Gov. Tim Walz and legislators acted quickly to aid the state’s response to the emerging Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak.
A new law, effective April 9, 2022, provides a $1 million, one-time appropriation from the General Fund to the Department of Agriculture for surveillance and testing supplies for the outbreak. The department may transfer funds to the Board of Animal Health for surveillance of the disease.
Additionally, the law makes private any data collected and maintained by the Agriculture Department, Minnesota State system and other pass-through recipients regarding individuals who seek assistance with mental or behavioral health, or individuals who contact the Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline. The private data includes anything that identifies the individual or data provided that identifies another person. However, data can be released under emergency conditions if necessary to protect the health or safety of any person.
Rep. Ginny Klevorn (DFL-Plymouth) and Sen. Andrew Mathews (R-Princeton) sponsor the law.
The combined total in a new law containing appropriations for agriculture, drought relief and broadband is $50.9 million from the General Fund in the 2022-23 biennium and $32.5 million in the next biennium.
Sponsored by Rep. Mike Sundin (DFL-Esko) and Sen. Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake), the law will provide the Department of Agriculture with an additional $1.5 million in fiscal year 2022 and $6 million in fiscal year 2023. An additional $7.5 million will be added to the department’s base in the 2024-25 biennium. These appropriations took effect May 27, 2022.
Agriculture Department appropriations in fiscal year 2023, unless otherwise noted, include:
• $1.9 million for agriculture, bioenergy and bioproduct advancement;
• $827,000 for grants to organizations to provide technical and culturally appropriate services to emerging farmers and related businesses; organizations to help emerging farmers pay for up to 65 percent of premium expenses each year up to two years under the federal micro farm insurance program; and The Good Acre for the Local Emergency Assistance Farmer Fund program to compensate emerging farmers for crops donated to hunger relief organizations in Minnesota;
• $750,000 to support the department’s IT modernization;
• $750,000 for the Ag Innovation Campus to continue construction of a soybean processing and research facility;
• $630,000 will be added to the base for fiscal year 2024 and each following year to fund the Forever Green Initiative;
• $500,000 is a onetime appropriation for a soil health financial assistance pilot program;
• $350,000 to secondary career and technical education programs for the purpose of offering instruction in meat cutting and butchery;
• $250,000 to purchase equipment for the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to test for chronic wasting disease, African swine fever, avian influenza and other animal diseases; and
• $141,000 to administer the beginning farmer tax credit (with a $56,000 annual base appropriation going forward).
The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute will have an additional $300,000 added to its fiscal year 2024 base for equipment upgrades and replacement, installation expenses and laboratory infrastructure for sites in Crookston, Marshall and Waseca. An additional $200,000 will be added to the base in fiscal year 2024 and thereafter to maintain levels of service. (Art. 1, Secs. 1-4)
The law directs $8.1 million in fiscal year 2022 to the Department of Agriculture to provide financial assistance to livestock farmers and specialty crop producers impacted by a 2021 drought. Another $2.5 million is to be transferred from the General Fund to the Rural Finance Authority Revolving Loan account, with priority given to drought relief loans, and $1.5 million in fiscal year 2022 is transferred from the General Fund to the agricultural emergency account.
The Department of Natural Resources will receive $5 million in fiscal year 2023 to replace drought-killed seedlings on lands managed by the department and to administer grants to tribal, county and private forestland owners to replace drought-killed seedlings on their land, and $300,000 in fiscal year 2022 for costs associated with resolving well interferences confirmed by the DNR between May 1, 2021 and Dec. 30, 2021. (Art. 3, Secs. 1-6)
Agriculture policy provisions
Generally effective July 1, 2022, policies and programs in the law include:
• the Department of Agriculture must re-establish and administer a grant program to assist farmers in financing new cooperatives that operate agricultural product processing facilities or market agricultural products or services;
• let the department provide farm down payment assistance grants of up to $15,000 per eligible farmer;
• the Board of Animal Health is allowed to apply and receive federal money for animal disease response;
• the Pollinator Research Account is extended until July 1, 2025;
• a member with knowledge of cybersecurity will be added to the Food Safety and Defense Task Force;
• modifies, including eligibility criteria, the Bioincentive Program whereby the Agriculture Department pays eligible entities that produce qualifying advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals or biomass thermal energy; and
• establishment of a soil health financial assistance pilot program. (Art. 2, Secs. 2, 10-11, 15-16, 18-23, 29)
The Department of Employment and Economic Development must establish a lower population density pilot program to provide broadband to unserved and underserved areas. The department will also establish a broadband line extension grant program.
The department must submit a federal grant plan application requesting that $60.7 million of Minnesota’s capital projects fund be used for grants for broadband projects. Of the total, $30 million would go to the lower population density program, $15 million for the broadband line extension program and $15 million for a statewide comprehensive mapping.
Effective July 1, 2022, a $25 million General Fund appropriation in fiscal year 2023 will be transferred to the Border-to-Border Broadband Fund.
A grant program will be established to assist broadband providers in extending broadband service to unserved locations through a reverse auction process. The law also regulates the use of easements to provide broadband service. (Art. 4, Secs. 1-7; Art. 5, Secs. 1, 3)
Sales representatives will get their day in Minnesota court.
Effective Aug. 1, 2022, a new law will bar sales representative agreement provisions that include a choice of venue in another state. This means sales representatives working in Minnesota won’t face undue travel burdens in a dispute, and manufacturers cannot have sales contracts adjudicated out of state.
Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) and Sen. Eric Pratt (R-Prior Lake) sponsor the law.
In 2016, the Legislature took action targeting bad actors in the debt settlement field who were unqualified and unable to fulfill their promise of settling a tax debt. Some took payment upfront and failed to follow through.
A new law, effective Aug. 1, 2022, clarifies that professional firms and enrolled agents – those federally recognized to provide tax services – are not debt settlement providers and do not fall under statutes regulating that industry.
Rep. Andrew Carlson (DFL-Bloomington) and Sen. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville) sponsor the law.
With more coursework moving online, language about continuing education requirements for real estate, insurance and appraisal licensing has been updated.
Much of the new law aims to make requirements more understandable without lowering standards. It takes effect Aug. 1, 2022.
For example, the law requires exam proctors be at least 18 years old; not be a relative, supervisor or fellow student in the class; or have a financial interest in the student passing.
It also puts requirements on on-demand courses. Among them, course providers cannot sell students’ personal information without consent and must provide a course evaluation that, at a minimum, asks students about any technical difficulties.
Rep. Brian Pfarr (R-Le Sueur) and Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls) sponsor the law.
A new law clarifies which bullion buyers and sellers fall under state regulations, including the types of transactions they perform.
Effective Aug. 1, 2022, it defines a “registered dealer” as someone with a shop or representative in the state, who delivers bullion to a Minnesota address or who purchases from a resident. A dealer will be prohibited from conducting a Minnesota transaction without being registered.
An exception to the dealer registration for someone who engages in 12 or less trade shows per year in this state is deleted.
A dealer’s surety bond requirement is altered. The amount required will be based on their Minnesota transactions during the 12-month period prior to registration, and the minimum Minnesota transaction amount to require a surety bond is increased from zero to $25,000 in the preceding 12 months.
Rep. Aisha Gomez (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls) sponsor the law.
A new law, effective Sept. 1, 2022, will impact real estate appraisers, including continuing education requirements.
In some cases, appraisers can receive continuing education credit for a class that wasn’t pre-approved in Minnesota. The appraiser must apply for the credit, and the class must be approved in at least one other state.
Additionally, the law allows appraisers to provide a minimum damage acquisition report for eminent domain procedures under $25,000, and they are not engaged in a fully regulated real estate appraisal activity when doing do.
Another provision says appraisers licensed after Sept. 1, 2021, must complete a course on valuation bias before their first license renewal.
Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (R-Sartell) and Sen. Bill Weber (R-Luverne) are the sponsors.
A new law, effective to initial registrations filed on or after Jan. 1, 2023, changes the due date for franchise renewals.
The deadline to renew a business registration will be the anniversary of the initial registration instead of 120 days after the end of the fiscal year.
Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls) sponsor the law.
A new law will offer Minnesotans protection from bad actors who maliciously use state resources.
Effective Aug. 1, 2022, the secretary of state’s office will have the authority to reject – at the time or after the fact – clearly fraudulent Uniform Commercial Code lien filings meant to harass or intimidate.
The office regularly handles UCC filings, which are legal notices that the filer has a security interest against a debtor.
On occasion, claims are fraudulent and meant to retaliate, harass, or lay the groundwork for further fraud. The false claims are often filed against corrections officers, law enforcement personnel, judges or other public officials.
The new law allows the secretary of state’s office to set aside claims that fall under certain parameters; the false filings often include common characteristics such as imprecise addresses.
Filers can appeal if they believe their claim was improperly rejected, and will keep their place in line as creditors if reinstated.
If a filing is accepted and later shown to be fraudulent, there will be a process to remove the claim without going to court.
Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL-St. Paul) and Sen. Andrew Mathews (R-Princeton) sponsor the law.
People who work for collection agencies can continue to work from home as they had during the COVID-19 emergency under a portion of a new law.
Effective June 1, 2022, “An employee of a licensed collection agency may work from a location other than the licensee's business location if the licensee and employee comply with all requirements under this section that would apply if the employee were working at the business location.”
Effective July 1, 2022, the law also requires the Department of Commerce to create and maintain a list of nonprofit credit counseling organizations and requires debt collection agencies include the list in their first written communication to a debtor.
Per the law, “Contact information for organizations that provide credit counseling services in languages other than English to individuals whose primary language is other than English must be included. The document shall include the following statement in English, Spanish, Somali, Hmong, Vietnamese, and Chinese:
"There are resources available to help manage your debt. The following Minnesota organizations offer debt and credit counseling services. The Department of Commerce does not control or guarantee any of the services provided by these organizations. The provision of this list is not a referral to, or endorsement or recommendation of, any organization or the organization's services."
Rep. Jordan Rasmusson (R-Fergus Falls) and Sen. Karin Housley (R-Stillwater) sponsor the law.
A new law aims to help increase the number of living tissue donors by prohibiting discrimination by insurers.
Effective for insurance policies issued and renewed on or after Aug. 1, 2022, the law will bar discrimination in life, disability or long-term care policies due to a person’s status as a living organ or bone marrow donor. Discrimination due solely to status will be barred in the premium rating, issuance, cancellation or amount of coverage.
Research has shown no higher risk of death or disability after people have donated bone marrow, one of their kidneys or parts of other organs.
Rep. Kaohly Vang Her (DFL-St. Paul) and Sen. Paul Utke (R-Park Rapids) are the law sponsors.
More brewers and craft distillers can now sell directly to customers.
The omnibus liquor bill allows breweries that produce up to 150,000 barrels of beer annually to be licensed to sell growlers from their premises, raising the production cap from 20,000 barrels.
Microbreweries that produce up to 7,500 barrels of beer may be licensed for off-sale in cans and bottles also offered to wholesalers. They may sell up to 128 ounces per day per customer.
Sponsored by Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) and Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls), and mostly effective May 25, 2022, the legislation also includes Minnesota manufacturers in its open-wholesaling statutes for distilled spirits. By removing an exception for in-state producers, the legislation preserves the Coleman Act, which prohibits exclusive contracts for liquor excluding beer and wine.
Additionally, $250,000 is appropriated to hire two more employees in the Department of Commerce Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division.
Other provisions will:
• modify the definition of malt beverages;
• allow distilleries of any size to be licensed to operate a cocktail room;
• allow micro distilleries to be licensed for off-sale of full-sized bottles;
• let wineries that produce less than 2,500 barrels of cider to self-distribute apple-based cider products;
• counties may issue on-sale licenses to auto racing facilities and resorts;
• allow town ball organizers concession sales of beer and wine;
• cities and counties may issue seven-day temporary liquor licenses for county fairs;
• let liquor stores sell citrus fruit and glassware; and
• extend hours for alcohol sales during live World Cup soccer matches this year and next.
The law also offer special on-sale liquor licenses, for:
• the owners of a junior hockey team in Willmar;
• Bob Cross Regional Park in Sauk Rapids;
• Thai Cultural Council of Minnesota;
• Whitney Park in St. Cloud; and
• McQuillan Park Softball Complex in Rochester.
Each will take effect upon local approval, as will a provision to allow Anoka to create an outdoor social district where consumption of alcohol is permitted. The city must report back to state leaders its process, community response, concerns and recommendations.
A new law will allow long-term care insurance to be sold as part life insurance, with an aim to offer the product to more Minnesotans.
Sales of the coverage is allowed if it is an “innovative or reasonable approach” to protect and is in the best interest of the consumer.
Rep. Leon Lillie (DFL-North St. Paul) and Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls) sponsor the law that takes effect Aug. 1, 2022.
In part, a new law expands jurisdiction of the Commerce Department Fraud Bureau and offers additional funding for enforcement staff.
Sponsored by Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) and Rep. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls), the law takes effect July 1, 2022, unless otherwise noted.
The bureau’s jurisdiction no longer is limited to insurance fraud; its primary jurisdiction is offenses with a “nexus to insurance related or financial crimes.” For example, the bureau can investigate financial crimes such as wage theft.
The legislation includes a supplemental budget appropriation of $870,000 from the General Fund in fiscal year 2023 for five additional peace officers in the Commerce Fraud Bureau.
More financial institutions will be assessed a fee to support the Commerce Department work.
A pre-application process called for in the law will “permit an individual to submit a preliminary application for a determination … as to whether a criminal record or conviction that may be considered by the state licensor under state law would make the individual ineligible to receive an occupational or professional license, registration, or certificate issued by the state licensor.” This takes effect July 1, 2023.
It does not apply to education or health and human services licenses.
The new law also:
• has financial institutions file articles of incorporation with the Department of Commerce instead of the Office of the Secretary of State;
• changes language from “husband and wife” to “married couple;” in a section pertaining to safety deposit boxes;
• sets a time limit of nine years from the date of the violation for the Commerce Department to start enforcement action unless the violation is in a contract that remains in force; the limit is two years from the date of discovery of the violation in that case;
• effective Aug. 1, 2022, prohibits the state from participating in a multistate examination at the same time as it is conducting its own, separate examination;
• requires the Commerce Department inform companies in writing of specific instances of lack of cooperation in enforcement action;
• requires the department first attempt informal remedies, such as a consent order or nonpublic letter of reprimand, for any alleged violation of law discovered during an examination or investigation;
• requires the Commerce Department annually report to the Legislature about pending and completed market exams by Feb. 1;
• effective June 3, 2022, establishes rights of federally chartered home loan banks with regards to collateral when lending to a Minnesota-based insurance company;
• makes a library of equipment available to all law enforcement agencies to combat car theft and makes a onetime $522,000 appropriation in fiscal year 2023 for it;
• specifies vehicle manufacturers may require their dealers “to comply with reasonable requirements for the sale and service of an alternative fuel vehicle or to serve an alternative fuel vehicle customer;” and
• clarifies what is a prohibited rebate with regards to insurance companies. This takes effect Jan. 1, 2023.
Indemnity agreements for design professional service contracts are clarified under a new law that removes three words.
Effective May 23, 2022, it states these types of contracts are permissible only when the obligation to indemnify, hold harmless or defend an indemnitee “is covered by insurance.” Previous law covered someone “is able to be covered by insurance.”
An indemnity agreement is a contract that protects one party of a transaction from the risks or liabilities created by the other party.
Rep. Mike Sundin (DFL-Esko) and Sen. Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks) sponsor the law.
A new law removes restrictions on how law enforcement agencies release background check results of applicants seeking employment with, or a license from, a city or county.
Effective Aug. 1, 2022, law enforcement agencies will be authorized to release the full criminal history data of an applicant to a city or county, while no longer being restricted to only notify cities or counties whether a background check revealed disqualifying offenses.
Law enforcement agencies, cities, and counties must also securely maintain data resulting from a criminal background check and notify an applicant of the grounds and reasons for a denial or disqualification.
The law is sponsored by Rep. Kaohly Vang Her (DFL-St. Paul) and Sen. Mark Koran (R-North Branch).
Minnesota uses the torrens and abstract title system for registration of land. Under the torrens system, upon the landowner’s application, a court may, after appropriate proceedings, direct the issuance of a certificate of title.
Effective Aug. 1, 2022, a new law makes technical and clarifying changes to torrens title statutes, including clarifying that a torrens registration can apply to two or more owners where the tracts contain a common title defect that requires substantially the same evidence needed for adjudication.
Persons who have an interest in land are allowed to assent in writing to its registration and waive a mailed notice.
The new law also clarifies that applications for initial registration must be in a form approved by the examiner before filing with the court administrator, and specifies if a survey is required to certify land boundaries it must be certified by a licensed surveyor.
An applicant will need to file the final order with both the registrar of titles and the county recorder.
The law is sponsored by Rep. Kelly Moller (DFL-Shoreview) and Sen. Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks).
A new procedure will be created in juvenile court for youth ages 18 to 21 to have a guardian appointed to meet the their needs or to protect the youth from trafficking or abuse.
The law, effective Aug. 1, 2022, provides that the court must issue an order for a juvenile guardianship when the juvenile and guardian both agree to the guardianship, it is in the juvenile’s best interest, and reunification with a parent is not viable due to abandonment, abuse, or neglect.
A new guardian appointment and for guardianship will automatically terminate when the juvenile reaches age 21 or the juvenile requests it end.
Rep. Sandra Feist (DFL-New Brighton) and Sen. Zach Duckworth (R-Lakeville) are the sponsors.
A new law will provide a process to register a Canadian court judgment for money in Minnesota.
This will be in addition to the existing process to register a foreign-money judgment from another jurisdiction, but has a court form that simplifies the filing and notice procedures and is specific to Canadian court judgements.
A judgment registered under the act is recognized and enforceable in the same manner and to the same extent as a judgment rendered in this state.
Rep. Sandra Feist (DFL-New Brighton) and Sen. Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks) sponsor the law that takes effect Aug. 1, 2022.
People who fear for their safety, such as those attempting to escape domestic violence, sexual assault, harassment, or stalking, often establish new addresses in order to prevent their assailants or probable assailants from finding them.
The Safe at Home program is a statewide address confidentiality program for these people. The program assigns participants a P.O. Box to use as their legal address and also spells out how state and local agencies must respond to data requests on people in the program without disclosing their location.
A new law makes various administrative and clarifying changes to the program, which is administered by the Secretary of State, and to section 13.045 of the Government Data Practices Act, which classifies as private most identity and location data about participants in the program.
Some of the changes include:
• clarifying the requirement that a landlord cannot display a participant’s name at an address rented by the participant;
• clarifying what information cannot be disclosed after a participant has notified a person about his or her participation in the Safe at Home program; and
• expanding the definition of “real property records” that are prohibited from disclosure.
Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL-Roseville) and Sen. Karla Bigham (DFL-Cottage Grove) sponsor the law, which takes effect Aug. 1, 2022.
Structured settlements are payments made over time to an individual by an insurance company to settle civil lawsuits, such as personal injury, workers compensation, and other cases where damages to the injured party may be substantial.
These payments over a lifetime can be sold or transferred to a company, often for a lump-sum, that may seem beneficial to the injured person, but are often not in their best financial interest.
A new law, mostly effective Aug. 1, 2022, will increase protections to people transferring their settlement for a lump-sum payment by, in part, requiring an attorney to review the transfer and a judge to consider if a transfer is in the payee’s best interest.
Sponsored by Rep. Erin Koegel (DFL-Spring Lake Park) and Sen. Paul Utke (R-Park Rapids), the law stipulates that an attorney assigned by a judge as an “evaluator” must “make an independent assessment and advise the court whether the proposed transfer is in the best interest of the payee, taking into consideration the payee's dependents, if any.”
The cost of engaging an independent third-party evaluator will be paid for by the company proposing the settlement transfer.
A structured settlement purchase company must also provide a payee with a statement spelling out the financial ramifications of the proposed deal, specifically the equivalent annual interest rate the payee would be effectively paying by accepting the deal.
The law establishes a special registration for structured settlement purchase companies managed by the Office of the Secretary of State. To register, companies must secure a surety bond and provide an initial $700 filing fee and a $200 renewal fee for registration applications. This provision takes effect Jan. 1, 2023.
Emancipated minors can now petition for a harassment restraining order on their own behalf when a court determines it is in the best interest of the minor.
A new law, effective May 23, 2022, gives them that right.
Previously, a petition for a harassment restraining order to protect a minor had to be brought by the minor’s parent, guardian or conservator.
To demonstrate emancipation and be eligible for a court-ordered restraining order, a minor would need to show a judge proof:
• of living separate and apart from parents;
• of managing their financial affairs; and
• that all parents who have a legal parent and child relationship with the minor have relinquished control and authority over the minor.
Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL-St. Paul) and Sen. Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks) sponsor the law.
A new law updates best interest standards in annuity sales to help protect consumers, especially older adults. Insurers may not put their financial interests ahead of the consumer.
When recommending an annuity, insurance agents should follow revised National Association of Insurance Commissioners standards, satisfying four conduct obligations: care, disclosure, conflict of interest and documentation. Under the law:
• producers have a care obligation to know their customer and have a reasonable basis for their recommendation;
• producers have an obligation to disclose their licensing and how they will be compensated for the sale. For example if they will be paid by commission or an asset management fee;
• producers must avoid and disclose conflict of interest, including sales incentives such as quotas, bonuses or limited time contests; and
• producers have an obligation to document the basis of their recommendations.
The new law also includes a requirement for additional training for current license holders.
Rep. Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (DFL-Eden Prairie) and Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls) sponsor the law.
Most provisions take effect Jan. 1, 2023.
Technology providers will be prohibited from selling or disseminating educational data on public school students and from using it for commercial purposes.
A technology provider is defined in the law as a person who provides a school-issued device for student use and through the device’s hardware or software, creates, receives, or maintains educational data on students in public schools and educational agencies or institutions.
Schools will be required to notify parents and students of contracts with technology providers regarding curriculum, testing, or assessment and provide the parent or student an opportunity to inspect the contracts.
With few exceptions, the law prohibits a technology provider, school district, or other government entity from electronically accessing or monitoring:
• any location-tracking feature of a school-issued device;
• any audio or visual receiving, transmitting, or recording feature of a school-issued device; and
• student interactions with a school-issued device, including but not limited to keystrokes and web-browsing activity.
Some exceptions include when:
• sharing data is permitted under a judicial warrant;
• sharing data is necessary to respond to an imminent threat to life or safety and the access is limited to that purpose; and
• a public educational agency or institution is notified or becomes aware that the school-issued device is missing or stolen.
The law does not apply to postsecondary schools or private schools.
Rep. Sandra Feist (DFL-New Brighton) and Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) sponsor the law, which takes effect with the 2022-23 school year.
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing into 2022, a new law reinstates the presumption for workers’ compensation benefits for frontline workers.
Effective for employees who contract COVID-19 on or after Feb. 3, 2022, the law maintains that if a worker contracts COVID-19, it is presumed they did so during the course of their employment and are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. It expires on Jan. 13, 2023.
The presumption under the previous law expired on Dec. 31, 2021.
Workers covered under the presumption include peace and police officers; firefighters; paramedics; emergency medical technicians; health care providers, nurses or assistive employees in a health care, home care, or a long-term care setting who work with COVD-19 patients; correctional officers or security counselors at correctional facilities; and child-care providers who are required to provide child care for the children of first responders and health care workers under the governor’s executive orders.
Rep. Dan Wolgamott (DFL-St. Cloud) and Sen. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville) sponsor the law.
A new law, effective March 5, 2022, tweaks and extends a 2020 law to prevent unintended consequences for health care workers.
Minnesota law lets retirees return to public employers and continue to receive pension payments, provided they work less than a full-time schedule.
However, a law enacted in May 2020 as COVID-19 was becoming prevalent, allowed retired health care workers receiving a retirement annuity from a Public Employee Retirement Association or the Minnesota State Retirement System on or after March 13, 2020 to work as many hours as needed without suspension or reduction of the retiree’s pension payments. That language expired Dec. 31, 2021.
Sponsored by Rep. Kristin Bahner (DFL-Maple Grove) and Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake), a new law extends the expiration date to Dec. 31, 2023. It also corrects language to ensure that health care workers who did not meet the technical requirements of the session law will not be required to repay their annuity.
A new law repeals a statute requiring the Board of Accountancy to automatically revoke a certified public accountant license that is expired for two years.
Effective May 23, 2022, this change will allow an individual who simply fails to renew their license to be reinstated by going through the administrative process — rather than an administrative hearing — of paying the renewal fee and providing proof of continuing professional education credits required had the person not let their license lapse.
A license can still be revoked for cause, and an expired license can still be revoked through due process and an administrative hearing.
Rep. John Huot (DFL-Rosemount) and Sen. Mark Koran (R-North Branch) are the sponsors.
A new law creates a collective bargaining unit for law enforcement supervisors under the Public Employment Labor Relations Act.
The law, effective Aug. 1, 2022, also removes state patrol supervisors, Department of Natural Resources’ enforcement supervisors and criminal apprehension investigative supervisors from the right to separate from the general supervisory employees units under PELRA.
A transition will be allowed until a collective bargaining agreement can be negotiated and approved for the new law enforcement supervisors unit.
Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL-International Falls) and Sen. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville) sponsor the law.
Fourteen largely non-controversial bills approved by the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement have been rolled into the omnibus pension and retirement law, which mostly is effective May 25, 2002.
Sponsored by Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park) and Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont), the lone provision with a onetime, $125,000 fiscal impact requires the Department of Labor and Industry to study benefit adequacy for disabled or injured police officers. A report would be due the commission and Legislature by Jan. 15, 2023.
A 2008 law to help a former Minneapolis bomb squad commander who suffered a debilitating injury called for such a study by the Public Employees Retirement Association but was never conducted.
Minnesota law lets retirees return to public employers and continue to receive pension payments, provided they work less than a full-time schedule.
Similar to what was done for health care workers earlier in 2022 to help in the fight against COVID-19, the law will allow teachers to return to teaching at a public school without having their pension reduced. This section expires Jan. 1, 2026.
Other law provisions will:
• expand the right to purchase up to five years of service credit for periods of military service beyond rights in current law;
• allow residential program leads and dental hygienists, eligible to join the Minnesota State Retirement System Correctional Plan, to transfer prior eligible service from the General Plan;
• permit the surviving spouse of a deceased state employee to purchase one month of service credit to make her eligible for an annuity death benefit;
• effective Jan. 1, 2023, permit teachers to purchase service credit for periods of service as a teacher in another state;
• to fix an administrative error, allow a Corrections Department employee to transfer prior service credit from the General Plan to the Correctional Plan;
• exempt Duluth Transit Authority employees covered by a Teamsters pension plan from Public Employees Retirement Association membership, and non-union employees would receive vesting credit when they become public employees. This takes effect when authority employees or any subdivision thereof become public employees;
• effective Jan. 1, 2023, makes several largely technical changes — recommended by the State Auditor’s Volunteer Fire Relief Association Working Group — to provisions governing volunteer firefighter relief associations;
• require the state auditor to provide an investment report to each firefighter relief association comparing their investment returns to those made by the State Board of Investment;
• authorize advanced practice registered nurses to provide disability assessments; and
• make administrative and technical changes clarifying the classification of State Board of Investment professional employees.
Plans for the Prairie Island Indian Community to use renewable energy sources to become a net zero emissions community received extensions for a bidding deadline and an appropriation from the Renewable Development Account administered by the state.
With the change, the Prairie Island Indian Community has until Jan. 1, 2023, to receive bids from three separate contractors and submit the project’s certified total cost to the Department of Commerce. The law also extends the availability of its appropriation through June 30, 2031.
Definitions are also provided for “certified total cost” and rules set for reserving a portion of the appropriation for expenditures that exceed the certified total cost.
The law took effect March 25, 2022.
It is sponsored by Rep. Jamie Long (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Michael Goggin (R-Red Wing).
In an effort to promote responsible snowmobile and off-highway vehicle use, and to protect individuals who allow their land to be used for trails, civil penalties will increase for certain off-highway vehicle violations and new civil penalties are created for certain snowmobile violations and violations of trespass laws involving an off-highway vehicle or a snowmobile.
Fines for off-highway vehicle violations will increase from $100 to $250 for a first offense, $200 to $500 for a second offense and $500 to $1,000 for third and subsequent offenses. These increased amounts will also be the civil penalty amounts for the new civil penalties for snowmobile violations and for trespass violations involving an off-highway vehicle or snowmobile. Fines collected from citations involving snowmobiles will go to the snowmobile trails and enforcement account.
The law is effective Aug. 1, 2022.
Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) and Sen. Carrie Ruud (R-Breezy Point) are the sponsors.
A new law that includes $159 million in appropriations from the Outdoor Heritage Fund for fiscal year 2023 also provides some extensions for projects that receive monies from the other three Legacy Amendment funds.
Approved by Minnesota voters in a 2008 referendum, the Legacy Amendment to Minnesota’s constitution stipulates that 0.375% of state sales taxes be divvied up thus: 33% to the Outdoor Heritage Fund, 33% to the Clean Water Fund, 19.75% to the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, and 14.25% to the Parks and Trails Fund.
The Outdoor Heritage Fund appropriation for fiscal year 2023 will be meted out according to the recommendations of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.
According to the state constitution, the Outdoor Heritage Fund may be spent only “to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife.” The $159 million appropriation will fund a variety of restoration, protection and enhancement projects around the state, with $83.4 earmarked for habitat projects, $35 million for prairies, $26.8 million for wetlands, and $13.3 million for forests.
Dates are extended for the availability of Outdoor Heritage Fund appropriations for the Buffalo River Watershed Stream Habitat program (through June 30, 2023), fisheries habitat protection on strategic north central Minnesota lakes (through June 30, 2024), and the Carnelian Creek Conservation Corridor (through June 30, 2025).
The law, effective May 23, 2022, also includes provisions for the other three funds.
Clean Water Fund rules are changed to require that a report to the Legislature on fund uses be filed by Jan. 15 of each odd-numbered year, with the option of also presenting supplemental budget recommendations by Jan. 15 of each even-numbered year. And the Clean Water Fund appropriation granted to St. Louis County for the Ash River sanitary sewer collection and treatment facility planning project is extended through June 30, 2023.
Parks and Trails Fund appropriations for projects overseen by the Department of Natural Resources, Metropolitan Council and the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission, enhanced web-based information for parks and trails users, and support for activities of the Parks and Trails Legacy Advisory Committee are extended through June 30, 2024. Also extended through that date is the appropriation for Crookston’s Central Park project.
And the availability of Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund appropriations for the Minnesota Historical Society of $15.6 million in fiscal year 2020 and $17.4 million in fiscal year 2021 has been extended through June 30, 2023.
Rep. Leon Lillie (DFL-North St. Paul) and Sen. Carrie Ruud (R-Breezy Point) sponsor the law.
The $70.88 million fiscal year 2023 appropriations from the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund covers more than 100 projects.
The fund was established in 1988 via constitutional amendment to “provide a long-term, consistent, and stable source of funding for activities that protect, conserve, preserve, and enhance Minnesota's ‘air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources’ for the benefit of current citizens and future generations.” Money is generated by the state lottery.
Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) and Sen. Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake) sponsor the law that mostly takes effect July 1, 2022.
Funding in the law includes:
• $26.18 million for 14 habitat and recreation projects, including nearly $7.4 million for state trail rehabilitation and enhancement;
• $11.29 million for 11 projects to protect, restore and enhance land, water and habitat;
• $9 million for natural resources data and information;
• $6.23 million to support the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center to fund research projects to better manage invasive plants, pathogens, and pests on Minnesota's natural and agricultural lands;
• $5.78 million for water resources;
• $4.27 million for nine projects related to environmental education;
• $2 million to replace failing septic systems to protect groundwater;
• $843,000 for air quality and renewable energy projects;
• $800,000 to establish a Pig’s Eye Landfill Task Force to coordinate efforts to remediate and restore a Superfund site and address PFAS contamination of Battle Creek, Pig's Eye Lake and nearby groundwater;
• $763,000 for the Forever Green Agriculture Initiative at the University of Minnesota;
• $750,000 to provide onetime state incentive payments to enrollees in the federal Conservation Reserve Program during the continuous enrollment period and to enroll land in conservation easements;
• $500,000 for an enhanced forest inventory on county and private lands;
• $500,000 for continued mapping of the aggregate resource potential in the state and to make the information available in print and electronic format to local units of government for use in planning and zoning;
• $500,000 to develop enterprises, supply chains, and markets for continuous living cover crops and cropping systems in the early stage of commercial development;
• $400,000 to complete a centralized aquifer property database to provide needed data for site characterization;
• $360,000 to assist in constructing rural and farmstead ring levees for flood protection in the Red River watershed;
• $200,000 to procure an analysis of the extent of leaded gasoline contamination in or near the cities of Paynesville, Foley, Alexandria, and Blaine, and of the threat posed by the contamination to each city's drinking water supply; and
• $200,000 to build and improve living snow fences consisting of trees, shrubs, native grasses and wildflowers.
The law also outlines the availability of appropriations, data availability requirements, project requirements, payment conditions and capital equipment expenditures, purchasing recycled and recyclable materials, energy conservation and sustainable building guidelines, accessibility, carryforward/extensions and transfers.
Resources, advocacy and visibility are some plusses of a new law aimed at protecting children, some who’ve already experienced hard times.
An Office of the Foster Youth Ombudsperson and Board of the Foster Youth Ombudsperson will be created thanks to a new law that takes effect July 1, 2022.
Per the law, “The foster youth ombudsperson is accountable to the governor and may investigate decisions, acts, and other matters related to the health, safety, and welfare of youth in foster care to promote the highest attainable standards of competence, efficiency, and justice for youth who are in the care of the state.”
Among the ombudsperson duties will be:
• establishing a complaint process, including submission and review;
• determining the scope and manner of investigations;
• making recommendations to the governor and Legislature;
• investigating administrative agency actions, including examining where a youth in foster care is physically placed;
• the power to subpoena someone to appear, give testimony or produce documents or other evidence relevant to an inquiry; and
• upon a youth’s request, being present at court proceedings, conferences, deliberations and related meetings.
The Board of the Foster Youth Ombudsperson will make recommendations to the foster youth ombudsperson and staff while continuously overseeing the ombudsperson's work.
A $775,000 fiscal year 2023 appropriation will create and operate the Office of the Foster Youth Ombudsperson and Board of the Foster Youth Ombudsperson. Its base appropriation will be $726,000 in both fiscal years 2024 and 2025.
Rep. Jessica Hanson (DFL-Burnsville) and Sen. Karin Housley (R-Stillwater) sponsor the law.
The state’s reinsurance program will continue under a new law that reauthorizes the Minnesota Premium Security Plan for five years and funds it at $890 million for three years.
Reinsurance is designed to stabilize premiums in the individual health insurance market, which covers more than 165,000 people. The state pays a portion of very high medical bills, offering insurers in the individual market a backstop.
The legislation also requires insurers to cover postnatal visits and offer an option to spread out a person’s drug co-pay throughout the year.
Sponsored by Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) and Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls), the legislation met an April 1 deadline to reauthorize the program needed for a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services waiver. The law various effective dates.
“Physician assistant,” “licensed physician assistant,” “physician assistant services,” and related terms will be added to more than 160 state statutes that give physicians and other health care providers certain rights, duties, and protections, or authority to perform certain acts.
Some of the changes include:
• updating statute allowing licensed physicians to authorize the administration of opiate antagonists, such as naloxone;
• permitting licensed physician assistants to authorize the seclusion of patients at risk of self-harm in detox facilities; and
• permitting physician assistants to assess the level of care needed by children with disabilities who are eligible for Medical Assistance.
The law also removes language related to physician assistants acting under the direction of a physician and makes technical and clarifying changes.
Rep. Kristin Bahner (DFL-Maple Grove) and Sen. Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake) sponsor the law that takes effect Aug. 1, 2022.
A new law reorganizes statutes regarding the disability waiver rate system, which sets reimbursement rates for home- and community-based disability services under Medicaid.
It also aims to make the statutes easier to read and amend, by, for example, rendering terms more consistent and making the basic format of the rate calculations consistent.
And it requires the Department of Human Services to recommend an update to the competitive workforce factor every two years. It cannot change by more than 2%.
The law, effective July 1, 2022, is sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Schultz (DFL-Duluth) and Sen. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka).
The Department of Human Services can continue some program modifications and waivers that were allowed during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.
Effective March 25, 2022, a new law includes a $1.03 million appropriation for an emergency temporary staffing pool, open to a variety of facilities including nursing and assisted living facilities, adult foster care, group homes and shelters.
Additionally, medical professionals can provide some services in Minnesota under out-of-state credentials.
Waivers that allow oral or written signatures by applicants for public assistance programs can continue through June 30, 2023. Waivers permitting video conferencing for some foster care visits and video oversight can continue through June 30, 2022.
The law allows state child care assistance programs to pay a provider when the center was closed due to health concerns related to COVID-19. These payments are retroactive to Nov. 1, 2021, and available until June 26, 2022. Some child-care staff distribution requirements are also relaxed.
The law is sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Schultz (DFL-Duluth) and Sen. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka).
A new law specifies how the state will distribute more than $300 million Minnesota is expected to receive from the national opioid settlement, which collected $26 billion nationally in payments resulting from a multi-state lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors.
The state signed onto the national settlement in August 2021.
As part of the settlement, the state reached an intrastate agreement with units of local government on how settlement funds are to be distributed. The agreement and the new state law provide that Minnesota counties and cities are to receive 75 percent of the settlement funds, and the state is to receive 25 percent.
Municipalities are prohibited from filing claims against the opioid manufacturers and distributors who were part of the settlement.
Money from the settlement will be distributed through grants awarded by the Department of Human Services for opioid education, programs to prevent opioid addiction, and opioid treatment and recovery services across the state, as specified by the Opiate Epidemic Response Advisory Council. Money from the settlement will also be appropriated to tribal social service agency initiative projects to provide child protection services, and used for grant administration and other purposes.
Rep. Liz Olson (DFL-Duluth) and Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center) sponsor the law that took effect May 11, 2022.
A new law appropriates $92.7 million to fund mental health programs and initiatives ranging from establishing loan forgiveness for mental health professionals to expanding the use of mobile crisis service teams.
The law, effective June 3, 2022, unless noted otherwise, is sponsored by Rep. Heather Edelson (DFL-Edina) and Sen. Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake). Policy provisions that relate to federal programs take effect the later of July 1, 2023 or upon federal approval.
A State Competency Restoration Board in the judicial branch is established and will be funded with $22.3 million beginning in the 2024-25 biennium to hire and oversee “forensic navigators,” whose duties would include coordinating mental health services to criminal defendants deemed incompetent to stand trial.
Another $10.1 million in the 2024-25 biennium is appropriated to district courts to pay for additional competency examination costs and for expanded mental health services to those criminal defendants. (Art. 3; Secs. 1-2)
Mobile crisis services funded by a $9.6 million appropriation in fiscal years 2024-25 will provide a rapid response to individuals in a mental health crisis. These teams will be comprised of mental health professionals and practitioners who provide psychiatric services to individuals within their own homes and at other sites outside the traditional clinical setting. (Art. 3, Sec. 13)
Oher funding provisions in fiscal year 2023, unless noted, include:
• $10.2 million in fiscal year 2025 and an additional $10.1 million in fiscal year 2026 and thereafter for adult mental health initiative grants;
• $2.9 million for intensive residential treatment service providers to provide treatment in locked facilities for patients transferred from a jail or deemed incompetent to stand trial;
• $2.5 million for grants to mental health providers to supervise interns and clinical trainees working toward becoming a mental health professional;
• $2 million for school-linked behavioral health grants;
• $2 million for shelter-linked youth mental health grants;
• $1.6 million for educational loan forgiveness for mental health professionals;
• $1.2 million for a mental health urgency room pilot program;
• $1 million for a health care professionals mental health grant program; and
• $1 million for a grant for a licensed community mental health center specializing in services for African American children and families (Art. 3; Secs. 2-3, 7, 9-12, 18-19).
Policy provisions in the new law include:
• codifying many of the court rules governing the competency restoration process, requires community supervision of some individuals who are not competent to stand trial and are not committed to a mental health hospital, permits the use of forced medication to restore some individuals to competency, and creates timelines for regular review of defendants who are receiving competency restoration services;
• establishing procedures for county boards to inventory and evaluate the adult mental health initiative services they provide;
• modifying when children referred to a treatment center because of severe emotional disturbance need to undergo a clinical assessment;
• developing a public awareness campaign on the signs and symptoms of a first episode of psychosis for at-risk youth; and
• establishing additional licensing requirements for children’s residential facilities providing crisis stabilization services (Art. 1; Secs. 6, 10-12).
A new law makes changes to policies governing the Health and Human Services departments.
The wide-ranging law sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Schultz (DFL-Duluth) and Sen. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) makes changes affecting child welfare and protection, health-related licensing boards, behavioral health policies, continuing care for older adults, services for people with disabilities, programs to protect children and vulnerable adults, preventing homelessness, economic assistance, and licensing and operations policies at the Department of Human Services.
It is effective July 1, 2022 unless otherwise noted.
A $522,000 appropriation in fiscal year 2023 from the State Government Special Revenue Fund to the Department of Human Services is to implement provisions to eliminate duplicative background studies for personal care assistants and other health aides not licensed through professional boards. (Art. 1, Sec. 70)
Beginning Sept. 1, 2022, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program gross income limit will be raised from 165% of the federal poverty guidelines to 200% of the federal poverty guidelines (Art. 9, Sec. 1).
Effective June 3, 2022, a nine-member Opioids, Substance Use, and Addiction subcabinet in the executive branch is created by the law. The Governor's Advisory Council on Opioids, Substance Use, and Addiction is also established to advise the subcabinet. It will be comprised of up to 18 members.
Among its duties, the subcabinet is to “identify challenges that exist within state government that create silos around addiction, treatment, prevention, and recovery; that limit access to treatment options or addiction-related services for all Minnesotans; and that prevent successful treatment outcomes.” The group is to also look at opportunities to “support accessible and effective substance use disorder treatment options or addiction-related services” and strategies that could be used to address prevention efforts. (Art. 6, Sec. 1)
Other provisions in the law include:
• establishing a loan forgiveness program for individual home and community-based services workers for education in nursing and other health care fields (Art. 1, Sec. 5);
• effective June 3, 2022, modifying practice supervision requirements for certain mental health professionals to allow hours to be completed via remote audio and video (Art. 3, Secs. 1-6);
• permitting licensed pharmacists to inject prescribed medication and place drug monitoring devices (Art. 3, Sec. 20);
• effective June 3, 2022 until Jan. 1, 2024, ambulance service personnel can use an emergency medication or medical supply for up to six months after the product’s expiration date when the ambulance service experiences a shortage (Art. 3, Sec. 23);
• effective June 3, 2022 permitting nurses whose licenses have lapsed as of Jan. 1, 2019, to apply for reregistration to work at a nursing home or assisted living facility (Art. 3, Sec. 24);
• effective Aug. 1, 2022, expanding and clarifying the scope of mental health data that can be shared with law enforcement agencies responding to a person undergoing a mental health crisis (Art. 6, Secs. 2-3);
• effective Aug. 1, 2022, a psychiatric residential treatment facility provider must provide at least one staff person for every six residents present within a living unit during normal sleeping hours; (Art. 6, Sec. 8)
• clarifying that federally recognized tribal nations are eligible to receive emergency services grants from the Department of Human Services (Art. 9, Sec. 2);
• effective Aug. 1, 2022, extending the amount of time a homeless person or family can stay in transitional housing from 24 to 36 months (Art. 11, Sec. 1);
• beginning June 3, 2022, permitting trained staff at chemical dependency licensed treatment facilities to inject patients with naloxone and epinephrine (Art. 12, Sec. 11);
• clarifying regulations on products containing cannabinoids (Art. 13, Secs. 4-10); and
• making it unlawful, effective Aug. 1, 2022, to limit a patient’s access to an organ transplant based on race and ethnicity (Art. 13, Sec. 11).
A new law allows licensed residential building contractors to install used manufactured homes and allows the contractor to affix installation seals to used manufactured homes. The seals are labels secured to the outside of homes.
Effective April 14, 2022, the law allows a seal to be issued to licensed residential building contractors following completion of a three-hour training course relating to the installation of manufactured homes. The training course must be approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or its commissioner.
The law’s purpose is to simplify the installation process by decreasing delays and lowering costs.
Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL-International Falls) and Sen. Jason Rarick (R-Pine City) are the sponsors.
The City of Mora has been given permission to increase its Public Utilities Commission membership from three to five.
Under a new law, no more than two commission members may also serve on the city council, and the new members must be staggered and set in accordance with commission bylaws. The commission oversees all aspects of the city’s electric, water and sanitary sewer utilities.
The law, effective upon local compliance, is sponsored by Rep. Nathan Nelson (R-Hinckley) and Sen. Jason Rarick (R-Pine City).
A new law aims to reduce redundancies and confusion when it comes to township planning and zoning statutes.
Sponsored by Rep. Liz Boldon (DFL-Rochester) and Sen. John Howe (R-Rockville), it repeals township planning and zoning statutes in Chapter 366 of state statute that granted townships authority to do zoning and planning. This same authority is granted in Chapter 462.
In addition to repealing township planning and zoning statutes in Chapter 366, the law provides a redirect to Chapter 462 to accommodate any townships that have citied Chapter 366 in their documents, thus providing continuity in land use management.
It is effective March 19, 2022.
Deleting references to sections of law repealed in 1987 and making it clear Bloomington is governed by the general statute that covers housing and redevelopment authorities across the state is the goal of a new law.
In 1971, Bloomington was one of the first cities authorized to have a housing and redevelopment authority. Six years later the law was amended to, in part, add a section specific to the housing and redevelopment authority of the city of South St. Paul.
Statutory language governing housing and redevelopment authorities was updated and recodified in 1987; however, language from the 1971 and 1977 laws remains.
Sponsored by Rep. Steve Elkins (DFL-Bloomington) and Sen. Melissa Wiklund (DFL-Bloomington), the law takes effect upon local compliance with the requirements for special laws.
As times have changed, a section of state law last updated bout 30 years ago needs a refresh.
A new law, effective Aug. 1, 2022, updates and modernizes statute that governs publication of public notices by synchronizing the distribution of public notices digitally and in print. It also ensures public notices disseminated in a digital format are a valid form of publication.
A result of the Minnesota Newspaper Association working with local units of government, the law addresses issues faced by modern-day newspapers, such as e-editions, formatting requirements, circulation thresholds and the availability of statewide public notice websites.
For example, it creates a new rule for how the location of a newspaper where notices are to appear is determined, making it easier for government bodies and others to properly and efficiently publish public notices.
Additionally, per the law, “a newspapers website must include a link to its online public notices section, the contents of which must be accessible at no cost to the public.” If a qualified newspaper maintains a website it must also agree to publish public notices there and on the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s statewide public notice website.
Rep. Gene Pelowski Jr. (DFL-Winona) and Sen. John Jasinski (R-Faribault) sponsor the law.
Folks wanting to acquire public land may be able to do it in a more modern way.
Sponsored by Rep. Julie Sandstede (DFL-Hibbing) and Sen. David Tomassoni (I-Chisholm), a new law requires counties, in addition to traditional newspaper notices, to advertise the sale, lease, or conveyance of county-owned property on the county’s website. The county may choose to solicit and accept bids via an online auction process.
It takes effect Aug. 1, 2022.
The law also adds “proposals” to state law that permits leases not exceeding $15,000 a year to be negotiated nor be subject to a competitive bidding process.
All counties, except the state’s most populous, are permitted to set reasonable allowances for expenses or per diems for members of advisory boards or committees.
Sponsored by Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park) and Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove), a new law gives Hennepin County that permission.
It takes effect Aug. 1, 2022.
Supporters hope the change will encourage more people and a broader cross-section of the populace to participate.
Exemptions in other statutes allow the county to compensate some advisory members, such as those serving on the library or human resources boards, and its capital budgeting task force.
Upgrading a sewer line is not a glamorous or visible home upgrade, but it can be important. A backup could be worse and costly.
Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL-Golden Valley) and Senate President David Osmek (R-Mound) sponsor a new law that will allow the Metropolitan Council and other local governing entities, such as townships, to establish inflow and infiltration prevention programs to make loans or grants to private property owners. Cities already have this authority.
It took effect March 5, 2022.
Inflow and infiltration is groundwater and stormwater that enters a sewer system through faulty infrastructure, such as root intrusion or cracked pipes.
In the Twin Cities metropolitan area, private service laterals connect to city pipes which connect to the Metropolitan Council’s regional wastewater system. Collection systems can be damaged when forced to transport more flow than they are designed to handle.
Increased precipitation and population growth in the Twin Cities metropolitan area has resulted in more water coming in to the system; however, about 20% of the currently collected volume that gets treated as wastewater is actually inflow and infiltration that does not need to be treated.
Supporters say a voluntary mitigation program for private property will be more cost efficient than building larger and additional infrastructure to treat clear water.
A new law increases the maximum amount a school board member employed by that district may earn from that employment.
Effective July 1, 2022, the law raises the maximum earnings limit from $8,000 to $20,000 per fiscal year.
Rep. Michael Howard (DFL-Richfield) and Sen. Zach Duckworth (R-Lakeville) are the sponsors.
All National Guard members “serving satisfactorily as determined by the adjutant general” will be eligible for reenlistment and commissioning bonuses.
Effective Aug. 1, 2022, a new law deletes a previous requirement that required no more than 12 years of service to be eligible for the bonuses when soldiers extend their term of service with the Minnesota National Guard.
It is sponsored by Rep. Luke Frederick (DFL-Mankato) and Sen. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville).
A law that has, at times, discriminated against veterans based on their branch of service was changed to cover all former members of the U.S. armed forces.
The law, effective June 3, 2022, allows veterans to have their certificates of discharge recorded in their county at no cost. The law helps protect the discharge record, a DD-214, in the event of loss.
Previously, the law only covered Army, Navy and Marine Corps veterans.
Rep. Bob Dettmer (R-Forest Lake) and Sen. Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo Township) sponsor the law.
The Legislature took the unusual step of enacting a standalone veterans and military affairs appropriations and policy proposal that garnered overwhelming bipartisan support and the resulting new law supplements current funding with an additional $54.55 million in fiscal year 2023.
The law, effective May 11, 2022 unless otherwise noted, appropriates $52.35 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs for a variety of programs and services. The agency will also receive a $4.09 million increase in its base appropriation for fiscal year 2024 and following.
An additional $2.2 million will go to the Department of Military Affairs, including $2 million in enlistment incentives for the Minnesota National Guard and another $200,000 to the Minnesota Navy League for the commissioning of the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Appropriations for the Veterans Affairs Department include:
• $24.88 million for expanded service bonuses to post-9/11 veterans and Gold Star families who currently do not receive these bonuses;
• $5.41 million for the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans to establish permanent housing for veterans, former service members and their families who are homeless or in danger of homelessness;
• $1.71 million for engagement, outreach and support of temporary housing options for veterans;
• $1.1 million for tenancy support and landlord engagement to remove barriers to permanent housing;
• $830,000 for state veterans cemetery operations;
• $774,000 to upgrade the wastewater system for the veterans campground on Big Marine Lake;
• $500,000 to support creation of a Fisher House to provide free temporary accommodations to families and caregivers of veterans receiving care at the Fargo VA Health Care System;
• $450,000 for the county veterans service office grant program; and
• $147,000 for congressionally chartered veterans’ service organization grants.
The law includes $10.33 million in fiscal year 2022, and $16.54 million in fiscal year 2023, for new veterans’ homes in Bemidji, Montevideo and Preston. A status report is due the Legislature by Feb. 15, 2023 with a final report due by Feb. 15, 2026 on how the total appropriations were spent.
The law also includes a handful of policy provisions, including:
• establishment of the Veterans Services Organizations Grant Program that will provide grants to congressionally chartered veterans service organizations to enhance the effectiveness of veterans’ services;
• increasing the bonus amount veterans are entitled to receive under the veterans bonus program if the served between Sept. 11, 2001 and Aug. 30, 2021;
• limiting the period for which the eligible member may apply for payment of salary differential to two years after completion of active services, and requires the eligible member be notified of the two-year deadline;
• cancels debt incurred by a current or former state employee due to overpayments of military salary differential; and
• increases the annual grant for which the Minnesota Association of County Veteran Services Officers is eligible from $50,000 to $100,000.
Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL-International Falls) and Sen. Andrew Lang (R-Olivia) sponsor the law.
The Minnesota Code of Military Justice, which applies to members of the Minnesota National Guard, received several changes in a 2022.
Sponsored by Rep. Tou Xiong (DFL-St. Paul) and Sen. Andrew Lang (R-Olivia), the law, effective Aug. 1, 2022, modifies the code, makes data provision changes, jurisdiction and appellate changes and provides updates to punitive articles, punishable offenses and penalties.
Among the changes:
• law enforcement data pertaining to any service member must be released to the adjutant general upon request of the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate;
• clarifies that certain data regarding members of the National Guard is inherently federal data;
• military attorneys who are not members of the Minnesota bar can, under some circumstances, practice law and serve as military judges in the state;
• jurisdiction of the Minnesota Code of Military Justice is broadened for service members who travel to and from their inactive-duty training site and intervals between consecutive periods of training;
• modifies how statute of limitation conflicts are resolved so that the lesser of the limitation set by the manual for court martial of the United States, Minnesota state law or Minnesota Code of Military Justice applies;
• directs a courts-martial convening authority to issue a final order at the conclusion of court-martial proceedings and have it promptly served on the accused;
• the state supreme court is to hear appeals of the Minnesota Code of Military Justice;
• within 60 days after notice of final order, the petitioner shall receive a writ of certiorari from the supreme court;
• authorizes Minnesota licensed peace officers to enforce a military search warrant for offenses occurring when a service member is in active service;
• authorizes either the governor or adjutant general to request investigation of military offenses by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; and
• punitive articles are updated. The law authorizes a court-martial for service members determined to be under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances while on duty. It also adds to the code prohibited activities with recruits or trainees by a person in position of special trust, nonconsensual distribution of intimate images, unauthorized use of government computer, and retaliation.
First enacted in 2012, the Advisory Committee on Capitol Area Security is directed to assess safety and security risks in the Capitol area and discuss developments that might affect those risks in the future.
Sponsored by Rep. Jim Nash (R-Waconia) and Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove), a new law extends the commission’s sunset date from June 30, 2022 to June 30, 2036.
Per its website, “By Jan. 15 each year, ACCAS provides a general assessment of security in the Capitol Area, describes improvements implemented, and recommend future improvements. It also offers recommendations for capital or operating expenditures, statutory changes, or other changes in security-related policies or practices. All this information is presented in an annual report, which can also include draft legislation to implement any recommended changes in law.”
State civil service includes both classified and unclassified service, which operate under different employment laws governing hiring, discipline, and discharge decisions.
A new law, effective July 1, 2022, transitions employees of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission from unclassified to classified service, without loss of seniority.
Classified employees are hired through a competitive examination process and can be dismissed only for just cause. Discipline decisions, up to and including discharge, must follow the procedures under an applicable collective bargaining agreement, plan, or as provided in the state rules on workplace grievances.
The commission’s research director will remain in the unclassified service.
Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL-St. Paul) and Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) sponsor the law.
Several changes have been made to the 2021 law enacting the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program that provides services and financial support to firefighters developing critical illnesses including, but not limited to, cardiac disease and cancer.
Effective May 3, 2022, a new law clarifies which diagnoses are eligible for payments from the program and clarifies that a firefighter is eligible for financial payments for a critical illness only if the diagnosis was made on or after Aug. 1, 2021.
The assistance program is funded through a $4 million annual appropriation from the General Fund for payments of up to $20,000 for each eligible firefighter.
The law also changes the state agency administering program funds from the Office of Justice Programs to the State Fire Marshal.
Rep. Cheryl Youakim (DFL-Hopkins) and Sen. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville) sponsor the law.
A bipartisan effort to provide hope and help for people living with a debilitating neurological disorder has resulted in a combined $25 million to fund ALS research and caregiver support programs.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control needed to move, speak, eat and breathe. It has no cure.
Sen. David Tomassoni (I-Chisholm), who sponsors the law with Rep. Dave Lislegard (DFL-Aurora), was diagnosed last year with ALS.
The law, which takes effect July 1, 2022, will appropriate $20 million in fiscal year 2023 to promote research related to prevention, treatment, causes, and hopefully an eventual cure. The Office of Higher Education will award competitive grants to applicants.
It also appropriates $5 million in fiscal year 2023 to the Board on Aging, to support families caring for people living with ALS and to provide home medical respite care.
The onetime appropriation for both purposes is available through June 30, 2026.
A new law that takes effect July 1, 2022, will allow breeders fund dollars to also be used to support the adoption, retirement and repurposing of racehorses.
The fund gets its money, in part, from fees, taxes, and set-asides on race track and card club activity, including a tax on the live racing handle at Canterbury Park and Running Aces, and a fee on wagers by Minnesota residents with an advance deposit wagering provider.
Managed by the Minnesota Racing Commission, funds are used to cover costs associated with regulating horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering in the state.
Rep. Ami Wazlawik (DFL-White Bear Township) and Sen. Zach Duckworth (R-Lakeville) sponsor the law that has zero cost to the state.
The annual revisor’s law makes miscellaneous technical corrections to laws and statutes, such as correcting erroneous, obsolete, and omitted text and references, and removing redundant, conflicting and superseded provisions in law.
Sponsored by Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL-St. Paul) and Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park), the effective dates are dependent on the provisions needing clarification.
A new law targets a common enemy from halfway around the world.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spurred the law that directs the State Board of Investment to divest Minnesota’s investments from Russia and Belarus within 15 months. At least 50 percent of any direct holdings must be removed by Nov. 2, 2022, which is nine months after the law’s effective date.
The law also codifies an executive order from Gov. Tim Walz directing state agencies to terminate contracts with companies headquartered in the two nations and their entities “as practicable.” Future investments by the board and state agencies are also prohibited with Russian and Belarusian entities “unless the head of the state agency determines that there is no suitable alternative.”
State law imposes similar restrictions with Iran and Sudan.
Rep. Sydney Jordan (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Karin Housley (R-Stillwater) sponsor the law.
Each year, a joint House-Senate Subcommittee on Claims decides which claims against the state it should fund.
This year’s law calls for $813,315 in payments in fiscal year 2023 to three people who sought relief under the Imprisonment and Exoneration Remedies Act which provides a compensation process for cases where a person was exonerated of a felony for which they were wrongfully incarcerated.
The awards are:
• $423,212 to Benjamin Hill, who was wrongfully imprisoned/on supervised release for five years;
• $225,000 to Joseph Livingston, who spent two years and seven days in prison; and
• $165,103 to Bryan Bemboom, who served 23 months in prison.
Rep. Mary Murphy (DFL-Hermantown) and Sen. Bruce Anderson (R-Buffalo Township) sponsor the law that takes effect July 1, 2022.
The state’s unemployment insurance trust fund will be replenished and federal loans repaid with $2.7 billion, and $500 million is directed to frontline workers “whose work put them at risk of contracting COVID-19 during the peacetime emergency declared by the governor.”
Minnesota’s unemployment insurance trust fund – used to partially replace wages when people lose their job due to no fault of their own – went into the red during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the remainder of American Rescue Plan funds and General Fund money, the state will repay the amount borrowed from the federal government and refill the coffers without requiring employers to pay increased payroll taxes. Employers who already paid their first quarter taxes will get a refund/credit.
The Department of Employment and Economic Development estimated 667,000 workers whose job put them at greater risk for contracting COVID will be eligible to receive up to $1,500 depending on the number of applicants. This payment will not be subject to state taxes or effect eligibility for state benefits. Among those eligible are people who worked in health care, emergency response, long-term care, child care, grocery, food service, janitorial services and manufacturing.
Among eligibility requirements, an employee must: have worked at least 120 hours in the state in one or more of the frontline sectors between March 15, 2020, and June 30, 2021; not have been able to telework during those hours due to the nature of their job; have worked in close proximity to individuals outside of their household; meet an income requirement; and not have received more than 20 cumulative weeks of unemployment insurance benefits.
The law also provides a onetime $190 million appropriation for state “COVID-19 management costs incurred between May 23, 2022, and February 15, 2023, for testing, vaccinations, COVID-19 outbreak management, local and Tribal health, public education, and health system supports.” A special legislative panel must approve any single expenditure of more than $2.5 million.
Most of the new law, sponsored by Rep. Gene Pelowski Jr. (DFL-Winona) and Sen. Eric Pratt (R-Prior Lake), took effect April 30, 2022.
Approximately 90% of state employees are represented by a union. Most will receive some extra ways of appreciation.
A new law, effective May 23, 2022, ratifies certain labor agreements and compensation plans along with memorandums of understanding.
Coming from the Subcommittee on Employee Relations, which ratified the contracts between Minnesota Management and Budget and the various bargaining units, the law covers approximately 39,000 state employees across one of 17 occupationally-based bargaining units, which are represented by one of 11 unions
Most contracts are for the 2022-23 biennium, retroactive to July 1, 2021. The change is estimated to cost an additional $459.7 million in the current biennium. Agencies will manage contract costs within already allocated biennial funds.
Groups included in these agreements are:
• Minnesota Law Enforcement Association;
• American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees;
• American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Units 8 and 25;
• Minnesota Association of Professional Employers;
• Inter Faculty Organization;
• Minnesota State University Administrative and Service Faculty;
• Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Personnel Plan for Administrators;
• Middle Management Association;
• State Residential Schools Education Association;
• Minnesota Nurses Association;
• Commissioner’s Plan;
• Managerial Plan;
• Office of Higher Education Unclassified Personnel Compensation Plan;
• MNSure Compensation Plan; and
• Office of the Legislative Auditor Compensation Plan.
In general, the contracts include a 2.5% annual increase on July 1, 2021 and July 1, 2022; merit increases between 2.6% and 4% for eligible employees; and Juneteenth is added as a paid holiday.
Among higher education personnel, the Inter Faculty Organization agreement has no salary increases for fiscal year 2022, but a 1.7% increase in fiscal year 2023 and a 2.4% step increase for returning faculty. Minnesota State University Administrative and Service Faculty agreement includes a 3.05% step increase for people not at the top of their wage scale on July 1, 2021, a 3% lump sum for members atop their range in lieu of step movement. Merit increases are included for Minnesota State administrators — unclassified employees in positions which are defined as managerial by the Board of Trustee — of 2% effective July 1, 2021 and July 1, 2022.
The Minnesota Law Enforcement Association agreement is for the 2020-21 biennium, retroactive to July 1, 2019, and includes a 2.25% across the board increase in fiscal year 2020 and 2.25% in fiscal year 2021 along with some step increases.
It also incorporates legislative changes passed in 2021, including an 8.45% increase in salary for all employees, effective Oct. 22, 2022, and a 10.45% salary increase for employees at the top of their salary range.
The law also ratifies a quintet of memorandums of understanding.
Rep. Leon Lillie (DFL-North St. Paul) and Sen. Mark Koran (R-North Branch) sponsor the law.
A new law will make minor changes to boundaries in legislative districts 15, 16 and 58, along with congressional districts 7 and 8.
The changes follow the recent redrawing of the state’s legislative and congressional district boundaries in the wake of the 2020 census, a process required by the Minnesota Constitution each decade to reflect population growth and shifts.
After the Legislature failed to agree on new maps by the deadline which officials said must be met for the 2022 election cycle to proceed on schedule, a five-judge panel stepped in and released new legislative and congressional district maps in February 2022.
Sponsored by Rep. Mary Murphy (DFL-Hermantown) and Sen. Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks), the law makes further tweaks to those maps.
For example, during the redistricting process the legislative district for Granite Falls Township was split in two, with almost all residents assigned to District 16A. But a census block containing three registered voters was also assigned to District 15A. Left uncorrected, this would have required a separate voting precinct for those three voters, raising privacy issues as it would be obvious how they had voted.
The law moves those voters back to District 16A.
The law is effective for the 2022 state primary and general elections and requires any city, county or town that needs to reestablish a boundary to conform with these adjustments to do so no later than June 17, 2022.
Lawmakers took an unusual – though not unheard of – step of passing legislation calling for an audit.
The Office of the Legislative Auditor will conduct a special review or program evaluation of the Green Line extension, known as the Southwest light rail transit project. The 14.5-mile passenger rail line being built between downtown Minneapolis and Eden Prairie, and overseen by the Metropolitan Council, has experienced significant cost overruns and project delays.
Along with exploring reasons for the delays, the office is encouraged to evaluate design choices and current practices on cost estimating, contracting, negotiations, management, and hiring.
The Metropolitan Council is required to update the Legislature twice per year on the project.
Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. D. Scott Dibble (DFL-Mpls) sponsor the law that took effect March 25, 2022.
An advisory committee established for the Department of Transportation’s Local Road Improvement Program will gain a member.
Effective May 20, 2022, a new law increases the size of the board from five to six by including a town board member appointed by the Minnesota Association of Townships.
Created in 2002, the program provides funding assistance to local agencies for constructing or reconstructing local roads.
Other members are a county commissioner; county engineer; city engineer; city council member or city administrator from a town with less than 5,000 residents; and a representative from a city whose population tops 5,000.
Rep. Luke Frederick (DFL-Mankato) and Sen. Julia Coleman (R-Waconia) are the sponsors.
Buyers seeking older, less expensive, vehicles will have more ways to find out when the car they’re considering has previously been significantly damaged or deemed to be totaled.
Effective Jan. 1, 2023, the law updates the state’s salvage title regulations by creating a “prior salvage” brand. The legislation primarily aims to solve an issue of less expensive vehicles holding a clean Minnesota title, despite incurring damage that costs more than 80% of its value or causes an insurance company to declare the vehicle a total loss.
The requirements for a “salvage” brand on high-value or late-model cars – those costing $9,000 or more or are five years or newer – remain the same.
Based on recommendations developed by a Salvage Title Task Force, the law broadens disclosure requirements to include all brands on the title, requires written notice from dealers that must be signed by the purchaser, and clarifies that oral disclosure is not required for online sales.
In-state and out-of-state vehicles will be treated consistently. Motorcycles as well as heavier commercial vehicles are now subject to the same title branding and disclosure requirements as other types of vehicles.
The law also makes clarifying changes for readability of the statutes and to conform to Department of Public Safety titling and branding practices.
Rep. Cheryl Youakim (DFL-Hopkins) and Sen. John Jasinski (R-Faribault) sponsor the law.
Years before 2005 are distributed in PDF format and are available through the new laws main page.