2nd Engrossment - 80th Legislature (1997 - 1998) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to tornado and other natural disaster relief; 1.3 providing for temporary waivers of certain programs 1.4 and other relief; appropriating money; amending 1.5 Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 268.38, by adding a 1.6 subdivision; Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, 1.7 sections 41B.043, subdivision 2a; 168.16; and 273.124, 1.8 subdivision 14; Laws 1997, chapter 203, article 1, 1.9 sections 15 and 17, as added; proposing coding for new 1.10 law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 12; and 41B; 1.11 repealing Laws 1997, chapter 203, article 1, section 1.12 16, as added. 1.13 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.14 Section 1. [APPROPRIATIONS.] 1.15 The sums in the column under "APPROPRIATIONS" are 1.16 appropriated from the general fund to be spent for tornado 1.17 relief, as specified in this act, in the area designated under 1.18 Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster, DR1212, whether 1.19 included in the original declaration or added later by federal 1.20 government action. The appropriations are available until June 1.21 30, 1999, unless otherwise specified. If there is a shortage of 1.22 funds in any of the programs under section 2, 3, 4, or 5, unused 1.23 funds in any of the other programs under these sections may be 1.24 transferred by interagency agreement to cover the shortfall. 1.25 SUMMARY 1.26 PUBLIC SAFETY $ 8,800,000 1.27 HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 4,000,000 1.28 TRADE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 5,950,000 1.29 AGRICULTURE 4,000,000 2.1 REVENUE 500,000 2.2 HUMAN SERVICES 400,000 2.3 CHILDREN, FAMILIES, AND LEARNING 250,000 2.4 MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 1,000,000 2.5 FINANCE 2,700,000 2.6 TOTAL $ 27,600,000 2.7 APPROPRIATIONS 2.8 $ 2.9 Sec. 2. PUBLIC SAFETY 2.10 Subdivision 1. To the commissioner 2.11 of public safety for the purposes of 2.12 this section 8,800,000 2.13 Subd. 2. Disaster Assistance Match 8,000,000 2.14 For the state and local match of 2.15 federal disaster assistance funds under 2.16 Minnesota Statutes, section 12.221. 2.17 This appropriation is available to fund 2.18 100 percent of the state and local 2.19 match obligations incurred through the 2.20 receipt of federal disaster assistance. 2.21 This appropriation is also available as 2.22 a match for eligible state agency 2.23 expenditures. 2.24 Subd. 3. Increases In Services 300,000 2.25 To provide for the cost of increases in 2.26 services by the division of emergency 2.27 management to respond to the tornado 2.28 disaster. 2.29 Subd. 4. Grants To Farmers 500,000 2.30 For grants to counties for costs 2.31 related to the burial and removal of 2.32 debris from rural residences and farms 2.33 from the March 29, 1998, tornado and 2.34 storm damage. The commissioner may 2.35 require documentation of costs. Grants 2.36 are available for debris removal and 2.37 burial costs not covered by private 2.38 insurance or federal reimbursement. 2.39 Sec. 3. HOUSING FINANCE 2.40 Subdivision 1. For transfer to the 2.41 housing development fund for the 2.42 programs specified in this section 4,000,000 2.43 Subd. 2. Affordable Rental 2.44 Investment Fund 500,000 2.45 For the affordable rental investment 2.46 fund under Minnesota Statutes, section 2.47 462A.21, subdivision 8b, to be used for 2.48 rental housing. Notwithstanding 2.49 Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.21, 2.50 subdivision 8b, assistance provided 2.51 from this appropriation for the 2.52 rehabilitation of existing rental 3.1 housing may be in the form of 3.2 forgivable loans. In making forgivable 3.3 loans from this appropriation, the 3.4 agency shall determine the 3.5 circumstances, terms, and conditions 3.6 under which all or any portion of the 3.7 grant shall be repaid. This 3.8 appropriation is available until 3.9 expended. 3.10 Subd. 3 Community 3.11 Rehabilitation Fund Program 3,500,000 3.12 For the community rehabilitation fund 3.13 program under Minnesota Statutes, 3.14 section 462A.206. This appropriation 3.15 is available until spent. 3.16 Subd. 4 Transfers 3.17 Money appropriated under this section 3.18 may be transferred between the 3.19 affordable rental investment fund 3.20 account and the community 3.21 rehabilitation fund account. 3.22 Sec. 4. TRADE AND ECONOMIC 3.23 DEVELOPMENT 3.24 Subdivision 1. To the commissioner of 3.25 trade and economic development for purposes 3.26 of this section 5,950,000 3.27 Subd. 2. Minnesota Investment Fund 4,800,000 3.28 To the Minnesota investment fund for 3.29 grants to local units of government for 3.30 locally administered operating loan 3.31 programs for businesses and farms 3.32 directly and adversely affected by the 3.33 tornadoes. Loan criteria and 3.34 requirements must be locally 3.35 established with approval by the 3.36 department. For the purposes of this 3.37 appropriation, Minnesota Statutes, 3.38 sections 116J.8731, subdivisions 3, 4, 3.39 5, and 7, and 116J.991, are waived. 3.40 Businesses that receive grants or loans 3.41 from this appropriation shall set goals 3.42 for jobs retained and wages paid within 3.43 the area designated under Presidential 3.44 Declaration of Major Disaster, DR1212, 3.45 whether included in the original 3.46 declaration or added later by federal 3.47 government action. 3.48 Subd. 3. Public Infrastructure 1,000,000 3.49 For grants to local units of government 3.50 to assist with the cost of repair and 3.51 replacement of publicly owned 3.52 buildings; storm sewers, wastewater and 3.53 municipal utility service; drinking 3.54 water systems; and streets, bridges, 3.55 and other infrastructure. 3.56 Subd. 4. Technical Assistance 150,000 3.57 For grants to local units of government 3.58 for technical assistance for loan 3.59 programs. 4.1 Sec. 5. AGRICULTURE 4,000,000 4.2 To the rural finance authority for 4.3 department of agriculture loans under 4.4 Minnesota Statutes, chapter 41B, to 4.5 farmers for repairs to farm buildings 4.6 and for working capital operating loans. 4.7 Sec. 6. REVENUE 500,000 4.8 To the commissioner of revenue to be 4.9 apportioned among the counties within 4.10 the area designated under Presidential 4.11 Declaration of Major Disaster, DR1212, 4.12 whether included in the original 4.13 declaration or added later by federal 4.14 government action to provide 4.15 reimbursement for abatements granted 4.16 for taxes payable in 1998 to properties 4.17 damaged in the March 29, 1998, 4.18 tornadoes. The apportionment shall be 4.19 based upon the amount of 4.20 tornado-related market value loss in 4.21 each county. Counties must be 4.22 reimbursed only for property taxes that 4.23 actually abated, not to exceed each 4.24 county's apportioned amount. 4.25 Sec. 7. HUMAN SERVICES 400,000 4.26 For grants to counties, nonprofit 4.27 social service agencies, and the state 4.28 farm advocate program for social 4.29 services and farm advocacy outreach. 4.30 Sec. 8. CHILDREN, 4.31 FAMILIES, AND LEARNING 250,000 4.32 For grants for after-school and 4.33 expanded day care services. 4.34 Sec. 9. MINNESOTA 4.35 HISTORICAL SOCIETY 1,000,000 4.36 For historic preservation loans or 4.37 grants. 4.38 Sec. 10. FINANCE 2,700,000 4.39 A contingency appropriation to the 4.40 commissioner of finance for allocations 4.41 to programs at the request of the 4.42 governor, for unanticipated needs to 4.43 aid disaster victims. This 4.44 appropriation includes the amounts 4.45 needed in fiscal years 1998 and 1999 4.46 for the department of children, 4.47 families, and learning for the costs of 4.48 sections 23, 24, and 25. Before 4.49 transfer of funds to specific programs, 4.50 the commissioner must seek a 4.51 recommendation on the proposed spending 4.52 from the legislative commission on 4.53 planning and fiscal policy. If no 4.54 recommendation is received by the 4.55 commissioner from the commission within 4.56 ten days of notice, the recommendation 4.57 is considered to be positive. 4.58 Sec. 11. [TEMPORARY WAIVER OF FEES.] 5.1 Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for fiscal years 5.2 1998 and 1999, an agency, with the approval of the governor, may 5.3 waive fees that would otherwise be charged for agency services. 5.4 The waiver of fees must be confined to geographic areas within 5.5 counties included in the area designated under Presidential 5.6 Declaration of Major Disaster, DR1212, whether included in the 5.7 original declaration or added later by federal government 5.8 action, and to the minimum periods of times necessary to deal 5.9 with the emergency situation. The agency must promptly report 5.10 the reasons for and the impact of any suspended fees to the 5.11 chairs of the legislative committees that oversee the policy and 5.12 budgetary affairs of the agency. This section expires January 5.13 15, 1999. 5.14 Sec. 12. [EARLY PAYMENT OF STATE AIDS.] 5.15 Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, sections 273.1398, 5.16 subdivision 6, and 477A.015, the commissioner of revenue, in 5.17 consultation with the division of emergency management, shall 5.18 make payments of homestead and agricultural credit aid and local 5.19 government aid as provided in this section to all qualified 5.20 local units of government that the commissioner determines have 5.21 suffered financial hardship. As used in this section, 5.22 "qualified local units of government" means counties, home rule 5.23 charter or statutory cities, and towns that suffered damage in 5.24 the tornadoes and storms of March 29, 1998. 5.25 Payment of the homestead and agricultural credit aid and 5.26 local government aid that would otherwise have been payable on 5.27 July 20, 1998, shall be made as soon as practicable after the 5.28 date of final enactment of this act. 5.29 Sec. 13. [TORNADO DAMAGED SCHOOL RECONSTRUCTION.] 5.30 In order to expedite school reconstruction of school 5.31 buildings destroyed by the tornadoes of March 29, 1998, the 5.32 school districts of St. Peter, Comfrey, and Le Center may enter 5.33 into construction contracts, including but not limited to 5.34 design-build, that the districts determine to be in their best 5.35 interests. Construction of these educational facilities is 5.36 emergency construction and not subject to competitive bid 6.1 requirements of Minnesota Statutes, sections 123.37 and 471.345, 6.2 or other law or charter or the requirements of Minnesota 6.3 Statutes, section 16B.335. The department of children, 6.4 families, and learning shall notify the chairs of the senate 6.5 finance committees, the house ways and means committee, and the 6.6 house capital investment committee that the projects have been 6.7 approved under review and comment and necessary contracts have 6.8 been executed. 6.9 Sec. 14. [SCHOOL FACILITY STORM DAMAGE RELATED 6.10 BETTERMENT.] 6.11 The school districts of St. Peter, Comfrey, and Le Center 6.12 may make an additional levy for facility betterment under this 6.13 section. 6.14 The levy must be directly related to the costs of the 6.15 betterment of the damaged facility and may only be for costs not 6.16 otherwise paid for by insurance or other proceeds. The total 6.17 costs related to the levy may not exceed two percent of a 6.18 district's 1995 adjusted net tax capacity. The project must be 6.19 approved under Minnesota Statutes, section 121.15. The levy may 6.20 be spread over more than one year. The levy is not eligible for 6.21 state-aid payments under Minnesota Statutes, section 124.83 or 6.22 124.95, or any other aid program. A district must consult with 6.23 and receive approval from the city and county in which its 6.24 administrative offices are located prior to making this levy 6.25 according to Minnesota Statutes, section 124.239, subdivisions 6.26 3, 4, 5, and 6. 6.27 Sec. 15. [SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT TAX WAIVER.] 6.28 Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the commissioner 6.29 of revenue may waive solid waste management taxes under 6.30 Minnesota Statutes, chapter 297H, for construction debris 6.31 generated from repair and demolition activities in the area 6.32 designated under Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster, 6.33 DR1212, whether included in the original declaration or added 6.34 later by federal government action due to tornado and other 6.35 weather damage on March 29, 1998, and disposed of in a waste 6.36 management facility designated by the commissioner of the 7.1 pollution control agency. The commissioner of revenue's 7.2 authority under this section to waive the taxes expires for 7.3 waste transported to the designated facilities after March 31, 7.4 1999. 7.5 Sec. 16. [WAITING WEEK WAIVER.] 7.6 The waiting week requirement under Minnesota Statutes, 7.7 section 268.08, subdivision 1, clause (3), does not apply to 7.8 persons who became unemployed and filed an application for 7.9 reemployment insurance benefits as a direct result of the March 7.10 29, 1998, tornado and resulting storm damage. 7.11 Sec. 17. [WAIVER ON DEFINITION OF AT-RISK YOUTH.] 7.12 The limitation on the definition of an at-risk youth under 7.13 the Minnesota youth program, in Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 7.14 268.56, subdivision 3, is waived to include a youth affected by 7.15 the March 29, 1998, tornado disaster. The waiver is effective 7.16 until May 30, 1999. 7.17 Sec. 18. [WAIVER OF LIMITATION FOR FACILITY CHANGES.] 7.18 The limitation under Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 7.19 268.362, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), on the type of facilities 7.20 which may be rehabilitated, improved, or constructed as part of 7.21 a work experience component to provide education and work 7.22 experience to targeted youth is waived and shall include 7.23 low-income private residences, private businesses, municipal 7.24 parks, and other land areas in the area designated under 7.25 Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster, DR1212, whether 7.26 included in the original declaration or added later by federal 7.27 government action. 7.28 Sec. 19. [12.331] [LOCAL ASSISTANCE BETWEEN POLITICAL 7.29 SUBDIVISIONS.] 7.30 Subdivision 1. [AUTHORITY BETWEEN POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS.] 7.31 When the public interest requires it because of an emergency, a 7.32 political subdivision may request the assistance of another 7.33 political subdivision. Upon receiving such a request, a 7.34 political subdivision, called the "sending political 7.35 subdivision," may go to the assistance of the requesting 7.36 political subdivision, called the "receiving political 8.1 subdivision." The receiving political subdivision may accept 8.2 and use the personnel, equipment, and supplies of the sending 8.3 political subdivision as agreed upon by both political 8.4 subdivisions. 8.5 Subd. 2. [EFFECT.] Unless there is a written agreement 8.6 between the political subdivisions establishing the rules for 8.7 conducting these activities, the provisions of paragraphs (a) to 8.8 (d) shall apply while the political subdivisions are engaged in 8.9 the activities described in subdivision 1. 8.10 (a) For the purposes of worker's compensation insurance, 8.11 the employees, officers, and members of the sending political 8.12 subdivision have the same powers, duties, rights, privileges, 8.13 and immunities as if they were performing similar services in 8.14 the sending political subdivision and are considered to be 8.15 acting within the scope of and in the course of their regular 8.16 employment, as employees of the sending political subdivision. 8.17 (b) For the purposes of chapter 466, the employees and 8.18 officers of the sending political subdivision are deemed to be 8.19 employees, as defined in section 466.01, subdivision 6, of the 8.20 receiving political subdivision. 8.21 (c) The sending political subdivision shall be responsible 8.22 for any damages to its equipment. 8.23 (d) The receiving political subdivision shall reimburse the 8.24 sending political subdivision for the supplies used and the 8.25 compensation paid to the officers and members of the forces 8.26 furnished, during the time when the rendition of aid prevents 8.27 them from performing their duties in the sending political 8.28 subdivision, and for the actual travel and maintenance expenses 8.29 of the officers and members while so engaged. A claim for loss, 8.30 damage, or expense in using equipment or supplies or for 8.31 additional expenses incurred in operating or maintaining them 8.32 must not be allowed unless within 90 days after the loss, 8.33 damage, or expense is sustained or incurred, an itemized notice 8.34 of it, verified by an officer or employee of the municipality 8.35 having knowledge of the facts, is filed with the clerk of the 8.36 receiving political subdivision. 9.1 Subd. 3. [RETROACTIVE EFFECT.] Notwithstanding other laws 9.2 this section is effective retroactive to March 29, 1998. 9.3 Sec. 20. [PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENTS; PROPERTY DAMAGED BY 9.4 TORNADO.] 9.5 Subdivision 1. [AUTHORIZATION.] Notwithstanding the 9.6 requirements of Minnesota Statutes, section 375.192, the county 9.7 board of a qualified county may grant abatements of the full 9.8 amount of taxes on eligible property for taxes payable in 1998 9.9 as provided in this section. The owner of the property is not 9.10 required to apply for the abatement. 9.11 Subd. 2. [DEFINITIONS.] (a) As used in this section, the 9.12 terms defined in this subdivision have the meanings given them. 9.13 (b) "Qualified county" means any county in the area 9.14 designated under Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster, 9.15 DR1212, whether included in the original declaration or added 9.16 later by federal government action. 9.17 (c) "Eligible property" means a parcel of taxable property 9.18 located in a qualified county that contains a structure that has 9.19 been determined by the assessor to have lost over 50 percent of 9.20 its estimated market value due to wind damage. In the case of 9.21 agricultural property, the abatement is limited to the taxes on 9.22 the parcel attributable to the value of the house, garage, and 9.23 surrounding one acre, if the house has lost over 50 percent of 9.24 its estimated market value, and the tax attributable to the 9.25 value of any farm buildings and structures that have lost over 9.26 50 percent of their estimated market value. 9.27 Subd. 3. [ASSESSORS' DUTIES.] As soon as practicable, 9.28 local and county assessors in qualified counties shall notify 9.29 the county board and property owners of parcels of eligible 9.30 property. 9.31 Sec. 21. [VALUATION EXCLUSION FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO CERTAIN 9.32 BUSINESS PROPERTY.] 9.33 Property classified under Minnesota Statutes, section 9.34 273.13, subdivision 24, which is eligible for the preferred 9.35 class rate on the market value up to $150,000, shall qualify for 9.36 a valuation exclusion for assessment purposes, provided all of 10.1 the following conditions are met: 10.2 (1) the building must be damaged by the tornadoes of March 10.3 29, 1998; 10.4 (2) the building must be located within an area designated 10.5 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as eligible for 10.6 federal aid due to the tornadoes of March 29, 1998; 10.7 (3) the total estimated market value of the land and 10.8 buildings must be $150,000 or less prior to the damage caused by 10.9 the tornadoes of March 29, 1998; 10.10 (4) a building permit must have been issued prior to the 10.11 commencement of the improvement, or if the building is located 10.12 in a city or town which does not have a building permit process, 10.13 the property owner must notify the assessor prior to the 10.14 commencement of the improvement; 10.15 (5) the property, including its improvements, has received 10.16 no public assistance, grants, or financing; 10.17 (6) the property is not receiving a property tax abatement 10.18 under Minnesota Statutes, section 469.1813; and 10.19 (7) the improvements are made after the date of final 10.20 enactment of this act and prior to January 1, 2000. 10.21 The assessor shall estimate the market value of the 10.22 building in the assessment year immediately following the year 10.23 that (1) the building permit was taken out, or (2) the taxpayer 10.24 notified the assessor that an improvement was to be made. If 10.25 the estimated market value of the building has increased over 10.26 the prior year's assessment, the assessor shall note the amount 10.27 of the increase on the property's record, and that amount shall 10.28 be subtracted from the value of the property in each year for 10.29 five years after the improvement has been made, at which time an 10.30 amount equal to 20 percent of the excluded value shall be added 10.31 back in each of the five subsequent assessment years. 10.32 For any property, there can be no more than two 10.33 improvements qualifying for exclusion under this subdivision. 10.34 The maximum amount of value that can be excluded from any 10.35 property under this subdivision is $50,000. 10.36 The assessor shall require an application. Applications 11.1 must be received prior to July 1 of any year in order to be 11.2 effective for taxes payable in the following year. 11.3 Sec. 22. [DISASTER AREA; DUE DATE EXTENDED FOR BUSINESS 11.4 PROPERTY TAXES.] 11.5 (a) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 279.01, 11.6 subdivision 1, a penalty shall not accrue if (1) because of a 11.7 natural disaster, a taxpayer is unable to pay the first half of 11.8 the payable 1998 property taxes on class 3a or 3b property, 11.9 classified under Minnesota Statutes, section 273.13, subdivision 11.10 24, located in an area designated under Presidential Declaration 11.11 of Major Disaster, DR1212, whether included in the original 11.12 declaration or added later by federal government action and (2) 11.13 the taxpayer pays the first half of the payable 1998 taxes by 11.14 October 15, 1998. 11.15 (b) If the first one-half payment is paid after October 15, 11.16 1998, then all penalties that would have occurred on the due 11.17 date under Minnesota Statutes, section 279.01, subdivision 1, 11.18 shall be charged on the amount of the unpaid tax. 11.19 (c) The property taxpayer shall attach to the payment a 11.20 statement that the property is located in the disaster area and 11.21 qualified for an extension under this section. 11.22 Sec. 23. [1997-1998 AVERAGE DAILY MEMBERSHIP.] 11.23 Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 124.17, the 11.24 1997-1998 average daily membership for a school building in the 11.25 school districts of St. Peter, Comfrey, and Le Center closed due 11.26 to tornado damage for part of the school year and reopened 11.27 before the end of the school year shall be the greater of the 11.28 amount that would have been computed if the school building had 11.29 not reopened or the amount computed using actual data for the 11.30 entire school year. 11.31 Sec. 24. [FISCAL YEAR 1999 AND 2000 DECLINING PUPIL UNIT 11.32 AID.] 11.33 This section applies to the school districts of St. Peter, 11.34 Comfrey, and Le Center. For fiscal year 1999 only, a school 11.35 district with one or more school buildings closed during the 11.36 1997-1998 school year due to tornado damage is eligible for 12.1 declining pupil unit aid equal to the greater of zero or the 12.2 product of the general education formula allowance for fiscal 12.3 year 1999 times the difference between the district's actual 12.4 pupil units for the 1997-1998 school year and the district's 12.5 actual pupil units for the 1998-1999 school year. 12.6 For fiscal year 2000 only, a school district with one or 12.7 more school buildings closed during the 1998-1999 school year 12.8 due to tornado damage is eligible for declining pupil unit aid 12.9 equal to the greater of zero or the product of the general 12.10 education formula allowance for fiscal year 2000 times the 12.11 difference between the district's actual pupil units for the 12.12 1997-1998 school year and the district's actual pupil units for 12.13 the 1999-2000 school year. 12.14 Sec. 25. [SCHOOL DISTRICT AVERAGE DAILY MEMBERSHIP.] 12.15 For fiscal year 1999, the commissioner of children, 12.16 families, and learning may adjust school district average daily 12.17 membership data calculated under Minnesota Statutes, section 12.18 124.17, for those school districts whose enrollment is affected 12.19 by tornado damage in the spring of 1998 because students have 12.20 not yet returned to their resident school districts because 12.21 school facilities or homes are not available for occupancy. 12.22 Sec. 26. [TEMPORARY AUTHORITY TO SUSPEND RULES.] 12.23 Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for fiscal years 12.24 1998 and 1999, an agency with the approval of the governor, may 12.25 temporarily suspend specific agency rules because of the effects 12.26 of the March 29, 1998 tornadoes. The suspension of rules must 12.27 be confined to geographic areas affected within counties located 12.28 in the area designated under Presidential Declaration of Major 12.29 Disaster, DR1212, whether included in the original declaration 12.30 or added later by federal government action, and to the minimum 12.31 periods of time necessary to deal with the emergency situation. 12.32 The agency must promptly report the reasons for and the impact 12.33 of any suspended rules to the chairs of the legislative 12.34 committees that oversee the policy and budgetary affairs of the 12.35 agency and to the chairs of the legislative committees on 12.36 governmental operations. This section expires January 15, 1999. 13.1 Sec. 27. [FEDERAL FUNDS.] 13.2 State agencies may apply for any federal funds available 13.3 for tornado relief. Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 13.4 3.3005, the commissioner of finance may submit the request to 13.5 receive and spend federal funds to the legislative advisory 13.6 commission required under Minnesota Statutes, section 3.3005, 13.7 any time after the application is made for those funds. If a 13.8 recommendation is not made within five days, no further review 13.9 by the legislative advisory commission is required, and the 13.10 commissioner shall approve or disapprove the request. If a 13.11 recommendation is made for further review, the commissioner may 13.12 proceed according to Minnesota Statutes, section 3.3005, 13.13 subdivision 5. This section expires January 15, 1999. 13.14 Sec. 28. [WAIVER OF HUMAN SERVICES STATUTES.] 13.15 Subdivision 1. [WAIVER AUTHORIZED.] In response to the 13.16 immediate and long-term effects on individuals and public and 13.17 private entities because of the March 29, 1998, tornadoes, the 13.18 commissioner of human services may waive or grant variances to 13.19 provisions in chapters 245A, 252, 256, 256B, 256D, 256E, 256G, 13.20 256I, 257, 259, 260, 518, and 626 governing: the transference 13.21 of funds between grant accounts; rate setting or other funding 13.22 requirements or limits for specific services; documentation or 13.23 reporting requirements; licensing requirements; payments, 13.24 including MinnesotaCare premiums; emergency assistance time 13.25 limits; general assistance citizenship requirements for student 13.26 residents; restrictions on receipt of emergency general 13.27 assistance by MFIP-S recipients; and other administrative 13.28 procedures as needed to ensure timely and continuous service to 13.29 persons receiving or eligible to receive services administered 13.30 by the commissioner or by the counties under supervision of the 13.31 commissioner. In granting a waiver or variance, the 13.32 commissioner shall consider the impact on the health and safety 13.33 of vulnerable persons. Waivers or variances may be restricted 13.34 to specific geographical areas and specific time periods. 13.35 Subd. 2. [NOTICE TO LEGISLATIVE CHAIRS.] The commissioner 13.36 shall notify the chairs of the senate health and family security 14.1 committee, health and family security budget division, human 14.2 resources finance committee, the house health and human services 14.3 committee, health and human services finance division, and ways 14.4 and means committee ten days prior to the effective date of any 14.5 waiver or variance granted under subdivision 1. 14.6 Subd. 3. [APPEALS.] The appeal rights of applicants for, 14.7 or recipients of, public assistance or a program of social 14.8 services under Minnesota Statutes, section 256.045, are not 14.9 affected by this provision. Counties and other services 14.10 providers do not have a right to appeal the commissioner's 14.11 decision on whether to waive or grant a variance from a statute 14.12 under this provision. 14.13 Subd. 4. [SUMMARY TO LEGISLATIVE CHAIRS.] Expenditures 14.14 under the waivers or variances must not exceed the total 14.15 appropriation for the commissioner, including any special 14.16 appropriations for tornado relief. The commissioner shall issue 14.17 a summary to the chairs of the senate human resources finance 14.18 and house ways and means committees by January 15, 1999, 14.19 regarding variances and waivers granted under the terms under 14.20 this provision. 14.21 Subd. 5. [EXPIRATION.] This section is effective the day 14.22 following final enactment and expires February 15, 1999. 14.23 Sec. 29. [DISASTER CLEANUP VEHICLE EXEMPTIONS.] 14.24 A commercial motor vehicle that is involved in the cleanup 14.25 of or assistance to the victims of the tornado disaster of March 14.26 29, 1998, is not subject to enforcement of the following laws or 14.27 rules: 14.28 (1) federal intra-state transportation under Code of 14.29 Federal Regulations, title 49, parts 390 to 399; 14.30 (2) intra-state registration under Minnesota Statutes, 14.31 sections 168.181 to 168.187 and 169.79; 14.32 (3) inspections under Minnesota Statutes, sections 169.781 14.33 and 169.782; and 14.34 (4) size and weight under Minnesota Statutes, sections 14.35 169.80, 169.81, 169.825, and 169.87, and chapters 221 and 296. 14.36 Sec. 30. [CRIME VICTIM REPARATIONS DEADLINES EXTENDED.] 15.1 The time limitations in Minnesota Statutes, section 15.2 611A.53, subdivision 2, for filing claims for crime victim 15.3 reparations are tolled for one year for crime victims who 15.4 resided on March 29, 1998, in the geographic areas within 15.5 counties included in the area designated under Presidential 15.6 Declaration of Major Disaster, DR1212, whether included in the 15.7 original declaration or added later by federal government action. 15.8 Sec. 31. Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 15.9 41B.043, subdivision 2a, is amended to read: 15.10 Subd. 2a. [SNOW
OR, FLOOD, OR OTHER NATURALLY CAUSED 15.11 DAMAGE.] A prospective borrower applying for a loan 15.12 participation through an eligible lender may refinance an 15.13 existing debt in order to repair or replace farm driveways, 15.14 drainage ditches and tile lines, grassed waterways, or 15.15 agricultural buildings damaged due to snow or, flooding, or 15.16 other weather-related causes. 15.17 Sec. 32. [41B.047] [DISASTER RECOVERY LOAN PROGRAM.] 15.18 Subdivision 1. [ESTABLISHMENT.] The authority shall 15.19 establish and implement a disaster recovery loan program to help 15.20 farmers clean up, repair, or replace farm structures and septic 15.21 and water systems, as well as replacement of seed, other crop 15.22 inputs, feed, and livestock. 15.23 Subd. 2. [REVOLVING FUND.] There is established in the 15.24 state treasury a disaster recovery revolving fund which is 15.25 eligible to receive appropriations. All repayments of financial 15.26 assistance granted under subdivision 1, including principal and 15.27 interest, must be deposited into this fund. Interest earned on 15.28 money in the fund accrues to the fund, and money in the fund is 15.29 appropriated to the commissioner of agriculture for purposes of 15.30 the disaster recovery loan program, including costs incurred by 15.31 the authority to establish and administer the program. 15.32 Subd. 3. [ELIGIBILITY.] To be eligible for this program, a 15.33 borrower must: 15.34 (1) be a resident of this state or a domestic family farm 15.35 corporation or family farm partnership as defined in section 15.36 500.24, subdivision 2; 16.1 (2) certify that the damage or loss was sustained within a 16.2 county that was the subject of a state or federal disaster 16.3 declaration; 16.4 (3) demonstrate an ability to repay the loan; 16.5 (4) have a total net worth, including assets and 16.6 liabilities of the borrower's spouse and dependents, of less 16.7 than $400,000; and 16.8 (5) have received at least 50 percent of average annual 16.9 gross income from farming for the past three years. 16.10 Subd. 4. [LOANS.] (a) The authority may participate in a 16.11 disaster recovery loan with an eligible lender to a farmer who 16.12 is eligible under subdivision 3. Participation is limited to 45 16.13 percent of the principal amount of the loan or $50,000, 16.14 whichever is less. The interest rates and repayment terms of 16.15 the authority's participation interest may differ from the 16.16 interest rates and repayment terms of the lender's retained 16.17 portion of the loan, but the authority's interest rate must not 16.18 exceed four percent. 16.19 (b) Standards for loan amortization shall be set by the 16.20 rural finance authority not to exceed ten years. 16.21 (c) Loans under this program must not be included in the 16.22 lifetime limitation calculated under section 41B.03, subdivision 16.23 1. 16.24 (d) Security for the disaster recovery loans must be a 16.25 personal note executed by the borrower and whatever other 16.26 security is required by the eligible lender or the authority. 16.27 (e) The authority may impose a reasonable nonrefundable 16.28 application fee for a disaster recovery loan. The authority may 16.29 review the fee annually and make adjustments as necessary. The 16.30 application fee is initially $50. Application fees received by 16.31 the authority must be deposited in the disaster recovery 16.32 revolving fund. 16.33 (f) Disaster recovery loans under this program will be made 16.34 using money in the disaster recovery revolving fund established 16.35 under subdivision 2. 16.36 Sec. 33. Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 17.1 168.16, is amended to read: 17.2 168.16 [REFUNDS; APPROPRIATION.] 17.3 After the tax upon any motor vehicle shall have been paid 17.4 for any year, refund shall be made for errors made in computing 17.5 the tax or fees and for the error on the part of an owner who 17.6 may in error have registered a motor vehicle that was not 17.7 before, nor at the time of registration, nor at any time 17.8 thereafter during the current past year, subject to tax in this 17.9 state as provided by section 168.012. Unless otherwise provided 17.10 in this chapter, a claim for a refund of an overpayment of 17.11 registration tax must be filed within 3-1/2 years from the date 17.12 of payment. The refundment shall be made from any fund in 17.13 possession of the registrar and shall be deducted from the 17.14 registrar's monthly report to the commissioner of finance. A 17.15 detailed report of the refundment shall accompany the report. 17.16 The former owner of a transferred vehicle by an assignment in 17.17 writing endorsed upon the registration certificate and delivered 17.18 to the registrar within the time provided herein may sell and 17.19 assign to the new owner thereof the right to have the tax paid 17.20 by the former owner accredited to the owner who duly registers 17.21 the vehicle. Any owner at the time of such occurrence, whose 17.22 vehicle is declared by an insurance company to be a total loss 17.23 due to flood or tornado damage, permanently destroyed, or sold 17.24 to the federal government, the state, or political subdivision 17.25 thereof, and any owner who sells a rental motor vehicle and 17.26 transfers the license plates issued to that motor vehicle under 17.27 section 168.15, subdivision 3, shall upon filing a verified 17.28 claim be entitled to a refund of the unused portion of the tax 17.29 paid upon the vehicle, computed as follows: 17.30 (1) if the vehicle is registered under the calendar year 17.31 system of registration, the refund is computed pro rata by the 17.32 month, 1/12 of the annual tax paid for each month of the year 17.33 remaining after the month in which the plates and certificate 17.34 were returned to the registrar; 17.35 (2) in the case of a vehicle registered under the monthly 17.36 series system of registration, the amount of the refund is equal 18.1 to the sum of the amounts of the license fee attributable to 18.2 those months remaining in the licensing period after the month 18.3 in which the plates and certificate were returned to the 18.4 registrar. 18.5 There is hereby appropriated to the persons entitled to a 18.6 refund, from the fund or account in the state treasury to which 18.7 the money was credited, an amount sufficient to make the refund 18.8 and payment. Refunds under this section to licensed motor 18.9 vehicle lessors must be made annually in a manner the registrar 18.10 determines. 18.11 Sec. 34. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 268.38, is 18.12 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 18.13 Subd. 13. [AUTHORITY TO WAIVE REQUIREMENTS DURING DISASTER 18.14 PERIODS.] The commissioner may waive requirements under this 18.15 section for up to nine months after the disaster for grantees in 18.16 areas where a federal disaster has been declared under United 18.17 States Code, title 42, section 5121, et seq., or the governor 18.18 has exercised authority under chapter 12. The commissioner 18.19 shall notify the chairs of the senate family and early childhood 18.20 education budget division, the senate education finance 18.21 committee, the house family and early childhood education 18.22 finance division, the house education committee, and the house 18.23 ways and means committee ten days before the effective date of 18.24 any waiver granted under this section. 18.25 Sec. 35. Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 18.26 273.124, subdivision 14, is amended to read: 18.27 Subd. 14. [AGRICULTURAL HOMESTEADS; SPECIAL PROVISIONS.] 18.28 (a) Real estate of less than ten acres that is the homestead of 18.29 its owner must be classified as class 2a under section 273.13, 18.30 subdivision 23, paragraph (a), if: 18.31 (1) the parcel on which the house is located is contiguous 18.32 on at least two sides to (i) agricultural land, (ii) land owned 18.33 or administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, 18.34 or (iii) land administered by the department of natural 18.35 resources on which in lieu taxes are paid under sections 477A.11 18.36 to 477A.14; 19.1 (2) its owner also owns a noncontiguous parcel of 19.2 agricultural land that is at least 20 acres; 19.3 (3) the noncontiguous land is located not farther than two 19.4 townships or cities, or a combination of townships or cities 19.5 from the homestead; and 19.6 (4) the agricultural use value of the noncontiguous land 19.7 and farm buildings is equal to at least 50 percent of the market 19.8 value of the house, garage, and one acre of land. 19.9 Homesteads initially classified as class 2a under the 19.10 provisions of this paragraph shall remain classified as class 19.11 2a, irrespective of subsequent changes in the use of adjoining 19.12 properties, as long as the homestead remains under the same 19.13 ownership, the owner owns a noncontiguous parcel of agricultural 19.14 land that is at least 20 acres, and the agricultural use value 19.15 qualifies under clause (4). 19.16 (b) Except as provided in paragraph (d), noncontiguous land 19.17 shall be included as part of a homestead under section 273.13, 19.18 subdivision 23, paragraph (a), only if the homestead is 19.19 classified as class 2a and the detached land is located in the 19.20 same township or city, or not farther than two townships or 19.21 cities or combination thereof from the homestead. 19.22 (c) Agricultural land used for purposes of a homestead and 19.23 actively farmed by a person holding a vested remainder interest 19.24 in it must be classified as a homestead under section 273.13, 19.25 subdivision 23, paragraph (a). If agricultural land is 19.26 classified class 2a, any other dwellings on the land used for 19.27 purposes of a homestead by persons holding vested remainder 19.28 interests who are actively engaged in farming the property, and 19.29 up to one acre of the land surrounding each homestead and 19.30 reasonably necessary for the use of the dwelling as a home, must 19.31 also be assessed class 2a. 19.32 (d) Agricultural land and buildings that were class 2a 19.33 homestead property under section 273.13, subdivision 23, 19.34 paragraph (a), for the 1997 assessment shall remain classified 19.35 as agricultural homesteads for subsequent assessments if: 19.36 (1) the property owner abandoned the homestead dwelling 20.1 located on the agricultural homestead as a result of the April 20.2 1997 floods; 20.3 (2) the property is located in the county of Polk, Clay, 20.4 Kittson, Marshall, Norman, or Wilkin; 20.5 (3) the agricultural land and buildings remain under the 20.6 same ownership for the current assessment year as existed for 20.7 the 1997 assessment year; 20.8 (4) the dwelling occupied by the owner is located in 20.9 Minnesota and is within 30 miles of one of the parcels of 20.10 agricultural land that is owned by the taxpayer; and 20.11 (5) the owner notifies the county assessor that the 20.12 relocation was due to the 1997 floods, and the owner furnishes 20.13 the assessor any information deemed necessary by the assessor in 20.14 verifying the change in homestead dwelling. For taxes payable 20.15 in 1998, the owner must notify the assessor by December 1, 1997. 20.16 (e) Agricultural land and buildings that were class 2a 20.17 homestead property under section 273.13, subdivision 23, 20.18 paragraph (a), for the 1998 assessment shall remain classified 20.19 agricultural homesteads for subsequent assessments if: 20.20 (1) the property owner abandoned the homestead dwelling 20.21 located on the agricultural homestead as a result of damage 20.22 caused by a March 29, 1998, tornado; 20.23 (2) the property is located in the county of Blue Earth, 20.24 Brown, Cottonwood, LeSueur, Nicollet, Nobles, or Rice; 20.25 (3) the agricultural land and buildings remain under the 20.26 same ownership for the current assessment year as existed for 20.27 the 1998 assessment year; 20.28 (4) the dwelling occupied by the owner is located in this 20.29 state and is within 50 miles of one of the parcels of 20.30 agricultural land that is owned by the taxpayer; and 20.31 (5) the owner notifies the county assessor that the 20.32 relocation was due to a March 29, 1998, tornado, and the owner 20.33 furnishes the assessor any information deemed necessary by the 20.34 assessor in verifying the change in homestead dwelling. For 20.35 taxes payable in 1999, the owner must notify the assessor by 20.36 December 1, 1998. Further notifications to the assessor are not 21.1 required if the property continues to meet all the requirements 21.2 in this paragraph and any dwellings on the agricultural land 21.3 remain uninhabited. 21.4 Sec. 36. Laws 1997, chapter 203, article 1, section 15, as 21.5 added by Laws 1997, First Special Session chapter 5, section 46, 21.6 is amended to read: 21.7 Sec. 15. [119B.26] [AUTHORITY TO WAIVE REQUIREMENTS DURING 21.8 DISASTER PERIODS.] 21.9 The commissioner of children, families, and learningmay 21.10 waive requirements under Minnesota Statutes,chapter 119B, for 21.11 up to nine months after the disaster in areas where a federal 21.12 disaster has been declared under United States Code, title 42, 21.13 section 5121, et seq., or the governor has exercised authority 21.14 under chapter 12. The commissioner shall notify the chairs of 21.15 the senate family and early childhood education budget division, 21.16 the senate education finance committee, the house family and 21.17 early childhood education finance division, the house education 21.18 committee, and the house ways and means committee ten days 21.19 before the effective date of any waiver granted under this 21.20 section. 21.21 Sec. 37. Laws 1997, chapter 203, article 1, section 17, as 21.22 added by Laws 1997, First Special Session chapter 5, section 46, 21.23 is amended to read: 21.24 Sec. 17. [268.9165] [AUTHORITY TO WAIVE REQUIREMENTS 21.25 DURING DISASTER PERIODS.] 21.26 The commissioner of children, families, and learning may 21.27 waive requirements under Minnesota Statutes,sections 268.912 to 21.28 268.916, for up to nine months after the disaster for Head Start 21.29 grantees in areas where a federal disaster has been declared 21.30 under United States Code, title 42, section 5121, et seq., or 21.31 the governor has exercised authority under chapter 12. The 21.32 commissioner shall notify the chairs of the senate family and 21.33 early childhood education budget division, the senate education 21.34 finance committee, the house family and early childhood 21.35 education finance division, the house education committee, and 21.36 the house ways and means committee ten days before the effective 22.1 date of any waiver granted under this section. 22.2 Sec. 38. [TORNADO DAMAGES; STATE EMPLOYEE VACATION 22.3 DONATION.] 22.4 Subdivision 1. [DONATION OF VACATION TIME.] A state 22.5 employee may donate up to 40 hours of accrued vacation time, in 22.6 addition to that donated under Minnesota Statutes, section 22.7 43A.181, in the biennium ending June 30, 1999, to the account 22.8 established by subdivision 2. The employee must notify the 22.9 employee's agency head of the amount of accrued vacation time 22.10 the employee wishes to donate. Vacation donations of more than 22.11 12 hours require the approval of the agency head. The agency 22.12 head shall determine the monetary value of the donated time, 22.13 using the gross salary of the employee making the donation. The 22.14 agency head shall transfer that amount, less deductions for 22.15 applicable taxes and retirement contributions, to the account 22.16 established by subdivision 2. A donation of accrued vacation 22.17 time is irrevocable once its monetary value has been transferred 22.18 to the account. 22.19 Subd. 2. [TORNADO DISASTER BENEFIT ACCOUNT.] The tornado 22.20 disaster benefit account, consisting of money transferred under 22.21 subdivision 1, is administered by the commissioner of employee 22.22 relations. Money in the account is appropriated to the 22.23 commissioner for purposes of this section. 22.24 Subd. 3. [USE OF ACCOUNT ASSETS.] Expenditures from the 22.25 account established by subdivision 2 must be used to assist 22.26 needy families and individuals affected by the tornadoes 22.27 occurring on March 29, 1998. The commissioner must consult with 22.28 charitable organizations and collective bargaining units in 22.29 targeting the money appropriately. 22.30 Subd. 4. [RECOVERY LEAVE BANK.] In the biennium ending 22.31 June 30, 1999, a state employee may donate up to 12 hours of 22.32 accrued vacation time to a recovery leave bank administered by 22.33 the commissioner of employee relations. This donation is in 22.34 addition to those permitted in subdivision 1 and Minnesota 22.35 Statutes, sections 43A.181 and 43A.1815. The recovery leave 22.36 bank is for the use of state employees who have been adversely 23.1 affected by the tornadoes occurring on March 29, 1998. The 23.2 donating employee must notify the employee's agency head of the 23.3 amount of accrued vacation time the employee wishes to donate to 23.4 the recovery leave bank. A donation of accrued vacation time is 23.5 irrevocable after the donor signs a donation request form. The 23.6 agency head must transfer that vacation time to the recovery 23.7 leave bank. The commissioner must establish procedures for 23.8 determining eligibility for receiving the time donated to the 23.9 recovery leave bank and other issues related to the 23.10 administration of this program. These procedures must be 23.11 established after consulting with the exclusive representatives 23.12 of affected employees and are not subject to the provisions of 23.13 Minnesota Statutes, chapter 14. The commissioner must 23.14 distribute all hours remaining in the recovery leave bank at the 23.15 end of the biennium to the sick leave balances of those 23.16 employees eligible to receive donated time under the provisions 23.17 of Minnesota Statutes, section 43A.1815. 23.18 Sec. 39. [DELAY OF FINANCIAL REPORT FILING; DISASTER 23.19 AREAS.] 23.20 For any city or town located in whole or in part within a 23.21 county that has been designated by the Federal Emergency 23.22 Management Agency as eligible for federal aid due to the 23.23 tornadoes of March 29, 1998, the deadline by which financial 23.24 reports are required to be filed under Minnesota Statutes, 23.25 section 471.697 or 471.698, is extended by 90 days. 23.26 Sec. 40. [VICTIMS OF TORNADO; EXTENSIONS OF TIME RELATING 23.27 TO TAXES.] 23.28 Subdivision 1. [INCOME TAX EXTENSION.] The limitations of 23.29 time provided by Minnesota Statutes, chapters 289 and 290, 23.30 relating to income taxes, and Minnesota Statutes, chapter 271, 23.31 relating to the tax court, for filing income tax returns, paying 23.32 income taxes, claiming income tax refunds, commencing actions 23.33 relating to income taxes, appealing to the tax court from orders 23.34 relating to income taxes, and appealing to the supreme court 23.35 from decisions of the tax court relating to income taxes are 23.36 extended until May 30, 1998, for individuals who are residents 24.1 in an area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency 24.2 pursuant to a disaster declaration issued for the tornadoes of 24.3 March 29, 1998. 24.4 Subd. 2. [INTEREST AND PENALTIES.] Interest on income tax 24.5 must not be assessed or collected from an individual with 24.6 respect to whom, and for the period during which, the 24.7 limitations of time are extended as provided in subdivision 1. 24.8 A penalty is not assessed or collected from an individual for 24.9 failure during that period to perform an act required by the 24.10 laws described in subdivision 1. 24.11 Subd. 3. [ABATEMENT.] The commissioner of revenue shall 24.12 abate penalties and interest on withholding taxes and 24.13 declarations under Minnesota Statutes, section 290.92, and on 24.14 sales taxes deposits and returns under Minnesota Statutes, 24.15 chapters 289A and 297B, for failure to pay amounts or file 24.16 returns due between April 1, 1998, and May 30, 1998, if: 24.17 (1) the taxpayer qualifies under subdivision 1; and 24.18 (2) the taxpayer files all required returns and 24.19 declarations and pays all tax amounts due by May 30, 1998. 24.20 Subd. 4. [APPLICABILITY.] Nothing in this section reduces 24.21 the time within which an act is required or permitted under 24.22 Minnesota Statutes, chapter 271, 289A, 290, 297A, or 297B. 24.23 Sec. 41. [REPEALER.] 24.24 Laws 1997, chapter 203, article 1, section 16, as added by 24.25 Laws 1997, First Special Session chapter 5, section 46, is 24.26 repealed. 24.27 Sec. 42. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 24.28 Except as otherwise provided in this act, this act is 24.29 effective the day after its final enactment.