Senate Counsel, Research
and Fiscal Analysis
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State of Minnesota
S.F. No. 1937 - Omnibus Jobs, Economic Development, Energy, and Commerce Bill (Third Engrossment)
Author: Senator Jeremy R. Miller
Prepared By: Carlon D. Fontaine, Senate Counsel (651/296-4395)
Date: April 18, 2017


Article 1 - Appropriations

Section 1 [Jobs and economic development appropriations] specifies definitions of fiscal years.

Section 2 [Department of Commerce] provides appropriations to the Department of Commerce. See spreadsheet for details.

Section 3 [Department of Employment and Economic Development] provides appropriations for the Department of Employment and Economic Development. See spreadsheet for details.

Section 4 [Department of Labor and Industry] provides appropriations for the Department of Labor and Industry. See spreadsheet for details.

Section 5 [Bureau of Mediation Services] provides appropriations for the Bureau of Mediation Services.  See spreadsheet for details.

Section 6 [Public Employment Relations Board] provides appropriations for the Public Employment Relations Board.  See spreadsheet for details.

Section 7 [Public Utilities Commission] provides appropriations for the Public Utilities Commission. See spreadsheet for details.

Section 8 [Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals] provides appropriations for the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.  See spreadsheet for details.

Section 9 [Appropriation and transfer] directs Xcel Energy to transfer $10,000,000 in fiscal year 2018 from the renewable development account to the special revenue fund and then appropriates the amount to the commissioner of commerce for a onetime transfer to the Iron Range Resource and Rehabilitation Board for deposit in a business development fund for renewable energy manufacturing.

Article 2 - Commerce

Sections 1, 6, and 23 [Insurance fraud prevention account] redirect $1,300,000 a year that currently goes into the general fund from the auto theft prevention account to the insurance fraud prevention account.  These sections are from S.F. 929 (Koran).

Section 2 [Assessments] provides that financial institutions assessment revenue is remitted to the commissioner for deposit in the financial institutions account.

Section 3 [Financial institutions account] creates the financial institutions account as a separate account in the special revenue fund. The account consists of assessments and examination fees on financial institutions and is annually appropriated to the commissioner.

Section 4 [Fee] raises the annual renewal fee for money transmitters from $2,500 to $3,030.

Section 5 [Amounts] increases the renewal fee for a mortgage originator’s license from $500 to $780.

Section 7 [Registration application and renewal filing fee] increases the fee for a securities agent from $50 to $60.

Section 8 [Dispute; resolution] exempts rural electric cooperatives from the requirement to have the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) resolve disputes regarding net metering. Sections 8 to 10 are from H.F. 234 (Weber).

Section 9 [Municipal electric utility] exempts municipal utilities from the requirement to have the PUC resolve disputes regarding net metering.

Section 10 [Cooperative electric association] authorizes the board of directors of a rural electric cooperative to exempt it from regulation by the PUC with respect to net metering, provided the board does so by resolution and adopts rules implementing the net metering statute, including rules providing a process to resolve disputes. Terminates disputes pending before the commission.

Section 11 [Solar energy standard] makes the current solar energy standard of at least ten percent of the 1.5 percent goal to be met by solar energy from solar photovoltaic devices with a nameplate capacity of 20 kilowatts or less applicable to a public utility with more than 200,000 retail electric customers (applies to Xcel Energy only). Requires a public utility with between 50,000 and 200,000 retail electric customers (applies to Otter Tail Power and Minnesota Power) to meet at least ten percent of the 1.5 percent goal with solar energy from solar photovoltaic devices with a nameplate capacity of 40 kilowatts or less. Allows individual customer subscriptions of 40 kilowatts or less to a community solar garden program operated by the public utility to apply toward that goal. Sections 11, 13, and 14, are from S.F. 1649 (Ingebrigtsen).

Section 12 [Staging and permitting] extends the time period for site and route permits and water appropriation approvals to remain valid for an innovative energy project. This is from S.F. 584 (Tomassoni).

Section 13 [Resource plan filing and approval] requires a utility, when filing a resource plan with the PUC, to include the least cost plan for meeting 50 and 75 percent of all energy needs from both new and refurbished generating facilities (instead of capacity needs) through a combination of conservation and renewable energy resources. This section has an effective date of the day following final enactment, but would apply only to resource plans filed on or after July 1, 2017.

Section 14 [Preference for renewable energy facility] includes additional factors that the PUC must consider when making a public interest determination for approval or rate recovery for new or refurbished nonrenewable energy facilities. Requires the PUC to also consider impacts on local and regional grid reliability, utility and ratepayer impacts resulting from the intermittent nature of renewable energy facilities, and other utility and ratepayer impacts, in addition to the greenhouse gas reduction goals and the renewable energy and solar energy standards already required.

Section 15 [Assessment for department regional and national duties] extends the authorization for the Department of Commerce to assess energy utilities for department regional and national duties from June 30, 2017, to June 30, 2021. Reduces the amount that may be assessed for these activities from $1,000,000 to $500,000 per fiscal year.

Section 16 [Multifamily residential dwelling] adds a definition of multifamily residential dwelling. This is from S.F. 1088 (Pratt).

Section 17 [Voice-over-Internet protocol service] provides a definition of “Voice-over-Internet protocol service.” Sections 11 to 13 are from S.F. 1742 (Ruud).

Section 18 [Internet protocol-enable service] provides a definition of “Internet protocol-enable service.”

Section 19 [Voice-over-Internet protocol service and Internet protocol-enabled service], subdivision 1 [Regulation prohibited] prohibits any regulation by a state agency of any aspect of VoIP or IP-enabled service, except as provided in this section.

Subdivision 2 [VoIP regulation] specifies that, to the extent allowed under federal law, VoIP service is subject to Minnesota’s surcharges for 911 emergency service, telecommunications access Minnesota, and the telephone assistance plan. Requires VoIP providers to comply with federal requirements to provide access to 911 service and to report annually to the PUC how that is accomplished.  

Subdivision 3 [Relation to other law] specifies that nothing in this section affects:

  • the PUC’s jurisdiction over intrastate access rates and terms, dispute resolutions with respect to intercarrier compensation, and wholesale telecommunications services;
  • the authority of local units of government with respect to the regulation of public rights-of-way; or
  • the authority of the attorney general to enforce law governing consumer protections and trade practices.

Subdivision 4 [Exemption] specifies that any IP-enabled video service, including cable TV video service, is not regulated by the state.   

Subdivision 5 [Preservation of existing landline telephone services] specifies that this section does not affect the obligations of a telephone company to offer landline telephone service that is not VoIP service.

Section 20 [Assessment of costs related to providers of Voice-over Internet protocol service] allows the Department of Commerce and the Public Utilities Commissioner to assess their regulatory costs directly related to implementation of section 237.037 with respect to providers of Voice-over-Internet protocol service. Caps the total assessment amount at actual regulatory costs in calendar years 2019, 2020, and 2021, or $625,000 in calendar year 2019, $925,000 in calendar year 2020, and $1,200,000 in calendar year 2021.

Section 21 [Personal information; prohibition] prohibits a telecommunications or Internet service provider from collecting personal information from a customer as a result of the customer's use of the telecommunications or Internet service provider without the express written approval from the customer. Prohibits a telecommunication or Internet service provider from refusing to provide its services to a customer on the grounds that the customer has not approved collection of the customer's personal information.

Section 22 [Weights and measures fees] provides that ten percent of metrology and other fees must be credited to the petroleum inspection fee account.

Section 24 [Residential PACE consumer protection legislation task force] establishes a task force to develop recommendations for consumer protection legislation for residential PACE financing programs for single-family dwellings. Specifies membership and duties of the task force. Requires a report to the legislature to include any draft legislation necessary to implement the recommendations of the task force by January 15, 2018. Prohibits operation of residential PACE program for single-family dwellings until legislation is enacted establishing the consumer protections identified by the task force. This is from S.F. 1088 (Pratt).

Section 25 [Repealer] repeals a provision related to application and adjustment of financial institution fees.

Article 3 – Labor and Industry

Section 1 [Standards for dual training] amends and clarifies the duties of the commissioner of labor and industry with regard to standards for dual training to require the commissioner to convene industry representatives, identify occupational competency standards, and provide technical assistance to develop dual-training programs. This is from S.F. 1846 (Senjem).

Section 2 [Youth skills training program] establishes a youth skills training program. Requires the programs to provide work-based skills training opportunities for students who are at least 16 years of age.  Authorizes the commissioner of labor and industry to award grants to local programs.  Provides requirements and parameters for local youth skills training programs. This is from S.F. 474 (Anderson, P.).

Section 3 [License fees and license renewal fees] provides a two-year fee reduction for certain license classifications.

Section 4 [Places of public accommodations subject to code] specifies that the commissioner shall enforce the State Building Code for “places of public accommodation” if not adopted by a municipality.

Section 5 [Building permits] provides a two-year fee reduction for certain building permits.

Section 6 [Wind electric systems] codifies fees for wind electric system installations.

Section 7 [Solar photovoltaic systems] codifies fees for solar photovoltaic systems.

Section 8 [Powers; duties; administrative support] allows the Plumbing Board to regulate continuing education for “registered unlicensed individuals.” Sections 8 to 14 are from S.F. 369 (Housley).

Section 9 [Water conditioning installation] expands the scope of work that a water conditioning installer can do from single family homes only, to include multifamily and nonresidential buildings when certain conditions are met.

Section 10 [Direct supervisor] defines the term “direct supervision” with respect to supervision of a registered unlicensed individual.

Section 11 [Direct supervisor] defines who may be a “direct supervisor” for water conditioning installation work.

Section 12 [Qualifications for licensing] adds installation of water conditioning systems to the list of skills that must be demonstrated to earn a water conditioning master license.

Section 13 [Plumber’s apprentices] adds restricted master plumbers and restricted journeymen plumbers to the list of people who may provide direct supervision of a plumber’s apprentice.

Section 14 [Registered unlicensed individuals] creates a registration requirement for people who perform water conditioning installation work without a license, essentially as apprentices. Requires that a registered unlicensed individual only do water conditioning work under the direct supervision of a licensed individual who can make sure all work is done properly and that records of this work be kept. Allows registered unlicensed individuals who have accumulated 875 hours of practical experience in the trade to take the water conditioning journeyman examination. Provides for applications and fees to become a registered unlicensed individual.

Section 15 [Definitions] clarifies the term “residential real estate” to include only detached garages intended for storage of vehicles associated with residential real estate for purposes of the contractor recovery fund.  

Section 16 [Payment limitations] increases the cap on the amount the commissioner may pay as compensation from the contractor recovery fund to owners and lessees from $150,000 to $300,000 per licensee.

Section 17 [Repealer] repeals the accelerated compensation process from the contractor recovery fund statute.

Article 4 – Employment and Economic Development

Section 1 [Limitations] specifies that grants for projects in underserved areas may fund no more than 50 percent of a project cost. Requires grants for projects in unserved areas to have a 35 percent match. Current law allows only up to 50 percent of the project cost for all projects. Lowers the maximum grant allowed from $5 million to $3 million. This is from S.F. 980 (Westrom).

Section 2 [Administration] allows a local government to receive more than one Minnesota investment fund award in a fiscal year.

Section 3 [Transfer] allows the commissioner to transfer up to $2,000,000 of a fiscal year's appropriation between the Minnesota job creation fund program and Minnesota investment fund to meet business demand.

Section 4 [Definitions] adds definitions for “minority person,” “persons with disabilities,” and “veteran” to apply to the job creation fund.

Sections 5 to 7 [Minnesota job creation fund modifications] provides incentives for designation as a Minnesota job creation fund business for projects located outside of the metropolitan area or if a business is cumulatively owned by minorities, veterans, women, or persons with a disability. 

Section 8 [Dislocated worker definition] clarifies that “dislocated worker” does not include an individual who was an employee, at the time employment ceased, of a political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit, as those terms are used in chapter 10A, or an organization required to file with the federal elections commission. This is from S.F. 1363 (Housley)

Section 9 [Workforce development board] makes technical changes necessary for federal conformity with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Sections 10 to 15 and 17 [Emerging entrepreneur program] make technical and programmatic corrections.

Section 16 [Assistive technology] modifies an appropriation to clarify the purpose of the grant.

Section 18 [Onetime exception to restrictions on use of Minnesota investment fund local government loan repayment funds] allows a onetime exception to the restrictions on use of Minnesota investment funds (MIF) for a home rule charter or statutory city, county, or town that has uncommitted money received from repayment of awarded MIF funds. Provides that if the local government transfers 20 percent of the balance of the money to the general fund before June 30, 2018, the local government may use the remaining funds as a general purpose aid for any lawful expenditure. Requires a report from local governments on the use and distribution of the funds. This is from S.F. 1456 (Miller).

Section 19 [Getting to work grant program] creates the “Getting to work” grant program to make grants to nonprofit organizations to provide, repair, or maintain motor vehicles that will assist low-income individuals in obtaining or keeping employment. Outlines program and application criteria. Requires a report to the legislature on program outcomes. This is from S.F. 758 (Ingebrigtsen).

Section 20 [Repealer] repeals obsolete rules for the former urban initiative program.


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