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S.F. No. 888 - State Government, Veterans, and Military Affairs Appropriations Bill
Author: Senator Tom Saxhaug
Prepared By: Stephanie James, Senate Counsel (651/296-0103)
Date: March 9, 2015


This is the Governor’s budget bill.  The bill appropriates money for the administration of certain state agencies in Article 1, sections 1 to 33.  The bill also includes several policy provisions in Article 1, sections 34 to 42. Article 2, sections 1 to 3, appropriates money for the departments of military and veterans affairs; Article 2, section 4 includes a policy provision relating to military and veterans affairs.

 Article 1

Section 1 [State Government Appropriations] specifies that appropriations are from the general fund unless otherwise noted and defines certain date-related terms.

Sections 2-33 appropriate operations funds to a variety of state offices and agencies.  See the change item spreadsheet for changes from base appropriations.

Section 34 [Carryforward] permits an agency to carry forward, from any fiscal year to the next, any unspent, unencumbered nongrant operating money.  Under current law an agency is authorized to carry forward unspent money from the first year of a biennium to the second, but money unspent after the second year of the biennium is returned to the general fund.

 Section 35 [Small business] specifies that the definition of “small business” will be as defined in federal rules, instead of as set by rule by the commissioner of administration. This definition of “small business” applies to the procurement and construction contracting laws for the state, including MnDOT, the University of Minnesota, and the Metropolitan Council.

Section 36 [State-funded projects] requires certain organizations administering certain contracts to promote the use of targeted group businesses and take steps to remove barriers to equitable participation.  Targeted group businesses include those owned by women, people with a substantial physical disability, minorities and veterans.

This requirement applies to contracts for state-funded capital improvement projects in excess of $100,000 issued by organizations not subject to certain small business requirements, including municipalities.

Section 37 [Eligibility; Rules] provides an alternative process, under a federal certification program, for minority-or woman-owned small business to be certified to receive certain preferred treatment as a targeted business under current state law.  Under current law, a business must obtain such certification through a process under the commissioner of administration.  In addition, this section permits the commissioner of administration to use an expedited rulemaking process to implement several procurement preference programs, already in statute.

Section 38 [License issuance and renewal] permits the commissioner of racing to set the license term for certain class C racing licenses between one and three years.

Section 39 [License fees] eliminates a statutory cap on the class C license fee.

Section 40 [Monthly regulatory fee] increases the amount a charitable organization conducting lawful gaming must pay the state from 0.1 to 0.15 percent of gross receipts.

Section 41 [Office of MN.IT Services] makes housekeeping changes to the name of MN.IT and slightly extends the deadline for MN.IT to repay cash flow assistance to the state, from June 30, 2015 to the end of the fiscal year 2015 closing period.

Section 42 [Parking Ramp; Required User Financing] changes the treatment of parking fees for the legislative parking garage, transferring fees to the general fund instead of to the debt service account.

Article 2

Section 1 [Military and Veterans Affairs Appropriations] specifies that appropriations are from the general fund unless otherwise noted and defines certain date-related terms.

Sections 2 and 3 appropriate money to the Departments of Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs.  See the change item spreadsheet for changes from the base appropriations.

Section 4 [Uses; veterans] permits the use of Support Our Troops money to be granted to an approved organization to support and improve the lives of veterans and their families or to a nonprofit corporation that specifies that a purpose of the organization is providing financial assistance to veterans and their families.

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