as introduced - 82nd Legislature (2001 - 2002) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
|Introduction||Posted on 02/12/2001|
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to agriculture; establishing an agribusiness 1.3 investigative unit in the office of the attorney 1.4 general; authorizing "support family farms" license 1.5 plates and requiring holders of the plates to 1.6 contribute to the attorney general's agribusiness 1.7 investigation fund; appropriating money; proposing 1.8 coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 8; 1.9 and 168. 1.10 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.11 Section 1. [8.37] [ATTORNEY GENERAL AGRIBUSINESS 1.12 INVESTIGATIVE UNIT.] 1.13 Subdivision 1. [AGRIBUSINESS INVESTIGATIVE UNIT.] The 1.14 attorney general shall establish in the attorney general's 1.15 office an agribusiness investigative unit to investigate: 1.16 (1) the impact of future corporate mergers and acquisitions 1.17 and other current business practices that may serve to reduce 1.18 market prices or market access for Minnesota producers of crops, 1.19 livestock, poultry, and dairy products and report to the public 1.20 on those impacts; 1.21 (2) violations by corporations and cooperatives of state 1.22 and federal antitrust laws, the federal Packers and Stockyards 1.23 Act, and similar laws; and 1.24 (3) unfair or illegal corporate practices that affect the 1.25 retail price of food. 1.26 The attorney general's office shall prosecute violations 1.27 under clause (2) and illegal practices under clause (3). 2.1 Subd. 2. [FUND ESTABLISHED; APPROPRIATION.] An attorney 2.2 general's agribusiness investigative fund is created in the 2.3 state treasury. The fund consists of contributions from private 2.4 sources and appropriations to the fund. Money in the fund is 2.5 appropriated to the attorney general. 2.6 Subd. 3. [EXPENDITURES FROM FUND; AGRIBUSINESS 2.7 INVESTIGATIVE UNIT.] Except as provided in subdivision 4, the 2.8 attorney general may use money in the fund only to pay costs 2.9 incurred by the agribusiness investigative unit established in 2.10 this section. The attorney general may also use other funds 2.11 appropriated to the attorney general's office to pay costs of 2.12 the agribusiness investigative unit. 2.13 Subd. 4. [GRANTS.] If the attorney general determines that 2.14 money available in the fund exceeds the amount needed to pay 2.15 costs incurred by the agribusiness investigative unit, the 2.16 attorney general may make grants from the fund to individuals or 2.17 nonprofit organizations for the purpose of pursuing legal action 2.18 of a type similar to one or more of the types of legal action 2.19 described in subdivision 1. The attorney general may create an 2.20 advisory task force subject to section 15.059 to advise the 2.21 attorney general on grants under this subdivision. 2.22 Subd. 5. [REPORT.] By February 15 of each year, the 2.23 attorney general shall report to the chairs of the senate and 2.24 house of representatives committees with jurisdiction over 2.25 agricultural policy on the activities of the agribusiness 2.26 investigative unit and any grants made under subdivision 4 2.27 during the preceding calendar year. 2.28 Subd. 6. [RESTRICTION.] The attorney general may not spend 2.29 money or make grants from the fund for the purpose of 2.30 influencing agricultural policy legislation in the legislature 2.31 or in the United States Congress or to advocate agricultural 2.32 policy positions directly to the public. 2.33 Sec. 2. [168.1293] [SUPPORT FAMILY FARMS LICENSE PLATES.] 2.34 Subdivision 1. [PLATES AUTHORIZED.] (a) The registrar 2.35 shall issue a special "support family farms" license plate to an 2.36 applicant who: 3.1 (1) is an owner or joint owner of a passenger automobile, 3.2 pickup truck, van, or farm truck; 3.3 (2) pays a fee of $10 to cover the costs of handling and 3.4 manufacturing the plates; 3.5 (3) pays the registration tax required under section 3.6 168.013; 3.7 (4) pays the fees required under this chapter; 3.8 (5) contributes a minimum of $30 annually to the attorney 3.9 general's agribusiness investigative fund established in section 3.10 8.37; and 3.11 (6) complies with laws and rules governing registration and 3.12 licensing of vehicles and drivers. 3.13 (b) The application form for a "support family farms" 3.14 license plate must clearly indicate that the annual contribution 3.15 specified under paragraph (a), clause (5), is a minimum 3.16 contribution to receive the license plate and that the applicant 3.17 may make an additional contribution to the account. 3.18 Subd. 2. [DESIGN.] After consultation with interested 3.19 groups, the commissioner of agriculture and the registrar shall 3.20 jointly select a suitable symbol for use by the registrar to 3.21 designate the special plates. The design must include the words 3.22 "support family farms." 3.23 Subd. 3. [NO REFUND.] Contributions under subdivision 1, 3.24 clause (5), are nonrefundable. 3.25 Subd. 4. [PLATE TRANSFERS.] Notwithstanding section 3.26 168.12, subdivision 1, on payment of a transfer fee of $5, 3.27 plates issued under this section may be transferred to another 3.28 passenger automobile, pickup truck, van, or farm truck owned or 3.29 jointly owned by the person to whom the special plates were 3.30 issued. 3.31 Subd. 5. [CONTRIBUTION AND FEES CREDITED.] Contributions 3.32 under subdivision 1, clause (5), must be paid to the registrar 3.33 and credited to the attorney general's agribusiness 3.34 investigative fund established in section 8.37. The fees 3.35 collected under this section must be deposited in the highway 3.36 user tax distribution fund. 4.1 Subd. 6. [RECORD.] The registrar shall maintain a record 4.2 of the number of special plates issued under this section.