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Trust land management overhauled (new law)

Published (5/25/2012)
By Erin Schmidtke
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Management of Minnesota’s school trust lands will undergo significant changes, starting next summer.

When it became a state, Minnesota received the lands from the federal government with the requirement of using, selling or leasing them to fund education. Sponsored by Rep. Tim O'Driscoll (R-Sartell) and Sen. Benjamin Kruse (R-Brooklyn Park), the new law provides that responsibility of overseeing trust lands be removed from the Department of Natural Resources. It will transfer land oversight to a school trust lands director and the Legislative Permanent School Fund Commission.

Along with the input of the commissioner of natural resources, the legislative commission and director will review bills related to the lands and ensure the lands are managed efficiently to increase economic returns. Supporters of the new law say that the department has failed to do this. The department will continue to be the chief trustee of the lands until the law becomes effective July 1, 2013.

HF2244*/ SF1889/CH249

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