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SF 1111

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 02/17/2017 09:19am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.

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Current Version - as introduced

A bill for an act
relating to energy; establishing a legislative council to make funding
recommendations to the legislature;proposing coding for new law in Minnesota
Statutes, chapter 116C.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

[116C.7793] LEGISLATIVE RENEWABLE ENERGY COUNCIL.

Subdivision 1.

Establishment.

(a) The Legislative Renewable Energy Council of ten
members is established in the legislative branch, consisting of:

(1) five members of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house,
three of whom are from the majority caucus and two of whom are from the minority caucus;
and

(2) five members of the senate appointed by the Subcommittee on Committees of the
Committee on Rules and Administration, three of whom are from the majority caucus and
two of whom are from the minority caucus.

(b) Members appointed to the council must represent legislative districts in which the
majority of residents receive electric service from the utility that owns a nuclear powered
electric generating plant in this state. Council members must be geographically balanced
to represent the entire electric service area of that utility.

(c) Members shall elect a chair, a vice-chair, and other officers as determined by the
council. The chair may convene meetings as necessary to conduct the duties prescribed by
this section.

(d) The Legislative Coordinating Commission may appoint nonpartisan staff and contract
with consultants as necessary to support the functions of the council. The council has final
approval authority to hire an executive director. Up to one-half of one percent of the money
appropriated from the fund may be used to pay for the council's administrative expenses.

Subd. 2.

Council recommendations.

(a) The council must make recommendations to
the legislature on appropriations from the energy fund account established under section
116C.779 that are consistent with that section and state law. The council's recommendations
must be submitted no later than December 15 each year. The council must present its
recommendations to the senate and house of representatives committees with jurisdiction
over energy policy and finance by February 15 in odd-numbered years, and within the first
four weeks of the legislative session in even-numbered years.

(b) Recommendations of the council, including approval of recommendations for
expenditures from the energy fund account, require an affirmative vote of at least eight
members of the council.

(c) The council must develop and implement a decision-making process that ensures
citizens and potential recipients of funds are included at each stage of the process. The
process must include a fair, equitable, and thorough method to review funding requests,
and a clear and easily understood process to rank projects.

Subd. 3.

Conflict of interest.

(a) A council member may not be an advocate for or
against a council action or vote on any action that may be a conflict of interest. A conflict
of interest must be disclosed as soon as it is discovered. The council must follow the policies
and requirements related to conflicts of interest developed by the Office of Grants
Management under section 16B.98.

(b) For the purposes of this section, a conflict of interest exists when a person has an
organizational conflict of interest or a direct financial conflict of interest, and the conflict
of interest presents the appearance that it will be difficult for the person to impartially fulfill
the person's duties as a member of the council. An organizational conflict of interest exists
when a person has an affiliation with an organization subject to council activities that presents
the appearance of a conflict between organizational interests and the council member's
duties under this section. An organizational conflict of interest does not exist if the person's
only affiliation with an organization is being a member of the organization.

Subd. 4.

Audit.

The legislative auditor must audit energy fund account expenditures
recommended by the council, including administrative and staffing expenditures, to ensure
the money is spent in compliance with all applicable laws.

Subd. 5.

Recipient requirements.

(a) A recipient of a direct appropriation from the
energy fund account recommended by the council must compile and submit all information
for funded projects or programs, including proposed measurable outcomes required by the
council.

(b) A recipient's future eligibility to receive funds from the energy fund account is
contingent upon the recipient satisfying all applicable requirements under this section, as
well as any additional requirements contained in applicable law. If the Office of the
Legislative Auditor, in the course of an audit or investigation, publicly reports that a recipient
of funds from the energy fund account has not complied with the laws, rules, or regulations
under this section or other laws applicable to the recipient, the recipient is not eligible for
future funding from the energy fund account until the recipient demonstrates compliance
to the legislative auditor.

(c) A recipient of a direct appropriation from the energy fund account pursuant to a
recommendation by the council may not receive funds from another direct appropriation
from the council until four years after completion of the project funded by the prior direct
appropriation.

Subd. 6.

Accomplishment plans.

As a condition of accepting funds appropriated from
the energy fund account on the council's recommendation, a recipient must agree to submit
an accomplishment plan and periodic accomplishment reports to the council in the form
determined by the council. The accomplishment plan must identify the project manager
responsible for expending the appropriation and the final product. The accomplishment plan
must account for the use of the appropriation, identify outcomes of the expenditure, and
include an evaluation of results.

Subd. 7.

Expenditures.

(a) The council's recommendations regarding expenditures from
the energy fund account may include but are not limited to research and development
projects, demonstration projects, and statewide programs and financial incentives.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c), expenditures from the fund must only benefit
ratepayers receiving electric service from the utility that owns a nuclear powered electric
generating plant in this state.

(c) If general funds are transferred to the energy fund account, the council may
recommend the expenditure of, and the legislature may appropriate, funds from the account
up to the amount of general fund money present in the account for purposes that do not
meet the requirements of paragraph (b).

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

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