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   Senate   
State of Minnesota
 
 
 
 
 
S.F. No. 2101 - Environment, Agriculture, and Economic Development Appropriations
 
Author: Senator David J. Tomassoni
 
Prepared By: Carlon D. Fontaine, Senate Counsel (651/296-4395)
 
Date: April 20, 2015



 

 ARTICLE 1

AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATIONS

Section 1 [Agriculture appropriations] provides the technical language on how the appropriations for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 in this article are treated.

Section 2 [Department of Agriculture] appropriates approximately $90.6 million in direct appropriations to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).  The appropriations do not include any statutory appropriations to the department from the agricultural fund and other funds.

Section 3 [Board of Animal Health] appropriates approximately $10.7 million in direct appropriations to the Board of Animal Health.

Section 4 [Agricultural Utilization Research Institute] appropriates approximately $5.3 million in direct appropriations to the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI).  This does not include $2 million in statutory appropriations to AURI.

Section 5 [Avian Influenza emergency response] appropriates $514,000 to the MDA and $379,000 to the Board of Animal Health in fiscal year 2015 for emergency response related to avian influenza.

 ARTICLE 2

AGRICULTURE STATUTORY CHANGES

Section 1 [Technical] relates to the repeal of the shared savings loan program in this article.

Section 2 [Pilot Urban agriculture development grants] contains the pilot urban agriculture grant program from SF 534, as amended (Hawj).

Sections 3 to 5 [Structural pest control applicators; pesticide law] clarify that a person will only need to have a structural pest control license to purchase restricted use pesticides or to apply pesticides to a structure for hire.

Sections 6 and 7 [Commercial pesticide application] clarify that a person will only need to have a commercial applicator license to purchase restricted use pesticides or to apply pesticides for hire.

Sections 8 and 9 [Phytosanitary inspections] provides MDA with more flexibility in providing phytosanitary inspections.

Sections 10 to 13 [Nursery stock certification] clarifies nursery stock regulation, including a clarification that it does not include sod or any seeds.

Sections 14 to 29 [Industrial hemp enforcement] provide for enforcement of the industrial hemp provisions in the bill through the existing enforcement authority of the Commissioner of Agriculture.  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 30 [Controlled substance offenses] specify that prosecution of industrial hemp violations by the Commissioner of Agriculture does not preclude prosecution for controlled substances.

Section 31 [Citation] cites the new chapter 18K of Minnesota Statutes as the “Industrial Hemp Development Act.”  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 32 [Findings] provides the findings for the Industrial Hemp Development Act.  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 33 [Definitions] provides the definitions for the new chapter 18K.  This section defines “commissioner,” “industrial hemp,” and “marijuana.”  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 34 [Pilot program and research authorization]

Subd. 1 [Authorized activity] allows the Commissioner of Agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes, and to authorize educational institutions to grow or cultivate industrial hemp as part of a pilot program or for research purposes.

Subd. 2 [Site registration] requires annual site registration with the Commissioner of Agriculture before growing or cultivating industrial hemp as allowed under this section.

Subd. 3 [Rulemaking] authorizes the Commissioner of Agriculture to adopt rules that govern the pilot program under this section pursuant to provisions in the 2014 federal farm law.

Section 35 [Industrial hemp possession] allows a person to possess industrial hemp that is grown pursuant to the new Minnesota Statutes, chapter 18K.

This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 36 [Licensing]

Subd. 1 [Requirements] requires a license issued by the Commissioner of Agriculture before growing industrial hemp for commercial purposes.  The applicant must pay the license fee established by the commissioner to be issued the license.  A license holder is presumed to be growing industrial hemp for commercial purposes.

Subd. 2 [Background check; data classification] provides for a background check from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for a first-time applicant for a license under this section.  The cost of the background check is the responsibility of the applicant.  The criminal history records are private data on individuals under the Data Practices Act.

Subd. 3 [Federal requirements] requires applicants under this section to comply with all federal requirements for industrial hemp.

This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 37 [Annual report; sales notification] provides for an annual report from licensees to the Commissioner of Agriculture on seeds planted and contracts.  This section also requires notification to the commissioner on sales within 30 days of the sale.  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 38 [Rulemaking] authorizes the Commissioner of Agriculture to adopt rules related to the purpose of carrying out the new Minnesota Statutes, chapter 18K.  The rules must be consistent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement administration on industrial hemp.  This section is not effective until the federal government authorizes the commercial production of hemp.  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 39 [Fees] provides that any fees paid under the new Minnesota Statutes, chapter 18K, shall be deposited in an industrial hemp account.  Money in the account is appropriated to the Commissioner of Agriculture to implement and enforce the chapter.  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 40 [Defense for the possession of marijuana] provides an affirmative defense for prosecution of marijuana possession laws if the person possesses industrial hemp grown as allowed under state and federal law.  This is from SF 618 (Eken).

Section 41 [“Address” definition; Minnesota Seed Law] provides a definition of “address” for the purposes of the Minnesota Seed Law.

Section 42 [“Total viable” definition; Minnesota Seed Law] provides a definition of “total viable” for the purposes of the Minnesota Seed Law.

Section 43 [Label contents; Minnesota Seed Law] amends the seed label requirement to include a percentage of total viable seed.

Section 44 [Hybrid seed corn] provides that hybrid seed corn labels must include the day classification for maturity rating and must be within three days of maturity rating as determined by field trials.

Section 45 [Seed laboratory] establishes the procedures for testing official seed samples of the MDA seed laboratory.

Section 46 [Prohibited and restricted seeds] directs the MDA to determine prohibited and restricted noxious weed seeds and the allowable occurrence of restricted weed seeds.

Section 47 [Seed permit requirement] requires a permit and fee for persons labeling native grass and wildflower seeds for sale in the state.

Section 48 [Cottage foods exemption] allows persons to sell food prepared in an unlicensed kitchen that is:

  1. Not potentially hazardous food; and
  2. Pickles, vegetables, or fruit with a pH value 4.6 or lower that were canned in Minnesota.

Sales will be allowed directly to individuals, including sales at farmers markets and out of the individual’s home, to the extent allowed by local ordinance.  Persons selling food under this section must comply with training requirements and register with the MDA.  Gross sales under this exemption are limited to $18,000 per year.  Persons with annual gross sales over $5,000 must pay a $50 fee every three years for registration.  A special revenue fund account is created for deposit of the fees collected and the fee revenue is appropriated for the MDA costs of implementation.  The current law exemptions that allow up to $5,000 in gross sales are repealed in this article.  This is from SF 1249 (Dibble).

Section 49 [Definitions] defines terms that are used in three incentive programs created in the bill.  The terms defined are: “advanced biofuels,” “biomass thermal production,” “cellulosic biomass,” “cellulosic sugar,” “commissioner,” “cover crops,” “MMbtu,” “perennial crops,” and “renewable chemical.”  This is from SF 517 (Saxhaug).

Section 50 [Advanced biofuel production incentive] establishes the advanced biofuel production incentive program to provide payments for the production of advanced biofuels in Minnesota.  The payments for advanced biofuel production from cellulosic biomass are $2.1053 for each million metric British thermal units (MMbtu) of production from cellulosic biomass and $1.053 per MMbtu for advance biofuel production from starch or sugar.  Total payments to a single producer of advanced biofuel are restricted to 2,850,000 MMbtu of biofuel production per year for up to ten years.  The total for all producers is restricted to 17,100,000 MMbtu of biofuel production per year.  This is from SF 517 (Saxhaug).

Section 51 [Renewable chemical production incentive] establishes the renewable chemical production incentive program to provide payments for the production of renewable chemicals in Minnesota.  The payments for renewable chemical production are $0.03 per pound of sugar-derived renewable chemical, $0.03 per pound of cellulosic sugar, and $0.06 for each pound of cellulosic-derived renewable chemical.  Total payments to a single producer of renewable chemicals are restricted to 99,999,999 pounds of renewable chemical production per year for up to ten years.  The total for all producers is restricted to 5,999,999 pounds of renewable chemical production per year.  This is from SF 517 (Saxhaug).

Section 52 [Biomass thermal production incentive] establishes the biomass thermal production incentive program to provide payments for the production of biomass thermal in Minnesota.  The payments for biomass thermal production are $5 for each million metric British thermal units (MMbtu) of production.  Total payments to a single producer of biomass thermal are restricted to 30,000 MMbtu of biomass thermal production per year for up to ten years.  The total for all producers is restricted to 150,000 MMbtu of biomass thermal production per year.  This is from SF 517 (Saxhaug).

Section 53 [Report; incentive programs] requires the Commissioner of Agriculture to report to the legislature by January 15, each year, on production and incentive payments for:

  1. The advanced biofuel production incentive program;
  2. The renewable chemical production incentive program; and
  3. The biomass thermal production incentive program.

This is from SF 517 (Saxhaug).

Section 54 [Agriculture, research, education, extension, and technology transfer grant program] establishes the agriculture, research, education, extension, and technology transfer grant program and fund for the Commissioner of Agriculture to provide grants for long-term agricultural productivity increases.

Sections 55 to 61 [Rural Finance Authority administrative account] establish the Rural Finance Authority (RFA) administrative account for deposit of fees received and make technical cross-reference changes related to the account.

Section 62 [Disaster recovery loan program] clarifies that the RFA disaster recovery loan program includes farmland restoration.

Sections 63 to 66 [Technical] makes technical cross-reference changes related to the RFA administrative account.

Section 67 [Pilot microloan program] expands the type of livestock that are eligible under the RFA pilot microloan program.

Sections 68 and 69 [Farm opportunity loan program] establish the farm opportunity loan program under the RFA to replace the shared savings loan program that is being repealed in this article, including a technical cross-reference.

Section 70 [Wild hemp] clarifies that industrial hemp grown by a licensed grower is not wild hemp to be controlled by a county board.

Section 71 [Correctional facility butcher training pilot program] contains the correctional facility butcher training pilot program from SF 1794 (Tomassoni).

Section 72 [Balances transferred; accounts abolished] transfers accounts and abolishes accounts relate to the RFA administrative account and the farm opportunity loan program.

Section 73 [Livestock industry study] contains the livestock industry study from SF 1271 (Koenen).

Section 74 [Repealer] repeals Minnesota Statutes, sections:

  1. 17.115 – shared savings loan program;
  2. 28A.15, subdivisions 9 and 10 – current unlicensed food preparation exemptions; and
  3. 41A.12, subdivision 4 – sunset for the AGRI program.

 ARTICLE 3

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES APPROPRIATIONS

Section 1 [Environment and natural resources appropriations] provides the technical language on how the appropriations for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 in this article are treated.

Section 2 [Pollution Control Agency] appropriates approximately $183.6 million to the Pollution Control Agency (PCA).

Section 3 [Department of Natural Resources] appropriates approximately $531.3 million to the Department of Natural Resources.

Section 4 [Board of Water and Soil Resources] appropriates approximately $27.1 million to the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR).

Section 5 [Metropolitan Council] appropriates approximately $17.1 million in direct appropriations to the Metropolitan Council.

Section 6 [Conservation Corps Minnesota] appropriates approximately $1.9 million in direct appropriations to Conservation Corps Minnesota.

Section 7 [Zoological Board] appropriates approximately $16.1 million in direct appropriations to the Minnesota Zoological Board.

Section 8 [Science Museum] appropriates approximately $2.2 million in direct appropriations to the Science Museum of Minnesota.

ARTICLE 4

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES STATUTORY CHANGES

Section 1 [Priority chemicals; data privacy] provides a cross-reference in the data practices law to data on priority chemicals provisions in this article.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 2 [DNR utility fees; state land and water] modifies the current exemption on utility fees to make the utility line exemption apply to the application fees on crossing state lands and waters that are not 100 kilovolts or greater or main pipelines.  This is from SF 945 (Skoe).

Section 3 [Conservation easement stewardship account; DNR] is the creation of the DNR conservation stewardship easement account from SF 1534 (Hoffman).

Sections 4 and 5 [Snowmobile registration; children’s vehicles] is the exemption from registration requirements for snowmobiles that are 125 cc’s or less from SF 520 (Bakk).

Sections 6 to 8 [All-terrain vehicle definition] modify the definitions of “all-terrain vehicle,” “class 1 all-terrain vehicle,” and “class 2 all-terrain vehicle” to make the type of vehicle based on the width of the vehicle.

Sections 9 to 11 [Aquatic invasive species affirmation] contain a modified version of the aquatic invasive species training that was contained in SF 669 (Saxhaug).  This will replace the trailer decal requirement with a requirement for affirmation of the person’s knowledge on aquatic invasive species law when a resident purchases a watercraft license and when a nonresident purchases a Minnesota fishing license.

Section 12 [Invasive species account purposes] allows money in the invasive species account to be used for habitat improvement.

Section 13 [Mississippi Blufflands State Trail] contains the creation of the Mississippi Blufflands State Trail from SF 1550 (Schmit).

Section 14 [State park vehicle entrance fee] increases the annual state park vehicle entrance fee by $5 and the daily entrance fee by $1.

Section 15 [Water trails; Shell Rock River] contains the addition of the Shell Rock River to the list of state water trails from SF 266 (Sparks).

Section 16 [Aquatic invasive species affirmation; watercraft licensing] contains the aquatic invasive species affirmation in the watercraft licensing section from the modified version of SF 669 (Saxhaug).

Section 17 [Shooting sports facility grants] contains the expansion of the shooting sports facilities grants to include skeet and archery from SF 631, as amended (Schmit).

Section 18 [Forest bough account] expands the use of the forest bough account to include special forest product information and education programs instead of just balsam bough education. 

Section 19 [Auction sale procedure; timber permits] contains the increase when a bid guarantee payment is required to be increased for timber permits from SF 1008 (Bakk).

Section 20 [Timber permit extension] contains the reduction in the interest rate to five percent from eight percent for timber permit extensions from SF 1008 (Bakk).

Section 21 [State land on meandered lakes; university lands] contains the exemption for university lands from the prohibition on selling state lands on meandered lakes from SF 1460 (Tomassoni).

Section 22 [Mining sites; solid waste facilities] provides that the rules for solid waste facilities at ferrous and nonferrous mining sites are the same.

Section 23 [Permit to mine; appeal] provides for direct judicial review of the appeal of a permit to mine.

Section 24 [Budget oversight committees; game and fish fund] extends the sunset of the budget oversight committees for the game and fish fund an additional five years to 2020.

Section 25 [Residents age 84 or over; deer of either sex] contains the provision allowing persons age 84 or over to take a deer of either sex from SF 281 (Bakk).

Section 26 [Aquatic invasive species affirmation; nonresident fishing license] contains the aquatic invasive species affirmation for nonresident fishing licenses from the modified version of SF 669 (Saxhaug).

Section 27 [Wetland stakeholder coordination] directs the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) to establish a wetland work group, similar to the drainage work group.  The group will provide forum for developing policy recommendations to improve WCA.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 28 [Conservation easement stewardship account; BWSR] is the creation of the BWSR conservation stewardship easement account from SF 1534 (Hoffman).

Section 29 [Identification of high priority areas for wetland replacement] directs BWSR to identify high priority areas for wetland replacement.  BWSR must consult with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Department of Agriculture, and local governments.  The criteria for designating these areas include wetland functions, the historic loss and abundance of wetlands, and current state and local plans and studies that identify watershed needs.  The designation of high priority areas is exempt from rulemaking requirements and become effective 30 days after being published in the State Register.  Local governments may identify high priority areas and projects for wetland replacement, which can be provided to BWSR to consider in designating high priority areas for wetland replacement.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 30 [Working lands watershed restoration program] contains the working lands watershed restoration program from SF 517 (Saxhaug).

Section 31 [Wetland preservation areas] is a technical conforming change.  Wetland preservation areas allows counties to offer reduced property taxes to landowners to protect wetlands on their property.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 32 [In-lieu fee program] defines “in-lieu fee program” for the purposes of WCA.  An “in-lieu fee program” will allow wetland replacement through the payment of money to BWSR or a BWSR-approved sponsor to develop wetland replacement.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 33 [Wetland replacement] broadens wetland replacement options to include all actions of at least public value. This section also expands current restrictions on wetland replacement options for banking to require them for all wetland replacement.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 34 [Wetland replacement siting] removes specific criteria for wetland replacement siting due to public transportation projects and clarifies that for wetland banking projects the priority starts with projects in the same county or wetland banking area of the impacted wetland.  This section also removes language relating to the NE MN inventory report; and directs BWSR to develop wetland replacement ratios and wetland ban service area priorities.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 35 [WCA rules] authorizes BWSR to develop rules for an in-lieu fee program within the wetland banking program that must conform to the federal wetland mitigation rules.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 36 [Interagency team] directs BWSR to develop an interagency team to identify and evaluate wetland replacement sites.  The team will consist of the Technical Evaluation Panel and representatives from specific state and federal agencies.  This section also removes a reference for local approval of wetland banking plans and replaces it with local approval of sequencing.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 37 [Wetland replacement completion] authorizes wetland values to be replaced after draining or filling of wetland when financial assurance is provided or under the in-lieu fee program.  This section also allows the BWSR to acquire fee title to land for replacement wetlands and to establish payment rates for in-lieu fee program payments; and establishes an in-lieu fee program account.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 38 [Local government decisions] eliminates local approval of wetland banking plans and replaces it with local approval of sequencing.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 39 [Appeals to BWSR] clarifies that wetland decisions by the DNR under a permit to mine are not appealable to BWSR.

Section 40 [Wetland replacement credits] eliminates the requirement that wetland replacement must be completed prior to draining or filling a wetland because of conflict with the in-lieu fee program; and allows additional replacement options related to aquatic resources in a greater than 80 percent area.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 41 [Fees] authorizes BWSR to charge fees to pay the costs associated with establishing conservation easements or other long-term protection on wetland replacement sites.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 42 [Wetland banking credit withdrawal fees; local share] provides that one-half of the wetland bank withdrawal fees paid to BWSR shall be paid to the county where the property for the credit is located.  Amount paid to the county must be shared equally with the county, school district, and township.

Section 43 [Greater that 80 percent areas; wetland credit] provides that other important natural areas in the greater than 80 percent area, in addition to preservation of wetlands, can also receive wetland replacement credit.  These areas include riparian buffers and certain watershed areas.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 44 [Architectural paint stewardship account; appropriation] appropriates the money in the architectural paint stewardship account for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

Section 45 [SCORE grants; purposes] contains the expansion of the purposes for use of SCORE recycling grants to counties from SF 1132 (Scalze).

Section 46 [Air permit fees] makes clarifying amendments to the purposes for which PCA air permit fees may be spent.

Section 47 [Priority chemicals; definitions] adds definitions for “contaminant,” “practical quantification limit,” and “product category.”  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 48 [Priority chemicals; list] requires any changes to the list of chemicals of high concern to be published on the Department of Health’s Web site and in the State Register.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 49 [Identification of priority chemicals] requires any changes to the list of priority chemicals to be published on the Department of Health's Web site and in the State Register.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

 Section 50 [Priority chemicals; applicability] excludes a manufacturer or distributor of a children’s product whose annual aggregate gross sales are under $100,000.  Expands the list of excluded products to include children’s products produced at a rate of less than 3,000 units per year.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 51 [Priority chemicals; donations to the state] makes technical changes. This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 52 [Children’s products; reporting information] specifies when manufacturers and distributors of children’s products must report certain information and includes a reporting schedule based on the gross sales of the manufacturer or distributor.  Provides that reported presence and concentration of a priority chemical in a children’s product are classified as public data and that publication by the agency is not misappropriation of a trade secret.  Specifies the information that must be submitted to the PCA when a priority chemical has been removed from a children’s product and the action the PCA must take following notification of removal.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 53 [Priority chemicals; fees] requires the PCA to collect fees from manufacturers and distributors of children’s products containing priority chemicals.  The first year the fee is $1,000 for each product containing a priority chemical.  The fee will double for reports in subsequent years to a maximum of $3,000.  The fees must be deposited into an account in the special revenue fund.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 54 [Priority chemicals; enforcement] provides for the PCA to enforcement of the priority chemical laws under their current authority, with the exception of criminal enforcement.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 55 [Safer alternative grants] allows the PCA, in consultation with the Commissioners of Commerce and Health, to offer safer alternatives grants to manufacturers or other researchers.  This section also directs the Commissioners of Health and Commerce to develop and implement education and outreach on priority chemicals in children’s products and to report on the implementation of the priority chemicals program by January 15, 2018, and every three years thereafter.  This is from SF 1099 (Rest).

Section 56 [Conservation stewardship account transfers] contains the conservation stewardship account transfers from SF 1534 (Hoffman).

Section 57 [Report] directs BWSR, in cooperation with the DNR, to report, by March 15, 2016, to the committees with jurisdiction over environment and natural resources on the proposals to implement high priority areas for wetland replacement, in lieu fee replacement, wetland replacement siting, and actions eligible for credit.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 58 [Rulemaking; lifting spearing bans; northern pike regulations] directs the DNR to removes spearing bans on all but one of the remaining lakes and modify the protected slot limits for northern pike.

Section 59 [Youth bear license refunds] allows the DNR to issue refunds for certain youth bear licenses issued.

Section 60 [Wild rice water quality standards] contains a modified version of the requirements that PCA must apply to water quality permits relating to sulfates before the water quality rules related to wild rice waters is completed from SF 1007 (Tomassoni).

Section 61 [Water quality standards; Red River of the North] contains the treatment of water quality standards for the Red River of the North from SF 1659, as amended (Eken).

Section 62 [Working lands watershed restoration implementation plan] contains the working lands watershed restoration plan from SF 517 (Saxhaug).

Section 63 [Cost analysis of water quality standards] directs the PCA, after consultation with MMB, to contract for an analysis of the increased cost of PCA water quality rules.  The PCA may not require increased wastewater treatment as a result of the recent water quality rulemaking until 45 legislative days after the analysis is reported to the Legislature.

Section 64 [Revisor instruction] instructs the Revisor of the Statutes to renumber the definition section for Minnesota Statutes, chapter 103G, to retain alphabetical order.  This is from SF 1515 (Marty).

Section 65 [Repealer] repeals:

MS section 84.68 – forests for the future stewardship account;

MS section 86B.13, subdivisions 2 and 4 – aquatic invasive species trailer decal; and

Laws 2010, chapter 215, article 3, section 3, subdivision 6, as amended – closed landfill investment fund payback.

ARTICLE 5

JOBS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND HOUSING APPROPRIATIONS

Section 1. [Jobs, Economic Development, and Housing Appropriations] specifies definitions of fiscal years.

Section 2. [Department of Employment and Economic Development] provides appropriations for the Department of Employment and Economic Development. See spreadsheet for details.

Section 3. [Housing Finance Agency] provides appropriations for the Housing Finance Agency. See spreadsheet for details.

Section 4. [Explore Minnesota Tourism] provides appropriations for Explore Minnesota Tourism. See spreadsheet for details.

Section 5. [Department of Labor and Industry] provides appropriations for the Department of Labor and Industry. See spreadsheet for details.

Section 6. [Bureau of Mediation Services] provides appropriations for the Bureau of Mediation Services. See spreadsheet for details.

Section 7. [Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals] provides appropriations for the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals. See spreadsheet for details.

Section 8. [Department of Commerce] provides appropriations for the Department of Commerce. See spreadsheet for details.

Section 9. [Public Utilities Commission] provides appropriations for the Public Utilities Commission. See spreadsheet for details.

Section 10. [Transfers] transfers specified certain amounts deposited in the contingent account to the general fund. Specifies that certain amounts of surplus workforce development fund money are cancelled and credited back to the workforce development fund.

Section 11. [Legal fees; Itasca County] directs the Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development to grant certain unspent amounts from the minerals 21st century fund to Itasca County for legal fees for recovering certain business subsidy funds.

ARTICLE 6

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY

Section 1. [License fees and license renewal fees] modifies fee structure and eliminates the three year license.

Section 2. [Reinstatement of licenses] lowers fees for reinstatement of licenses.

Section 3. [Adoption of code] moves to a six-year building code update cycle beginning with the 2018 model code adoption. Directs the commissioner to review the new codes and adopt model codes as amended for use in the state within two years of the published edition date. Allows the commissioner to adopt code amendments prior to the adoption of the new codes to advance construction methods, technology, or material or when necessary to protect public health and safety or to improve efficiency.

Section 4. [Copies of the code] requires the commissioner to provide copies of the building code to the public without charge. Directs the commissioner to calculate the cost to the agency providing free copies of the code.

Section 5. [Effective date of rules] provides a rule adopting or amending a state building code is effective 270 days after publication of the rule’s notice of adoption. Requires the commissioner to publish electronic versions of the rules on their Web site within ten days of receipt from the Revisor of Statutes.

Section 6. [Boiler engineer license fees] changes terminology for boiler engineer licenses.

Section 7. [Certificate of competency] eliminates obsolete language regarding rulemaking for certificates of competency.

Section 8. [Fee schedule] amends the fee schedule applicable to professional and amateur combative sports. Allows the commissioner to limit the number of complimentary tickets to each event.

ARTICLE 7

DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Section 1. [Definitions] amends the definition of “unserved areas” to make the term “broadband service” within that definition consistent with section 116J.39, instead of the FCC threshold of four Mbps per second download and one Mbps per second upload.

Section 2. [Awarding grants] modifies priority for awarding broadband grants to include areas in need of broadband service to retain or create jobs, or to promote significant economic growth in addition to unserved areas.

Section 3. [Workforce housing grants program] establishes a permanent workforce housing grants program to expand on a pilot program begun in 2014. Creates a workforce housing grants program administered by DEED for grants to cities and communities to build market rate housing in low-vacancy areas outside the seven-county metro. This section also provides that the grants cannot exceed 25 percent of the project cost and that the commissioner must report back to the legislature on the projects funded through the program.

Section 4. [Certification of qualified business] clarifies that applications fees related to the Greater Minnesota Business Expansion program are to be deposited in the administration account in the special revenue fund. This provision is retroactive to August 1, 2014.

Section 5. [Funds] appropriates money in the greater Minnesota business expansion administration account to the Commissioner of DEED for application processing costs and other administrative expenses. This provision is retroactive to August 1, 2014.

Section 6. [Use of workforce development funds] requires the Job Skills Partnership Board to make recommendations to the legislature for additional uses of workforce development funds that are not expended by March 1 of any fiscal year, instead of the JSPB being able to use those surplus funds as is currently allowed without first reporting to the legislature.

Section 7. [Use of funds] authorizes the expenditure of dislocated worker funds for incumbent worker training.

Section 8. [Rural career counseling coordinators] requires each workforce service area located outside of the metropolitan area, except for a service area serving a single city, to have a career counseling coordinator. Provides responsibilities of the career counseling coordinators. Requires annual reporting on the activities and services provided by the career counselor coordinating function.

Section 9. [Benefit year] makes a technical change.

Section 10. [Preponderance of the evidence] clarifies the meaning of “preponderance of the evidence” for use in UI appeals.

Section 11. [Unemployed] makes a stylistic change.

Section 12. [Wages paid] makes a stylistic change.

Section 13. [Tax rate buydown] eliminates outdated language regarding tax rate buydowns.

Section 14. [Benefit account requirements] conforms with federal law regarding the expiration of benefit years on prior benefit accounts.

Section 15. [Limitations on applications and benefit account] clarifies that an applicant is only allowed one benefit account each 52 weeks, including any accounts established under federal law or the law of any other state. This prohibits applicants from receiving benefits in Minnesota after they have already exhausted benefits in another state.

Section 16. [Eligibility conditions] clarifies language on eligibility requirements related to work search planning.

Section 17. [Not eligible] clarifies the rule that a person may only have one benefit account each 52 weeks. This section adds language that makes clear this rule applies to out-of-state benefit accounts as well as Minnesota accounts.

Section 18. [Quit] clarifies the law to ensure that people who get UI benefits after quitting their job to relocate with a spouse only receive them if their spouse relocated because they are in the military or because the spouse’s new job provides equal or better terms of employment than the spouse’s previous position.

Section 19. [Ineligibility duration] clarifies that backpay cannot be used to satisfy the ineligibility period following a discharge for misconduct.

Section 20. [Withdrawal of an appeal] clarifies current law providing that an applicant can withdraw an appeal or a request for reconsideration. Stipulates that a party can file a new appeal after a previous appeal has been withdrawn, so long as it is filed within the statutory time period.

Section 21. [Judicial review] clarifies current law providing that a party actually has 33 days to petition the Court of Appeals rather than the stated 30 days. Under the Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure, three days are already added for mailing.

Section 22. [Shared work plan requirements] lowers the maximum number of hours an employee may work per week under a shared work plan, in conformity with federal requirements.

Section 23. [Establishment] eliminates outdated language regarding conformity with federal law.

Section 24. [Commissioner and employees not subject to subpoena] statutorily protects vocational rehabilitation services staff from subpoena.

Section 25. [Allocation] amends 2014 session law for the Greater Minnesota Housing pilot project to increase the grant amount allowed to $1,000,000 or 25 percent of the rental housing development project cost and provides for a 2-to-1 match requirement.

Section 26. [Mechanisms and costs; Minnesota paid family leave and medical leave program] requires DEED to report on the most efficient and effective mechanisms and costs for design and delivery of a statewide program to provide partial wage replacement for parental, family, or medical leave.

Section 27. [Family leave insurance program; analysis] requires DEED, in consultation with DOLI and Health and Human Services, to conduct an analysis of options for delivery of a family and medical leave insurance program and associated costs and benefits. Requires the results of the analysis to be reported to the legislature by December 15, 2015.

Section 28. [Special unemployment benefit assistance] provides special unemployment benefit assistance for applicants laid off due to lack of work in an iron ore mining facility in the specified counties.  Effective retroactively from March 1, 2015.

Section 29. [Day training and habilitation grant program] establishes a grant program to be administered by DEED for a day training and habilitation competitive grant program in relation to the Olmstead Plan requirements. Requires DEED to submit an annual report to the legislature on the amount of funds awarded and the outcomes reported by grantees.

Section 30. [“Getting to work” grant program] establishes the “Getting to Work” grant program to be administered by DEED to provide grants to nonprofit organizations to establish and operate programs that provide, repair, or maintain motor vehicles to assist eligible individuals to obtain or maintain employment. Requires a report from DEED to the legislature regarding results and analysis of the impact of the grant program.

ARTICLE 8

COMMERCE

Section 1. [Funding] authorizes the commissioner to set a fee to fund the guaranteed energy savings program (GESP) paid as a percentage of the total investment cost for a project that has received a fully executed work order contract. Directs the fees collected to be deposited in the guaranteed energy savings platform account. Provides an effective date of the day following final enactment.

Section 2. [Guaranteed energy savings platform account; appropriation] creates the guaranteed energy savings platform account in the special revenue fund. Annually appropriates the funds in the account to the commissioner for GESP activities. Provides an effective date of the day following final enactment.

Section 3. [Expenses] limits the expenses that a registered insurer is liable for to include actual, incurred costs of the commissioner’s participation in their supervisory college.

Section 4. [Prohibitions on insurer] clarifies that requiring a particular motor vehicle repair shop or shops designated by an insurer and specifying use of a particular electronic estimate system or  a particular vendor or software program for procurement of parts for vehicle repair in collision cases is prohibited.

Section 5. [MNvest registration exemption] proposes a “crowdfunding” law that would allow Minnesota businesses to raise capital by selling securities online to Minnesota investors in an intrastate offering.

Subd. 1 [Definitions] establishes definitions. Defines “MNvest issuer” as a Minnesota business where generally 80 percent of the entity’s assets are located in Minnesota and 80 percent of the entity’s revenues are derived from operation of a business in Minnesota.

Subd. 2 [Generally] provides the exemption from Minnesota securities law for MNvest offerings.

Subd. 3 [MNvest offering] establishes the requirements that a MNvest offering must meet. An issuer may not raise more than $1,000,000 in a 12 month period, unless its financial statements have been audited or reviewed by a public accountant. In that case the issuer can raise up to $2,000,000. No single person may purchase more than $10,000 in an offering unless the person is an accredited investor (wealthy person). Advertising of the offering is regulated.

Subd. 4 [Required disclosures to prospective MNvest offering purchasers] establishes required disclosures to prospective MNvest purchasers through the MNvest portal (internet Web site operated by portal operator) including business information, financial statements, terms and conditions of the offering, material risks, description of investor exit strategies, and warning legend.

Subd. 5 [Required certification from MNvest offering purchasers] requires the portal operator to obtain from the prospective purchaser a certification that the purchaser understands that the investment is likely high-risk.

Subd. 6 [MNvest portal] establishes requirements for the MNvest portal.

Subd. 7 [Portal operator] requires an entity other than a registered broker-dealer wishing to become a portal operator to make specified filings with the department and pay a filing fee of $200. Prohibited practices and record keeping requirements are set forth. Among records to be kept are the name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, and a copy of state-issued identification for owners with greater than ten percent interest in an issuer.

Subd. 8 [Privacy of purchaser information] Provides that personal information given to a portal operator by a purchaser can only be disclosed if the purchaser consents, but allows information to be provided without consent to the Commissioner of Commerce, or to the MNvest issuer as it relates to the MNvest offering.

Subd. 9 [Bad actor disqualification] provides that no exemption is available for sale of securities if the MNvest issuer or defined affiliates are bad actors. This subdivision does not apply with respect to a conviction, order, judgment, suspension, decree, or bar that occurred or was issued before September 23, 2013.

Section 6. [Section 607; public records; confidentiality] provides that records furnished to the administrator by a portal operator under the MNvest program are nonpublic records.

Section 7. [Reimbursable costs] allows the reimbursable costs for petroleum tank removal to be included when the removal was requested or ordered by the Commissioner of Commerce as necessary for corrective action. Provides an effective date of July 1, 2015, and applies to applications for reimbursement pending or received on or after that date, including previous denials.

Section 8. [Staging and permitting] modifies the purpose for an innovative energy project to include biomass or other feedstock gasification facilities and related fuel or other conversion facilities.

Section 9. [Collection agency] amends the definition of “collection agency” to include any person engaged in a business with the principal purpose of collecting debts.

Section 10. [Collector] amends the definition of a “collector” to include a person acting under the authority of a collection agency.

Section 11. [Assigned risk transfer] amends 2014 session law to allow certain transfers from the workers’ compensation assigned risk plan to be available until June 30, 2014.

Section 12. [Public utility project] provides requirements for solar photovoltaic modules to be installed when completing a public utility solar project at a military and civilian training facility in Morrison County.

Section 13. [Prepurchasing propane; report] requires the Commissioner of Commerce to submit a report to the legislature regarding propane prepurchase program activities as specified for the previous calendar year in 2016 and 2017.

Section 14. [Competitive rate for energy-intensive, trade-exposed (EITE) electric utility customer] provides an investor-owned electric utility the ability to propose various EITE rate options for certain customers under an EITE rate schedule.

ARTICLE 9

IRON RANGE RESOURCES

Section 1. [Definitions] makes conforming change consistent with the article’s renaming of the “environmental protection fund” to the “economic development fund.”

Section 2. [Within taconite assistance area] makes conforming change.

Section 3. [The Office of the Commissioner of Iron Range resources and rehabilitation] makes conforming change. Provides that any money in any account under control of the commissioner on January 1, 2014, shall remain with the agency and be used for economic development purposes or public infrastructure.

Section 4. [Commissioner may acquire property] makes clarification regarding acquisition of property.

Section 5. [Commissioner may accept grants and conveyance] makes clarification regarding acceptance of grants and conveyances.

Section 6. [Commissioner may lease property] provides clarification regarding surface and mineral interests leases by the commissioner.

Section 7. [Private entity participation] allows agency funds that are transferred to any entity established by the commissioner, upon request by the entity, to be invested by the State Board of Investment.

Section 8. [Sale or privatization of functions] makes a technical change.

Section 9. [Budgeting] makes a technical change.

Section 10. [Receipts from contracts; appropriation] makes a technical change.

Section 11. [Project approval] simplifies and clarifies language regarding governor approval, disapproval, or return of the project for additional consideration within 30 days of receipt.

Section 12. [Citation] makes conforming change.

Section 13. [Taconite area economic development fund] makes a conforming change.

Section 14. [Funding guaranteed distribution level] makes a conforming change.

Section 15. [Mining reinvestment fund] makes a conforming change consistent with the article’s renaming of the “taconite economic development fund” to the “mining reinvestment fund.” Deletes obsolete language.

Section 16. [School districts] makes a conforming change.

Section 17. [Mining reinvestment fund] makes a conforming change.

Section 18. [Iron Range higher education account] designates 2.5 cents per ton for the Iron Range engineering program at Mesabi Range College for distributions in 2015 and subsequent years.

Section 19. [Remainder] makes conforming changes.

Section 20. [Distribution of delayed payments] makes conforming changes.

Section 21. [Use of money] deletes obsolete language.

Section 22. [Expending funds] deletes obsolete language.

Section 23. [Redistribution] makes conforming changes.

Section 24. [Repealer] repeals an obsolete section of law that required a long-range plan to be submitted to the governor and legislature in 2006.

ARTICLE 10

BUREAU OF MEDIATION SERVICES

Section 1. [Access by labor organizations, the Bureau of Mediation Services, and the Public Employment Relations Board] amends the personnel data statute provision that allows personnel data to be disseminated to labor organizations to add the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). Contains an effective date of July 1, 2015.

Section 2. [Public employment relations board data] adds a new section to chapter 13 governing PERB data. Contains an effective date of July 1, 2015.

Section 3. [Labor-management stakeholder coordination] requires the commissioner of mediation services to work with labor and management stakeholders to foster mutual understanding and provide input on the development of collaborative programs and services designed to improve labor-management relations.

Section 4. [Open meetings] adds a section to the PERB governing statute regarding open meetings to exclude meetings of the Public Employment Relations Board when it is deliberating on the merits of unfair labor practice charges or revealing specified decisions relating to unfair labor practices or exercising its hiring authority. Contains an effective date of July 1, 2015.

Section 5. [Report] adds a reporting requirement to the PERB governing statute. Requires a report to be submitted to the legislature by November 16, 2016, summarizing the nature, number, and resolution of charges filed with the PERB. Contains an effective date of July 1, 2015.

 
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