237.49, 237.52, 237.70, and 403.11 with regard to the collection and remittance of the surcharges governed by those sections.

 

(b) A provider of VoIP service must comply with the requirements of chapter 403 applicable to the provision of access to 911 service by service providers, except to the extent those requirements conflict with federal requirements for the provision of 911 service by VoIP providers under Code of Federal Regulations, title 47, part 9.  A VoIP provider is entitled to the benefit of the limitation of liability provisions of section 403.07, subdivision 5.  Beginning June 1, 2017, and continuing each June 1 thereafter, each VoIP provider shall file a plan with the commission describing how it will comply with the requirements of this paragraph.  After its initial filing under this paragraph, a VoIP provider shall file with the commission either an update of the plan or a statement certifying that the plan and personnel contact information previously filed is still current.

 

Subd. 3.  Relation to other law.  Nothing in this section restricts, creates, expands, or otherwise affects or modifies:

 

(1) the commission's authority under the Federal Communications Act of 1934, United States Code, title 47, sections 251 and 252;

 

(2) any applicable wholesale tariff or any commission authority related to wholesale services;

 

(3) any commission jurisdiction over (i) intrastate switched access rates, terms, and conditions, including the implementation of federal law with respect to intercarrier compensation, or (ii) existing commission authority to address or affect the resolution of disputes regarding intercarrier compensation;

 

(4) the rights of any entity, or the authority of the commission and local government authorities, with respect to the use and regulation of public rights-of-way under sections 237.162 and 237.163;

 

(5) the establishment or enforcement of standards, requirements or procedures in procurement policies, internal operational policies, or work rules of any state agency or political subdivision of the state relating to the protection of intellectual property; or

 

(6) the authority of the attorney general to apply and enforce chapters 325C to 325G, 325K to 325M, and other laws of general applicability governing consumer protection and trade practices.


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Subd. 4.  Exemption.  The following services delivered by IP-enabled service are not regulated under this chapter:

 

(1) video services provided by a cable communications system, as defined in section 238.02, subdivision 3;

 

(2) cable service, as defined in United States Code, title 47, section 522, clause (6); or

 

(3) any other IP-enabled video service.

 

Subd. 5.  Preservation of existing landline telephone service.  Nothing in this section restricts, creates, expands, or otherwise affects or modifies the obligations of a telephone company under this chapter to offer landline telephone service that is not Voice-over-Internet protocol service.

 

Sec. 4.  [237.417] PERSONAL INFORMATION; PROHIBITION.

 

No telecommunications or Internet service provider that has entered into a franchise agreement, right-of-way agreement, or other contract with the state of Minnesota or a political subdivision, or that uses facilities that are subject to such agreements, even if it is not a party to the agreement, may collect personal information from a customer resulting from the customer's use of the telecommunications or Internet service provider without express written approval from the customer.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

ARTICLE 10

ENERGY POLICY

 

Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 3.8851, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Establishment.  (a) There is established a Legislative Energy Commission to study and to make recommendations for legislation concerning issues related to its duties under subdivision 3.

 

(b) The commission consists of:

 

(1) ten five members of the house of representatives, three of whom are appointed by the speaker of the house, four and two of whom must be from are appointed by the leader of the minority caucus, and including the chair of the committee with primary jurisdiction over energy policy; the chair or another member of each of the committees with primary jurisdiction over environmental policy, agricultural policy, and transportation policy; and

 

(2) ten five members of the senate to be, three of whom are appointed by the Subcommittee on Committees leader of the majority caucus, four and two of whom must be from are appointed by the leader of the minority caucus, and including the chair of the committee with primary jurisdiction over energy policy; and the chair or another member of each of the committees with primary jurisdiction over environmental policy, agricultural policy, and transportation policy.

 

(c) The commission may employ full-time and part-time staff, contract for consulting services, and may reimburse the expenses of persons requested to assist it in its duties.  The director of the Legislative Coordinating Commission shall assist the commission in administrative matters.  The commission shall elect cochairs, one member of the house of representatives and one member of the senate from among the committee and subcommittee chairs named to the commission.  The commission members from the house of representatives shall elect the house of representatives cochair, and the commission members from the senate shall elect the senate cochair.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.


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Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 16B.323, is amended to read:

 

16B.323 SOLAR ENERGY IN STATE BUILDINGS.

 

Subdivision 1.  Definitions.  (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given.

 

(b) "Made in Minnesota" means the manufacture in this state of:

 

(1) components of a solar thermal system certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation; or

 

(2) solar photovoltaic modules that:

 

(i) are manufactured at a manufacturing facility in Minnesota that is registered and authorized to manufacture those solar photovoltaic modules by Underwriters Laboratory, CSA International, Intertek, or an equivalent independent testing agency;

 

(ii) bear certification marks from Underwriters Laboratory, CSA International, Intertek, or an equivalent independent testing agency; and

 

(iii) meet the requirements of section 116C.7791, subdivision 3, paragraph (a), clauses (1), (5), and (6).

 

For the purposes of clause (2), "manufactured" has the meaning given in section 116C.7791, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), clauses (1) and (2).

 

(c) (b) "Major renovation" means a substantial addition to an existing building, or a substantial change to the interior configuration or the energy system of an existing building.

 

(d) (c) "Solar energy system" means solar photovoltaic modules devices alone or installed in conjunction with a solar thermal system.

 

(e) "Solar Photovoltaic module (d) "Photovoltaic device" has the meaning given in section 116C.7791, subdivision 1, paragraph (e) 216C.06, subdivision 16.

 

(f) (e) "Solar thermal system" has the meaning given "qualifying solar thermal project" in section 216B.2411, subdivision 2, paragraph (e).

 

(g) (f) "State building" means a building whose construction or renovation is paid wholly or in part by the state from the bond proceeds fund.

 

Subd. 2.  Solar energy system.  (a) As provided in paragraphs (b) and (c), a project for the construction or major renovation of a state building, after the completion of a cost-benefit analysis, may include installation of "Made in Minnesota" solar energy systems of up to 40 kilowatts capacity on, adjacent, or in proximity to the state building.

 

(b) The capacity of a solar energy system must be less than 40 kilowatts to the extent necessary to match the electrical load of the building or to the extent necessary to keep the costs for the installation below the five percent maximum set by paragraph (c).

 

(c) The cost of the solar energy system must not exceed five percent of the appropriations from the bond proceeds fund for the construction or renovation of the state building.  Purchase and installation of a solar thermal system may account for no more than 25 percent of the cost of a solar energy system installation.


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(d) A project subject to this section is ineligible to receive a rebate for the installation of a solar energy system under section 116C.7791 or from any utility.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116.03, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 7.  Clean Air Act settlement money.  "Clean Air Act settlement money" means money received by or required to be paid to the state as a result of litigation or settlements of alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act, United States Code, title 42, section 7401, et seq., or rules adopted thereunder, by an automobile manufacturer.  Clean Air Act settlement money may not be spent until it is specifically appropriated by law.

 

Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116C.779, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

 

Subdivision 1.  Renewable development Energy fund account.  (a) The energy fund account is established as a separate account in the special revenue fund in the state treasury.  Appropriations and transfers to the account are credited to the account.  Earnings, such as interest, dividends, and any other earnings arising from assets of the account, are credited to the account.  Funds remaining in the account at the end of a fiscal year do not cancel to the general fund, but remain in the account until expended.

 

(b) On July 1, 2017, the public utility that owns the Prairie Island nuclear generating plant must transfer all funds in the renewable development account previously established under this subdivision and managed by the public utility to the energy fund account established in paragraph (a).  Funds awarded to grantees in previous grant cycles that have not yet been expended and unencumbered funds required to be paid in calendar year 2017 under sections 116C.7791, 116C.7792, and 216C.41 are not subject to transfer under this paragraph.

 

(c) Except as provided in subdivision 1a, beginning January 15, 2018, and continuing each January 15 thereafter, the public utility that owns the Prairie Island nuclear generating plant must transfer to a renewable development the energy fund account $500,000 each year for each dry cask containing spent fuel that is located at the Prairie Island power plant for each year the plant is in operation, and $7,500,000 each year the plant is not in operation if ordered by the commission pursuant to paragraph (c) (f).  The fund transfer must be made if nuclear waste is stored in a dry cask at the independent spent-fuel storage facility at Prairie Island for any part of a year.

 

(b) (d) Except as provided in subdivision 1a, beginning January 15, 2018, and continuing each January 15 thereafter, the public utility that owns the Monticello nuclear generating plant must transfer to the renewable development energy fund account $350,000 each year for each dry cask containing spent fuel that is located at the Monticello nuclear power plant for each year the plant is in operation, and $5,250,000 each year the plant is not in operation if ordered by the commission pursuant to paragraph (c) (f).  The fund transfer must be made if nuclear waste is stored in a dry cask at the independent spent-fuel storage facility at Monticello for any part of a year.

 

(e) Each year, the public utility must withhold from the funds transferred to the energy fund account under paragraphs (c) and (d) the amount necessary to pay its obligations under sections 116C.7791, 116C.7792, and 216C.41 for that calendar year.

 

(c) (f) After discontinuation of operation of the Prairie Island nuclear plant or the Monticello nuclear plant and each year spent nuclear fuel is stored in dry cask at the discontinued facility, the commission shall require the public utility to pay $7,500,000 for the discontinued Prairie Island facility and $5,250,000 for the discontinued Monticello facility for any year in which the commission finds, by the preponderance of the evidence, that the public utility did not make a good faith effort to remove the spent nuclear fuel stored at the facility to a permanent or interim storage site out of the state.  This determination shall be made at least every two years.


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(g) Funds in the account may only be expended to support projects that:

 

(1) result in lower rates for Xcel's Minnesota retail electricity customers;

 

(2) result in reduced air emissions from Xcel's Minnesota electric generating facilities; and

 

(3) provide incentives for the development of new energy technologies that meet the conditions of clause (1) or (2).

 

Except as provided in section 116C.7793, subdivision 7, expenditures from the fund must only benefit Minnesota ratepayers receiving electric service from the utility that owns a nuclear-powered electric generating plant in this state or the Prairie Island Indian community or its members.

 

(d) Funds in the account may be expended only for any of the following purposes:

 

(1) to increase the market penetration within the state of renewable electric energy resources at reasonable costs;

 

(2) to promote the start-up, expansion, and attraction of renewable electric energy projects and companies within the state;

 

(3) to stimulate research and development within the state into renewable electric energy technologies; and

 

(4) to develop near-commercial and demonstration scale renewable electric projects or near-commercial and demonstration scale electric infrastructure delivery projects if those delivery projects enhance the delivery of renewable electric energy.

 

The utility that owns a nuclear generating plant is eligible to apply for renewable development account grants.

 

(e) Expenditures authorized by this subdivision from the account may be made only after approval by order of the Public Utilities Commission upon a petition by the public utility.  The commission may approve proposed expenditures, may disapprove proposed expenditures that it finds to be not in compliance with this subdivision or otherwise not in the public interest, and may, if agreed to by the public utility, modify proposed expenditures.  The commission may approve reasonable and necessary expenditures for administering the account in an amount not to exceed five percent of expenditures.  Commission approval is not required for expenditures required under subdivisions 2 and 3, section 116C.7791, or other law.

 

(f) The account shall be managed by the public utility but the public utility must consult about account expenditures with an advisory group that includes, among others, representatives of its ratepayers.  The commission may require that other interests be represented on the advisory group.  The advisory group must be consulted with respect to the general scope of expenditures in designing a request for proposal and in evaluating projects submitted in response to a request for proposals.  In addition to consulting with the advisory group, the public utility must utilize an independent third-party expert to evaluate proposals submitted in response to a request for proposal, including all proposals made by the public utility.  A request for proposal for research and development under paragraph (d), clause (3), may be limited to or include a request to higher education institutions located in Minnesota for multiple projects authorized under paragraph (d), clause (3).  The request for multiple projects may include a provision that exempts the projects from the third-party expert review and instead provides for project evaluation and selection by a merit peer review grant system.  The utility should attempt to reach agreement with the advisory group after consulting with it but the utility has full and sole authority to determine which expenditures shall be submitted to the commission for commission approval.  In the process of determining request for proposal scope and subject and in evaluating responses to request for proposals, the public utility must strongly consider, where reasonable, potential benefit to Minnesota citizens and businesses and the utility's ratepayers.


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(g) Funds in the account may not be directly appropriated by the legislature by a law enacted after January 1, 2012, and unless appropriated by a law enacted prior to that date may be expended only pursuant to an order of the commission according to this subdivision.

 

(h) A request for proposal for renewable energy generation projects must, when feasible and reasonable, give preference to projects that are most cost-effective for a particular energy source.

 

(i) The public utility must annually, by February 15, report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees with jurisdiction over energy policy on projects funded by the account for the prior year and all previous years.  The report must, to the extent possible and reasonable, itemize the actual and projected financial benefit to the public utility's ratepayers of each project.

 

(j) A project receiving funds from the account must produce a written final report that includes sufficient detail for technical readers and a clearly written summary for nontechnical readers.  The report must include an evaluation of the project's financial, environmental, and other benefits to the state and the public utility's ratepayers.

 

(k) Final reports, any mid-project status reports, and renewable development account financial reports must be posted online on a public Web site designated by the commission.

 

(l) All final reports must acknowledge that the project was made possible in whole or part by the Minnesota renewable development fund, noting that the fund is financed by the public utility's ratepayers.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116C.779, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

 

Subd. 1a.  Payment termination.  (a) The commissioner shall track the cumulative transfers made to the account and its predecessor, the renewable development account, each year since 1999 for each dry cask containing spent fuel that is stored at an independent spent-fuel storage facility at Prairie Island or Monticello.  During the time when state law required the public utility to transfer a specific amount of funds to the account for all the casks stored, the per-cask allocation shall be calculated by dividing the total amount transferred by the number of casks stored that year.

 

(b) When the commissioner determines that the cumulative transfers calculated under paragraph (a) for a specific cask reach $10,000,000, the commissioner shall notify the public utility that no additional transfers to the account for that cask shall be made.

 

(c) This subdivision does not affect any provisions of subdivision 1, paragraph (c) or (d), with respect to transfers to the account made after a plant has ceased operation.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 116C.7792, is amended to read:

 

116C.7792 SOLAR ENERGY INCENTIVE PROGRAM.

 

The utility subject to section 116C.779 shall operate a program to provide solar energy production incentives for solar energy systems of no more than a total nameplate capacity of 20 kilowatts direct current.  The program shall be operated for five consecutive calendar years commencing in 2014.  $5,000,000 shall be allocated for each of the five years from the renewable development energy fund account established in section 116C.779 to a separate account for the purpose of the solar production incentive program.  The solar system must be sized to less than 120 percent


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of the customer's on-site annual energy consumption.  The production incentive must be paid for ten years commencing with the commissioning of the system.  The utility must file a plan to operate the program with the commissioner of commerce.  The utility may not operate the program until it is approved by the commissioner.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE.  This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 

Sec. 7.  [116C.7793] LEGISLATIVE RENEWABLE ENERGY COUNCIL.

 

Subdivision 1.  Establishment.  (a) The Legislative Renewable Energy Council of 11 members is established in the legislative branch, consisting of:

 

(1) five members of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house, three of whom are from the majority caucus and two of whom are from the minority caucus; and

 

(2) five members of the senate appointed by the Subcommittee on Committees of the Committee on Rules and Administration, three of whom are from the majority caucus and two of whom are from the minority caucus; and

 

(3) one representative of the Prairie Island Indian Community appointed by that community's tribal council.

 

(b) Eight legislative members appointed to the council must represent legislative districts in which at least 60 percent of residents receive electric service from the utility that owns a nuclear powered electric generating plant in this state.  No member may be appointed to the council from a legislative district that does not contain any electric retail customers of the utility that owns a nuclear powered electric generating plant in this state.  Council members must be geographically balanced to represent the entire electric service area of that utility.

 

(c) Council members shall elect a chair, a vice-chair, and other officers as determined by the council.  The chair may convene meetings as necessary to conduct the duties prescribed by this section.

 

(d) The Legislative Coordinating Commission may appoint nonpartisan staff and contract with consultants as necessary to support the functions of the council.  The council has final approval authority to hire an executive director.  Up to one-half of one percent of the money appropriated from the fund may be used to pay for the council's administrative expenses.

 

Subd. 2.  Council recommendations.  (a) The council must make recommendations to the legislature on appropriations from the energy fund account established under section 116C.779 that are consistent with that section and state law.  The council's recommendations must be submitted no later than December 15 each year.  The council must present its recommendations to the senate and house of representatives committees with jurisdiction over energy policy and finance by February 15 in odd-numbered years, and within the first four weeks of the legislative session in even-numbered years.

 

(b) Recommendations of the council, including approval of recommendations for expenditures from the energy fund account, require an affirmative vote of at least eight members of the council.

 

(c) The council must develop and implement a decision-making process that ensures citizens and potential recipients of funds are included at each stage of the process.  The process must include a fair, equitable, and thorough method to review funding requests, and a clear and easily understood process to rank projects.

 

Subd. 3.  Conflict of interest.  (a) A council member may not be an advocate for or against a council action or vote on any action that may be a conflict of interest.  A conflict of interest must be disclosed as soon as it is discovered.  The council must follow the policies and requirements related to conflicts of interest developed by the Office of Grants Management under section 16B.98.


Journal of the House - 37th Day - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - Top of Page 2656

(b) For the purposes of this section, a conflict of interest exists when a person has an organizational conflict of interest or a direct financial conflict of interest, and the conflict of interest presents the appearance that it will be difficult for the person to impartially fulfill the person's duties as a member of the council.  An organizational conflict of interest exists when a person has an affiliation with an organization subject to council activities that presents the appearance of a conflict between organizational interests and the council member's duties under this section.