Senate Counsel, Research
and Fiscal Analysis
Minnesota Senate Bldg.
95 University Avenue W. Suite 3300
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-4791
Tom Bottern
State of Minnesota
S.F. No. 154 - Wright, Becker, and Ramsey Counties State Auditor Legal Costs Reimbursement - The First Engrossment
Author: Senator Mary Kiffmeyer
Prepared By: Stephanie James, Senate Counsel (651/296-0103)
Date: February 4, 2019



Before 2015, the State Auditor was required by law to conduct financial audits of counties and was permitted to charge the counties for the audit.  In 2015, the legislature modified the law to permit counties to hire a private CPA to conduct their financial audits.  Wright, Becker, and Ramsey Counties notified the State Auditor of their intention to use a private CPA, and Rebecca Otto, in her capacity as the State Auditor at the time, sued these three counties to have the 2015 law declared unconstitutional.  The district court held the 2015 law to be constitutional and therefore the counties’ hiring of private CPAs was legal.  The State Auditor appealed first to the Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court, and those courts upheld the district court’s ruling.

SF 154

SF 154 appropriates money from the general fund to the Commissioner of Management and Budget to reimburse Wright, Becker, and Ramsey Counties for legal expenses the counties incurred in defending the lawsuit in the district court and through both appeals.  SF 154 provides for the Commissioner of Management and Budget to determine the amount required for reimbursement and appropriates that amount to the commissioner to pay to the counties.

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: 02/04/2019
If you see any errors on this page, please e-mail us at