Senate Counsel, Research
and Fiscal Analysis
Minnesota Senate Bldg.
95 University Avenue W. Suite 3300
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-4791
Tom Bottern
Director
   Senate   
State of Minnesota
 
 
 
 
 
S.F. No. 888 - State Government, Veterans, and Military Affairs Omnibus Appropriations Bill - as Passed and Signed, Laws 2015, Chapter 77
 
Author: Senator Tom Saxhaug
 
Prepared By: Stephanie James, Senate Counsel (651/296-0103)
 
Date: May 29, 2015



 

Article 1 – Appropriation

Article 1 appropriates money for state operations as detailed on the spreadsheet.

Article 2 – State Government Operations

Section 1 [Staff] permits the Legislative Coordinating Commission (LCC) to appoint staff to provide research assistance to the Legislative Commission on Data Practices, if funding is available. 

Section 2 [Evaluation of economic development incentive programs]

Subdivision 1 [Definitions] defines “general incentive” and “exclusive incentive” for purposes of this section.

Subdivision 2 [Selection of general incentives for review; schedule] requires the Legislative Auditor to annually submit to the Legislative Audit Commission a list of three to five general incentives proposed for review.  Requires the Legislative Audit Commission to select at least one general incentive for the legislative auditor to evaluate.

Subdivision 3 [Exclusive incentive schedule] provides that the legislative auditor’s schedule shall ensure that at least once every four years the legislative auditor will complete an analysis of best practices for exclusive incentives.

Subdivision 4 [Evaluation plans] requires the Legislative Audit Commission to establish evaluation plans that identify elements the Legislative Auditor must include in evaluations of general and exclusive incentives.  

Section 3 [County audits] proposes a new section of law governing county audits. The current section (6.48) is repealed at the end of this article.  The primary substantive difference between the current law and this new language is that a county may choose to have an audit performed by the state auditor or may choose to have the audit performed by a CPA firm.  If a county chooses to have an audit performed by a CPA firm, the audit must meet standards required by the state auditor.  The auditor may require additional information from the CPA firm, but must accept the audit unless the auditor determines it does not meet industry standards.  Provides that the auditor may make additional examinations, and that the county will pay the auditor for these additional examinations.

Provides that data relating to an audit performed by a CPA firm are subject to the same data classification that apply to audits performed by the state auditor, and that the CPA firm must provide access to the audit, and is liable for unlawful disclosure of data, as if it were a government entity. 

Specifies procedures to be followed if a county switches between the state auditor and a private CPA firm.

This section is effective August 1, 2016.

Section 4 [Telephone use; approval]  provides that the requirement for a legislator, constitutional officer, judge, and agency head to sign the person’s monthly long-distance phone bill does not apply to a month in which the bill paid by the state is less than $5.  Provides that the person is responsible for paying any portion of the bill that does not relate to state business, even if the amount is less than $5.  

Section 5 [Ethnic councils]

Subdivision 1 [Creation] creates the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs, the Minnesota African Heritage Council, and the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans.

Subdivision 2 [Membership] provides that each council has 15 voting members.  The Governor appoints 11 members, and 4 members are legislators (one from each caucus of each body).  Provides criteria for members appointed by the Governor.

Subdivision 3 [Appointments; terms; removal] specifies provisions governing appointments, terms, compensation, and filling of vacancies.  Provides that a member who missed more than half of the council meetings during a 12-month period automatically is removed from the council, and that a member appointed by the governor may be removed by a vote of three of the four legislative members of the council.  Legislative members serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority.

Provides that a member appointed by the Governor may serve no more than 8 years on a council.  A legislator may serve no more than 8 consecutive years or 12 nonconsecutive years on any one council.

Subdivision 4 [Training; executive committee meetings; support] requires members appointed by the Governor to attend orientation training within six months of appointments, or be removed from the council.  Requires the Commissioner of Administration to provide training on specified topics.  

Provides for election of officers, and executive committee, quorum, conflicts of interest.  Requires the Commissioner of Administration to provide administrative support through the small agency resources team (SMART) under section 16B.371.

Subdivision 5 [Executive director; staff] requires the Legislative Coordinating Commission to appoint an executive director for each council, and provides that the director serves in the unclassified service at the pleasure of the LCC. (Under current law, the director for each council is appointed by the council).  Requires the LCC to consult with the applicable council in recruiting and selecting an executive director. Requires the executive director to collaboratively lead the council, and to appoint other staff necessary to carry out council duties.

Subdivision 6 [Duties] requires each council to advise the Governor and the Legislature on issues confronting the constituency of the council, and on administrative and legislative changes need to improve the economic and social condition of the constituency.  Specifies other duties, including serving as a liaison between state government and organizations that serve the constituency of the council.

Subdivision 7 [Duties of council members] provides duties for council members.

Subdivision 8 [Reports] requires councils to report to the legislature by January 15 each year. Requires reports to include specific objectives and outcome measures.

Section 6 [Prepay Software, Subscriptions, United States Documents] authorizes the commissioner of administration to allow an agency to make advance payments for information technology hosting services.

Section 7 [Report on budget reserve percentage] changes a reporting requirement for the commissioner of management and budget.  Changes the due date for the report on budget reserve percentage to September 30 of each year and clarifies the designation of the committees to which the commissioner must subject the report to chairs and ranking minority members of the senate committee on finance, the house committee on ways and means, and the senate and house committees on taxes.

Section 8 [Accommodation Reimbursement] establishes a program for reimbursing a state agency for the expenses the agency incurs in making certain “reasonable accommodations” for an employee, or applicant for employment, who has a qualifying disability, as required by law.  The section establishes a dedicated fund for this purpose.  Money is appropriated to the fund in Article 1. 

Subdivision 1 [Definitions] defines “reasonable accommodation” by cross-reference to current human rights law.  Reasonable accommodation means steps to accommodate the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified disabled person, including making facilities readily accessible to and usable by disabled persons and job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassignment, or modifying equipment or devices, and providing aides.  This section defines “state agency” as an agency in the executive branch of state government, but does not include constitutional officers.  This section defines which expenses are "eligible for reimbursement" as those that are:

(1) provided to the applicants for employment;

(2) for services that are needed on a periodic or ongoing basis; or

(3) involve onetime expenses that total more than $1,000.

Subdivision 2 [Reimbursement for making reasonable accommodation] requires the Commissioner of Administration to reimburse state agencies for expenses incurred in making reasonable accommodations for agency employees and applicants to the extent that funds are available in the accommodation account for this purpose.

Subdivision 3 [Accommodation account established] establishes an accommodation account in the special revenue fund.

Subdivision 4 [Administration costs] permits the Commissioner of Administration to use up to 15 percent of money appropriated to the accommodation account to be used for administering this program.

Subdivision 5 [Notification] requires the Commissioner of Administration to periodically notify agencies of the availability of funds under this program. 

Subdivision 6 [Report] requires the Commissioner of Administration to report to the legislature annually on the use of the accommodation account, including specified topics.

This section is effective July 1, 2015.  Reimbursement is available for expenses incurred after June 30, 2015. 

Section 9 [Grant Agreements] makes the contract administration in Minnesota Statutes, section 16B.97, inapplicable to general obligation grants.  Most of the provisions in section 16B.97 are duplicative of requirements for general obligation grants in chapter 16C.

Section 10 [Limitation] makes the contract administration section 16B.98 inapplicable to general obligation grants and capital project grants to political subdivisions.  Most of the provisions in section 16B.98 are duplicative of requirements for these grants in chapter 16C. 

Section 11 [Encumbrance Exception] eliminates a requirement that the commissioner of management and budget give prior authorization for a grant recipient of general obligation bond proceeds to incur eligible expenses. 

Section 12 [Guaranteed Energy-Savings Program] makes changes to the Guaranteed Energy-Savings Program that permits the Commissioner of Administration to enter into an agreement for the installation of utility cost-savings measures that are backed by guarantee of the vendor, as follows:

  • replaces the term “lease purchase agreement” with “project financing;”
  • expands the types of project financing that may be used to pay for a guaranteed energy savings project, including a mix of leasing and bonding;
  • eliminates the specification that utility cost-savings measures become the sole property of the state after final obligated payment; changes the calculation that sets the threshold that determines whether the commissioner is authorized to enter into an agreement for the utility cost-savings measures;
  • replaces the commissioner’s authority to enter into a lease purchase agreement to implement utility cost-savings measures with authority to enter into project financing for the same purpose; and
  • eliminates a restriction that the implementation costs of the utility cost-savings measures cannot exceed the amount to be saved in utility and operation and maintenance costs over the term of a lease purchase agreement.

Section 13 [Small Business] directs the commissioner of administration to adopt the size standard for a “small business” as defined in federal rules. 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 14 [Veteran-owned small businesses] specifies that the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs must verify that a business is owned by a veteran prior to the commissioner of administration certifying the business as a veteran-owned small business.

Section 15 [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 16 [Eligibility; rules] modifies the criteria that the Department of Administration must follow in certifying Minnesota veteran-owned small businesses.  Specifies that all veterans, as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 197.447, who own small businesses are eligible to receive bid preferences.  Provides that small businesses certified under federal purchasing programs are certified as eligible to participate in state programs.

Section 17 [Healthy eating, Here at Home] establishes the healthy eating, here at home program, to provide incentives for low-income Minnesotans to use SNAP benefits for healthy purchases at Minnesota-based farmers markets.  Provides for the Minnesota Humanities Commission to make grants to nonprofit organizations that work with Minnesota-based farmers markets.

Section 18 [Expedited, temporary license processing for licensed optometrists; military] authorizes qualified current and former members of the military to earn an expedited, temporary license in the field of optometry. A qualified individual is someone who is an active duty military member or a spouse, or a veteran who has left service in the past two years. Requires qualified individuals to provide evidence of a current license, certificate, or permit in another state without history of disciplinary action, and a criminal background study without a relevant criminal conviction. 

Section 19 [Expedited, temporary license processing for licensed dieticians or nutritionists; military] authorizes qualified current and former members of the military to earn an expedited, temporary license in the field of dietetics or nutrition. A qualified individual is someone who is an active duty military member or a spouse, or a veteran who has left service in the past two years. Requires qualified individuals to provide evidence of a current license, certificate, or permit in another state without history of disciplinary action, and a criminal background study without a relevant criminal conviction. 

A temporary dietician or nutritionist license is valid for six months. During the temporary license period, the individual shall complete the licensed dietician or nutritionist application for licensure. To earn a permanent license, a temporary licensee must meet the standards for all applicants. The fee for the temporary license is $250.

Section 20 [Expedited, temporary license processing for licensed marriage and family therapists; military] authorizes qualified current and former members of the military to earn an expedited, temporary license in the field of marriage and family therapy. A qualified individual is someone who is an active duty military member or a spouse, or a veteran who has left service in the past two years. Requires qualified individuals to provide evidence of a current license, certificate, or permit in another state without history of disciplinary action, and a criminal background study without a relevant criminal conviction. 

A temporary marriage and family therapist license is valid for six months. During the temporary license period, the individual shall complete the licensed marriage and family therapist application for licensure. To earn a permanent license, a temporary licensee must meet the standards for all applicants.

Section 21 [Expedited, temporary license processing for licensed professional counselors; military] authorizes qualified current and former members of the military to earn an expedited, temporary license in the field of professional counseling. A qualified individual is someone who is an active duty military member or a spouse, or a veteran who has left service in the past two years. Requires qualified individuals to provide evidence of a current license, certificate, or permit in another state without history of disciplinary action, and a criminal background study without a relevant criminal conviction. 

A temporary LPC license is valid for 12 months. To earn a permanent license, a temporary licensee must meet the standards for all applicants. 

Section 22 [Expedited, temporary license processing for licensed professional clinical counselors; military] authorizes qualified current and former members of the military to earn an expedited, temporary license in the field of professional clinical counseling. A qualified individual is someone who is an active duty military member or a spouse, or a veteran who has left service in the past two years. Requires qualified individuals to provide evidence of a current license, certificate, or permit in another state without history of disciplinary action, and a criminal background study without a relevant criminal conviction.

A temporary LPCC license is valid for 12 months. To earn a permanent license, a temporary licensee must meet the standards for all applicants.

Section 23 [Expedited, temporary license processing for licensed alcohol and drug counselors; military] authorizes qualified current and former members of the military to earn an expedited, temporary license in the field of alcohol and drug counseling. A qualified individual is someone who is an active duty military member or a spouse, or a veteran who has left service in the past two years. Requires qualified individuals to provide evidence of a current license, certificate, or permit in another state without history of disciplinary action, and a criminal background study without a relevant criminal conviction. 

A temporary LADC license is valid for 12 months. To earn a permanent license, a temporary licensee must meet the standards for all applicants.

Section 24 [License requirements; podiatric medicine] provides that, upon completion of all other application requirements, a doctor of podiatric medicine applying for a temporary military license has six months to comply with the podiatric medicine license requirements.

Section 25 [Expedited, temporary license processing for licensed podiatrists; military] authorizes qualified current and former members of the military to earn an expedited, temporary license in the field of podiatric medicine. A qualified individual is someone who is an active duty military member or a spouse, or a veteran who has left service in the past two years. Requires qualified individuals to provide evidence of a current license, certificate, or permit in another state without history of disciplinary action, and a criminal background study without a relevant criminal conviction. 

A temporary podiatrist license is valid for up to six months, as determined by the licensing board. No extension is available. During the temporary license period, the individual shall complete the licensed podiatrist application for licensure. To earn a permanent license, a temporary licensee must meet the standards for all applicants. The fee for the temporary license is $250.

Section 26 [Fees] sets fee amounts to be charged by the Board of Barber Examiners for a temporary military registered barber certificate ($85), barber instructor certificate ($180), and apprentice barber permit ($80). 

Section 27 [Temporary military permits and certificates] authorizes the Board of Barber Examiners to issue temporary military certificates and permits for apprentice barbers, registered barbers, and barber instructors. Permits or certificates are valid for 12 months. To earn a permanent permit or certificate, the individual must meet the standards for all applicants.

Sections 28, 29, 31-47, 49, 50, 81(b), 87, subdivision 1, and 88(c) relate to the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners and the practices regulated by the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners.

Section 28 [Policy] adds “infection control” and the use of “implements” to the list of things the legislature finds to require special skills and education that warrant licensing by the Board of Cosmetology Examiners.

Section 29 [Manager] modifies the definition of “manager.”

Sections 30, 48, and 81 (a) enable mobile salons.

Section 30 [Mobile salon] defines “mobile salon.”

Sections 31 to 35 add definitions for “advanced practice esthetician,” “designated licensed salon manager,” “school manager,” “designated school manager,” and “practitioner.”

Section 36 [Hiring and Assignment of Employees] eliminates a requirement for the board to train staff in customer service skills. Authorizes the board to hire qualified personnel to conduct complaint investigations.

Section 37 [Schedule] adds categories of license fees and changes fee amounts set in statute for practices regulated by the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners.

Section 38 [Board Must Approve or Deny Application; Timeline] modifies the existing timeline for the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners to issue a license in two ways: 1) makes a conforming change to accommodate expedited military licenses (established in law passed in 2014); and 2) permits the board to take additional time, beyond 15 days, to review a license application if certain conditions (specified in the following section) are met.

Section 39 [Additional Review for Certain Licenses] provides a timeline for additional review of a license application that contains discrepancies, or is made by an applicant who is the subject of a complaint investigation or has pending disciplinary actions before the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners.

Section 40 [Temporary Military License or Expedited License] requires the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners to take action within five business days for an application that meets requirements for an expedited license or a temporary military license. The board must issue or deny the license or notify the applicant if their application will require additional review because it meets certain conditions.

Section 41 [Additional Review for Certain Temporary Military License or Expedited License] permits the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners additional time to review an application for an expedited license or temporary military license if the application contains discrepancies, or if the applicant is the subject of a complaint investigation or pending disciplinary action.

Section 42 [Licensing] adds “advanced practice esthetician” to the list of practices that require license by the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners.

Section 43 [Qualifications] permits the rules promulgated by the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners for licensing to require demonstrated knowledge of procedures necessary to protect the safety of the practitioner and consumer.

Section 44 [Temporary Military License] is a technical change.  The fee for a temporary military license is unchanged in amount, but is moved to the list of fees charged for practices regulated by the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners in another section.

 Section 45 [Continuing Education Requirements] adds a requirement for licensees of the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners to complete a four-hour continuing education course on specified technical or business management topics.  This is in addition to four hours of continuing education credits already required on health, sanitation, and safety.  Precludes marketing or sales of products during a continuing education class.  Requires continuing education providers to be authorized annually, instead of every three years.  This section permits a licensed school of cosmetology, a professional association, or a licensed salon that is authorized by the board to offer continuing education.  This section clarifies materials a continuing education provider must submit to the board to obtain authorization.

Section 46 [Licensing] specifies that a person must not offer cosmetology services for pay unless licensed and the services are provided in a licensed salon or as otherwise specified in statute.  Requires that salons be licensed in one or more specified disciplines.

Section 47 [Requirements] adds a clarifying label for the workers’ compensation section.  Eliminates a sentence that had no verb, so its meaning was unclear. 

Section 48 [Requirements for mobile salon] requires mobile salons to maintain a permanent business address and notify the board of locations and schedule or operation of a mobile salon.

Section 49 [Conditions Precedent to Issuance] requires a licensed cosmetology school to employ a designated licensed school manager who maintains a cosmetology salon manager license.

Section 50 [Discrimination Prohibited] changes the nondiscrimination requirements for cosmetology schools by referencing the Minnesota Human Rights Act.  The effect of this change is to add the following classes on which the school may not discriminate against students: religion, marital status, disability, age, and status with respect to public assistance.  The change removes “citizenship” from the list of impermissible bases for discriminating against students.

Section 51 [Expiration] extends the Mississippi River Parkway Commission until June 30, 2020. 

Section 52 [Costs Assessed] is a housekeeping provision to reflect a 2009 change to the way that the Office of Administrative Hearings is paid (from the general fund, rather than the general account of the state elections campaign fund) for considering complaints relating to a statewide ballot question or an election for a statewide or legislative office. 

Sections 53 to 58 and 70 relate to certain corporate filing and reporting requirements with the Secretary of State.

Section 53 [Fees] amends the filing fee for federal tax liens and other federal liens to eliminate the $15 fee paid to the Secretary of State for each additional name beyond two debtors.

Section 54 [Reinstatement] amends the Secretary of State’s filing requirements for a foreign corporation whose certificate of authority to do business is revoked or cancelled. Instead of filing an application for reinstatement, a foreign corporation could reinstate its authority by filing an annual renewal and the required fee. If information in the original application has changed, an amended certificate must be filed.  Raises the fee for reinstatement after revocation from $250 to $500.

Sections 55 to 58 amend the Secretary of State’s filing requirements applicable to public benefit corporations.

Section 55 [Report Required] requires a public benefit corporation to file a report with the Secretary of State before April 1, rather than no later than 90 days after conclusion of each calendar year.

Section 56 [Failure to File an Annual Benefit Report] amends the effect of a failure to file an annual benefit report, consistent with the date changes in section 55.

Section 57 [Effects of Revocation; Reinstatement] requires a corporation that has lost its status as a public benefit corporation to amend its articles to reflect a name change that complies with the general business corporation law and does not include the public benefit corporation designation.

Section 58 [Failure to Change Corporate Name] provides that a corporation that has its public benefit status terminated or revoked and fails to file the change of name with the Secretary of State automatically expires 30 days after termination or revocation.

Sections 59 to 69 are a proposal from the Board of Accountancy.  These sections eliminate the use of the undefined term “financial statements” in certain instances, instead using the defined term “attest;” modifies the definitions of “attest,” “peer review,” and "report;" permit the board to adopt rules for attesting; raise the maximum fine the board may impose; permit an out-of-state firm to perform certain activities; preclude use of certain language on attest service without a license; and make several changes of a housekeeping nature.

Section 59 [Attest] modifies the definition of “attest” to align with model language in the Uniform Accountancy Act developed by the American Institute of CPAs and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Section 60 [Peer Review] modifies the definition of “peer review” to include CPA firms and individuals.

Section 61 [Principal Place of Business] eliminates unnecessary words in the definition of “principal place of business.”

Section 62 [Report] modifies the definition of "report" to align the language for changes made to section 59.

 Section 63 [State] adds the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to the list of U.S. territories.

Section 64 [Officers; Proceedings] is a technical correction.

Section 65 [Rules] authorizes the Board of Accountancy to adopt rules that reflect recognized standards for attesting.

Section 66 [General] permits an out-of-state firm to perform an examination, review, or agreed-upon procedures engagement, performed according to industry standard to include reference to the new clause added in section 59.

Section 67 [Qualifications] eliminates the use of the undefined phrase “financial statements” and aligns the language with changes in section 59.

Section 68 [Violation; Penalties; Costs of Proceeding] raises the maximum fine, from $2,000 to $5,000, that the Board of Accountancy is authorized to impose for a violation of law.

Section 69 [Unlawful Acts] precludes people not licensed by the Board of Accountancy from using certain language on an attest service and aligns language with changes made in section 59.

Section 70 [Procedure] modifies procedures governing inquiries regarding farm product liens and financing statements maintained by the secretary of state. A reference to oral inquiries is changed to online inquiries, which may be submitted at any time. The secretary of state must make a prompt response to the inquiry.  References to filing office are changed to the secretary of state, consistent with the definition under current law.

Sections 71 to 75 relate to the Gambling Control Board.

Section 71 [Monthly regulatory fee] raises the monthly regulatory fee from 0.1 to 0.125 of gross receipts that a charitable gambling organization must pay for deposit into the lawful gambling regulation account in the special revenue fund.

Section 72 [Fees] increases fees for distributor license from $6,000 to $7,000 per year and increases the fee for a distributor salesperson license from $100 to $150 per year.

Section 73 [License; fee] increases a manufacturer’s fee from $9,000 to $10,000 per year.

Section 74 [Samples of gambling equipment] raises fees for gambling equipment approval.

Section 75 [Exemptions] raises the fee for an organization to conduct certain lawful gambling, typically used for event-specific permits.

Section 76 [Limits on railroad condemnation powers] permits Hennepin County (including the county housing and redevelopment authority and regional railroad authority) to prevent condemnation of county property through eminent domain actions by a railroad company, if the county determines that public safety or first responder access would be negatively impacted as a result. This section is effective retroactively from March 2, 2015, and applies to any eminent domain action to acquire any property interest of any of the named entities.

Section 77 [Office of MN.IT Services] amends a 2013 law by making a housekeeping change to reflect the name change to MN.IT Services and extending 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 78 [Parking Ramp; Required User Financing] changes the treatment of parking fees for the parking garage in the Senate building, transferring fees to the general fund instead of to the debt service account.

Section 79 [Capitol Room Numbers] requires the Commissioner of Administration to maintain the current and recent room numbers for rooms in the Capitol with roughly the same footprint as before renovation.

Section 80 [In-Lieu of Rent Evaluation] requires the Commissioner of Administration to report to the legislature by January 15, 2017, with an evaluation and recommendation regarding the in-lieu of rent appropriation for space costs for the legislature, veterans organizations, vending operators, ceremonial space, and statutorily free space in the Capitol building and in other buildings on the Capitol grounds under the custodial control of the Commissioner of Administration.

Section 81 [Rulemaking Authority]

Paragraph (a) requires the Board of Cosmetologist Examiners to adopt rules governing mobile salons. Requires the rules to include penalties for a failure of a mobile salon to follow municipal law governing time and place of operations.

Paragraph (b) authorizes the Board of Cosmetology Examiners to adopt rules governing an advanced practice esthetician license. This section is effective January 1, 2016, through January 1, 2019.

Section 82 [Political Contribution Credit] eliminates the political contribution refund program for two years, for contributions made after June 30, 2015 and before July 1, 2017.

Section 83 [State Agency Technology Projects] requires an agency that buys information technology services or support with an appropriation in this bill to contract with MN.IT to provide those services.

Section 84 [Examination of County Records; Report] requires the Legislative Auditor to report by January 15, 2016 on the efficiency of the state auditor’s county audits.

Section 85 [Report on agency chief information officers] requires MN.IT to report to the legislature by January 15, 2016 on the number of CIOs in state agencies, and on plans to reduce that number.

Section 86 [Transition] provides that current ethnic council members will serve out their terms, except that the terms will end December 31, 2015 for members who have served 8 years or more at that time.  Provides that if a council currently has more members than provided for in this bill, positions will remain vacant as terms expire until the council is the required size.  

Section 87 [Revisor’s Instruction] directs the revisor of statutes to make certain changes relating to cosmetology, county audits, and ethnic councils.

Section 88 [Repealer] repeals statutes relating to three ethnic councils, overseer of roads, county audits, and cosmetology.  This section is effective August 1, 2015.

Article 3 – Military and Veterans Affairs

Section 1 [Uses; Veterans] expands the permitted uses of money in the Support Our Troops account so that grants may be given to certain nonprofits and foundations. 

Section 2 [Annual Report] makes the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs subject to the same reporting requirement as the Commissioner of Military Affairs about the use of grants made from the Support Our Troops account. 

Section 3 [Temporary emergency relief] provides for a death gratuity payment for certain military survivors.

Section 4 [Reclassification Bonus Program] requires the adjutant general to establish a bonus program to provide incentives for MN National Guard members to complete certain training. Specifies criteria for eligibility and permits the adjutant general to determine additional criteria that must be specified in regulation.  Permits the adjutant general to recoup a prorated amount of the bonus if the member fails to complete a term of reenlistment or an obligated term of commissioned service for which a bonus was paid.  A similar provision that permitted the adjutant general to establish this grant program was recommended by the Governor in his supplemental budget recommendations, but was made mandatory by amendment in division.

Section 5 [Disposal of Property and Expiration of Board of Governors] permits the trustees responsible for the disposal of property and assets from Big Island Veterans Camp to remove a trustee on a majority vote with consent of the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs. Provides for filling vacancies in the trusteeship.

Section 6 [Veterans Preference Act] authorizes a veteran who requests a hearing upon notice of termination of employment with a political subdivision to select the body that will hear the veteran’s challenge to the termination.  If the veteran does not select a hearing body, the decision belongs to the governmental subdivision. Requires that governmental subdivisions pay the costs associated with the hearings, including the veteran’s attorneys’ fees, if the veteran prevails. Extends veteran preference termination protections to teachers.  

Section 7 [Honor and Remember Flag]

Subdivision 1 [Legislative findings] lists legislative findings that recognize fallen members of the U.S. armed forces and identifies the Honor and Remember flag as an appropriate symbol to acknowledge the selfless sacrifice of those members.

Subdivision 2 [Designation] designates the Honor and Remember Flag as the symbol of the state's concern and commitment to honoring and remembering the lives of fallen service members.

Subdivision 3 [Description] describes the design on the flag.  The Honor and Remember Flag is protected by U.S. copyright, registration number VA0001670661, currently owned by Honor and Remember, Inc.

Subdivision 4 [Suggested days for flag display] encourages the chief administrator of each governmental building or facility within this state to display the Honor and Remember Flag on specified days.  Governmental buildings and facilities means the Minnesota State Capitol, the Office of the Governor and each other Minnesota constitutional office, the chambers of the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives, the Minnesota Judicial Building and each Minnesota District court house, state veterans memorials, state veterans homes, state veterans cemeteries, state veterans service centers, state veterans community-based outreach centers, and local government buildings or facilities as determined by the governing body of that local government.

Subdivision 5 [Limitation] specifies that this section does not require any employee to report to work solely for the purpose of providing for the display of the Honor and Remember Flag or any other flag.

Subdivision 6 [Implementation] authorizes the chief administrators of government buildings and facilities to prescribe procedures necessary for displaying the Honor and Remember Flag.

Subdivision 7 [Flag donation] allows any named public office or public official to accept a donation of one or more Honor and Remember Flags for the purposes of this section, notwithstanding statutory gift bans.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Section 8 [Veterans Home; Eligibility of Veterans] precludes the commissioner of veterans affairs from closing a veterans home unless closure is specifically authorized or required by law enacted after July 1, 2015.

Section 9 [Repealer] repeals statutes that provided for creation and duties of a Board of Governors of Big Island Veterans Camp. 

Article 4 – Pari-Mutuel Horse Racing

Article 4 relates to the Racing Commission and the activities regulated by the Racing Commission.

Section 1 [Racing Season] deletes the restrictions on the first day and total length of the racing season for pari-mutuel wagering.  This section is effective January 1, 2016.

Section 2 [Takeout] defines “takeout” as the money withheld by statute or rule from each pari-mutuel pool.

Section 3 [Handle] defines “handle” as the aggregate of all pari-mutuel pools, excluding refundable wagers or cancellations.

Section 4 [Mixed Meet] defines “mixed meet” as a racing day or series of days on which racing of more than one breed occurs.

Section 5 [Banked] defines “banked” as a game of chance in which the house participates, takes on all players, collects from all losers, pays all winners, and can itself win.

Section 6 [Steward] defines “steward” to include judge, chief steward, and presiding judge, stewards, and judges of the commission or a class B licensee, but excluding other racing officials like paddock or placement judges.

Section 7 [Appointment of Director] eliminates a requirement that the director of the Minnesota Racing Commission have experience in the administration and regulation of pari-mutuel racing.  This section replaces that requirement with one that the director be “qualified by experience and training to possess the skills necessary” to discharge the duties of the director.

Section 8 [Commission Powers and Duties] clarifies that the commission has the power to issue subpoenas to compel attendance of witnesses.  Permits the commission to compel submission of any evidence it deems necessary to carry out its duties.

Section 9 [Application] changes certain conditions for obtaining a class C racing license to engage in certain occupations related to horse racing. This section requires an applicant to submit an affidavit that the applicant has not been found, in Minnesota or another jurisdiction, to have violated a law, rule, or order related to horse racing, pari-mutuel betting, or any other form of gambling.  In certain respects, this is broader and in other respects it is narrower than current law. Current law requires disclosure of a violation, whether or not there’s been a finding of a violation.  Current law does not require disclosure of violations in other jurisdictions.  Current law does not require disclosure of violations related to pari-mutuel betting or other forms of gambling.

Section 10 [License Issuance and Renewal] permits certain classifications of class C licenses to be issued for a period of more than one year, and less than three years.  This section is effective July 1, 2015.

Section 11 [Revocation and Suspension] adds grounds for the commission to revoke a class C license. Permits appealing a revocation of a class C license to the commission. Extends from 20 days to 30 days after summary suspension of a class C license the time for holding a contested case hearing; extends from 20 days to 30 days from the close of the hearing record the deadline for the administrative law judge to issue a report. 

Section 12 [License Fees] eliminates a cap on the amount of an annual class C license.

Section 13 [Purses] specifies that a contract to pay additional money for purses beyond certain specified amounts, must be in writing and filed with the racing commission. This section sets a rate of 8.4 percent of handle (aggregate of all pari-mutuel pools) as a minimum purse amount for live races at a class A facility.  This section also modifies the purse contribution structure for simulcast racing, in the following ways:

  • eliminates a distinction between the purse amount paid from simulcast wagers for races during the racing season and outside of racing season;
  • sets the contribution toward payment of purses at at least 37 percent of takeout remaining after payment to the breeders fund and out-of-state racetrack on any day a class A facility is licensed;
  • eliminates a tiered purse contribution based on annual wagers on simulcast races;
  • eliminates a deduction of an amount agreed to by the licensee and the horsepersons’ association; and
  • eliminates a separate requirement that 8.4 percent of wagering on simulcast racing in the offseason be paid for purses in live races.

Requires the licensee to pay 5.5 percent of the takeout from wagers on simulcast races occurring outside of the state to the Racing Commission for the Minnesota breeders fund.

Eliminates a provision that required that money set aside for purses from wagering on simulcasts during the racing season be used for purses for live races during the same racing season, and money set aside from wagers on simulcasts outside the racing season be used for purses for live races during the next racing season. 

Section 14 [Simulcasting] permits simulcasting to be conducted on a commingled pool basis or, with approval of the commission, on a separate pool basis.

Section 15 [Card Club Revenue] permits more than the percent that is specified in statute to be contributed toward purses from card club revenue. Permits the licensee and the horseperson’s organization to negotiate percentages that exceed those specified in this section of statute, if the agreement is in writing and filed with the commission.

Section 16 [Taxes imposed] changes the base for a one percent tax that the licensee pays to the Minnesota breeders fund.  Under current law, the tax is calculated on the total amount bet on each racing day; this section bases the tax, instead, on the handle for live races conducted at the class A facility.

Section 17 [Disposition of Proceeds; Account] requires that money contributed to the breeder’s fund from all simulcasting – not just full racing card simulcasts – be distributed to specified incentives for the horse breeding industry in Minnesota.

Section 18 [Powers and Duties] increases the maximum fine, from $2,000 to $5,000, that the commission can authorize a steward to impose on licensees for violation of law.

Section 19 [Fines] permits the commission to recover attorney fees and costs associated with a contested case that the commission wins, from fines imposed by the commission.  Under current law, all fines are deposited in the general fund.  This section changes the threshold of a fine, from $2,000 to $5,000, that constitutes a contested case. This section is effective July 1, 2016.

Section 20 [Rulemaking Authority] authorizes the commission to promulgate rules governing wired and wireless communication between the premises of a licensed racetrack and any place outside the premises, and procedures for sampling and testing horses for  banned substances or practices.

Section 21 [Exceptions] exempts licensing and background investigations under the Racing Commission from the state’s criminal offender rehabilitation chapter.  The effect of this is that the Racing Commission does not have to issue a license to a person who has met the criteria for proving rehabilitation after certain criminal violations.

Section 22 [Revisors’ Instruction] directs the revisor to put the definitions in alphabetical order and correct cross-references throughout the statutes.

Section 23 [Repealer] repeals unnecessary definitions for “average daily handle” and “full racing card.”

 
Check on the status of this bill
 
Back to Senate Counsel and Research Bill Summaries page
 

 
This page is maintained by the Office of Senate Counsel, Research, and Fiscal Analysis for the Minnesota Senate.
 
Last review or update: 05/29/2015
 
If you see any errors on this page, please e-mail us at webmaster@senate.mn