Selected Legislative Updates

by Andrew Haugen

103F.351: St. Croix Wild and Scenic River Act

 Minn. Stat. 103F.351 is also referred to as the Lower St. Croix and Scenic River Act. This Act protects the Lower St. Croix River Area by establishing certain planning criteria and processes that must be followed within the designated area. The act allows for a Commissioner of Natural Resources to aid in developing a comprehensive master plan for the area, as well as adopt rules that establish certain guidelines for zoning activities within the region.

 The amendment to the Act in the 2010 regular session did not delete or change any current language in the Act. The changes served to add a section “d” in subdivision 4, the Rules portion of the Act. The newly added section “d” allows for commercial, nature-oriented and educational uses that occur in rural districts to be classified as conditional uses on property that meets certain criteria. The language is permissive in that the uses “may be allowed,” and makes no requirement that such lands shall be conditional uses.

 Eligibility requirements include that the use must be located in a rural district as defined by the rest of the Act, that the property was in similar use on May 1, 1974 and on January 1, 2010, and if the use “complies with all dimensional standards in the rules, including variance requirements for any changes to the properties” made after January 1, 2010 and also if the use is “similar in scope” to the use that existed on the property on May 1, 1974.

 118A.05: Deposit and Investment of Local Public Funds: Contracts and Agreements

The amendment to subdivision three of this section allows for securities lending agreements to be entered into with qualifying institutions as long as said institution has a bank office locate in Minnesota. This bank office language replaces the requirement that a qualifying institution have “its principal executive office” in Minnesota.

118A.06: Deposit and Investment of Local Public Funds: Safekeeping; Acknowledgements

The substantive changes in this section act to spell out the various requirements that must be met in order to qualify as a security broker-dealer that may hold investments, contracts or agreements for safekeeping.

The three requirements, which are inclusive, state that the broker-dealer must be registered under Chapter 80A or exempt from registration requirements, that it must be regulated by the SEC, and (in what is the most substantial addition) it “maintain insurance through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation or excess insurance coverage in an amount equal to or greater than the value of the securities held.”

471.59: Joint Exercise of Powers

Amendments to this statute acted to add federally recognized Indian tribe and the Minnesota Historical Society to the list of government units that may, by agreement entered into through action of their governing bodies, participate in joint powers agreements.

The other governmental units already authorized to enter into such agreements include every city, county, town, school district, independent nonprofit firefighting corporation, other political subdivision of Minnesota or another state, another state as a whole, the University of Minnesota and a few other hospital and employment related sectors.

44.01: Municipal Civil Service: Peace Officer

A definition of a “peace officer” was added to section 1 of chapter 44 as subdivision 8(a).

44.10: Municipal Civil Service: Probationary Period

Section 10 amended the probationary period for a peace officer from a length of six months out to twelve months. The amendments were made effective to any peace officer hired under chapter 44 on or after the effective date of the amendments.

412.02: City Elections, Officers, Terms, Vacancies

Amendments added subdivision 1a to this section. The new subdivision states that neither the mayor nor any city council member may be employed by the city. Employed, as defined, means full-time permanent employment under the given city’s employment policy, and the amendment is to take effect August 1, 2010.

326B.121: State Building Code; Application and Enforcement: Municipal Enforcement

Amendments made during the 2010 regular session specifically apply to municipal enforcement of the state building code. The changes allow for a municipality to enact or enforce ordinances that require existing components or systems of any structure to be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition or in good repair. The municipality is limited, however, as it cannot demand standards exceeding those under which the structure was built, reconstructed or altered unless retroactive provisions have been adopted in the State Building Code. 


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