The largest of the state’s three executive branch courts has seen its workload increase more than expected. Now its leaders seek a onetime funding bump to make it through the end of the current fiscal year.
Per its website, “The Office of Administrative Hearings renders justice through fair, timely, and impartial administrative hearings and high-quality dispute resolution services.” That includes fair campaign practice complaints and some data practice matters.
However, its original biennial funding was used up by the first quarter of this year. Sponsored by Rep. Ginny Klevorn (DFL-Plymouth), HF2033/SF1816* would provide a onetime $196,000 General Fund appropriation to help the office maintain timely hearings in campaign and data practice cases for the remainder of the current fiscal year that ends June 30, 2023.
Passed 121-2 by the House Monday, it now goes to the governor. Senate passage was 59-0 March 15.
Traditionally the office receives about 25 new filings annually; however, its current pace would put it at 100 in fiscal year 2023. Hours expended has boomed from around 600 in fiscal year 2022 to an anticipated 2,000 this fiscal year. Office officials note the increases are not more complex cases, nor are they frivolous filings or cases without merit.
In November, $125,000 was transferred to the office from the General Fund Contingent Account to maintain services, but that funding has been depleted.