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HF 3508

1st Engrossment - 89th Legislature (2015 - 2016) Posted on 04/18/2016 04:39pm

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

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 03/23/2016
1st Engrossment Posted on 04/01/2016

Current Version - 1st Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to elections; providing for Public Utilities Commission members to
be elected at the state general election; amending Minnesota Statutes 2014,
sections 10A.01, subdivision 10; 10A.09, subdivision 6a; 204B.06, subdivision
4a; 204B.11, subdivision 1; 204B.32, subdivision 2; 204D.02, subdivision 1;
204D.08, subdivision 6; 204D.27, by adding a subdivision; 209.02, subdivision
1; 211B.01, subdivision 3; 216A.03, subdivision 3, by adding subdivisions;
290.06, subdivision 23; Minnesota Statutes 2015 Supplement, section 10A.27,
subdivision 1; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter
204D; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 216A.03, subdivisions 1, 1a.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 10A.01, subdivision 10, is amended to read:


Subd. 10.

Candidate.

"Candidate" means an individual who seeks nomination or
election as a state constitutional officer, legislator, or judge. An individual is deemed to seek
nomination or election if the individual has taken the action necessary under the law of this
state to qualify for nomination or election, has received contributions or made expenditures
in excess of $750, or has given implicit or explicit consent for any other person to receive
contributions or make expenditures in excess of $750, for the purpose of bringing about the
individual's nomination or election. A candidate remains a candidate until the candidate's
principal campaign committee is dissolved as provided in section 10A.243.new text begin Candidate also
means an individual who seeks nomination or election to the Public Utilities Commission.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 10A.09, subdivision 6a, is amended to read:


Subd. 6a.

Place of filing.

A public official required to file a statement under this
section must file it with the board. A local official required to file a statement under this
section must file it with the governing body of the official's political subdivisionnew text begin, except
that a candidate for or member of the Public Utilities Commission must file the statement
with the board
new text end. The governing body must maintain statements filed with it under this
subdivision as public data. If an official position is defined as both a public official and as
a local official of a metropolitan governmental unit under this chapter, the official must
file the statement with the board.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2015 Supplement, section 10A.27, subdivision 1, is
amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Contribution limits.

(a) Except as provided in subdivision 2,
a candidate must not permit the candidate's principal campaign committee to accept
aggregate contributions made or delivered by any individual, political committee, political
fund, or association not registered with the board in excess of the following:

(1) to candidates for governor and lieutenant governor running together, $4,000
in the election segment of an election cycle for the office sought and $2,000 in the
nonelection segment of the election cycle;

(2) to a candidate for attorney general, $2,500 in the election segment of an election
cycle for the office sought and $1,500 in the nonelection segment of the election cycle;

(3) to a candidate for secretary of state or state auditor, $2,000 in the election
segment of an election cycle and $1,000 in the nonelection segment of the election cycle;

(4) to a candidate for state senatornew text begin or Public Utilities Commission membernew text end, $1,000 in
the election segment of an election cycle for the office sought and $1,000 in a nonelection
segment of the election cycle;

(5) to a candidate for state representative, $1,000 in the election segment of an
election cycle for the office sought; and

(6) to a candidate for judicial office, $2,500 in the election segment of an election
cycle for the office sought and $2,500 in a nonelection segment of the election cycle.

(b) The following deliveries are not subject to the bundling limitation in this
subdivision:

(1) delivery of contributions collected by a member of the candidate's principal
campaign committee, such as a block worker or a volunteer who hosts a fund-raising
event, to the committee's treasurer; and

(2) a delivery made by an individual on behalf of the individual's spouse.

(c) A lobbyist, political committee, political party unit, an association that has a
political fund, or an association not registered with the board must not make a contribution
a candidate is prohibited from accepting.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204B.06, subdivision 4a, is amended to read:


Subd. 4a.

State and local offices.

Candidates who seek nomination for the
following offices shall state the following additional information on the affidavit:

(1) for governor or lieutenant governor, that on the first Monday of the next January
the candidate will be 25 years of age or older and, on the day of the state general election,
a resident of Minnesota for not less than one year;

(2) for Supreme Court justice, Court of Appeals judge, or district court judge, that
the candidate is learned in the law;

(3) for new text beginPublic Utilities Commission, new text endcounty, municipal, school district, or special
district office, that the candidate meets any other qualifications for that office prescribed
by law;

(4) for senator or representative in the legislature, that on the day of the general or
special election to fill the office the candidate will have resided not less than one year in
the state and not less than six months in the legislative district from which the candidate
seeks election.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204B.11, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Amount; dishonored checks; consequences.

Except as provided
by subdivision 2, a filing fee shall be paid by each candidate who files an affidavit of
candidacy. The fee shall be paid at the time the affidavit is filed. The amount of the filing
fee shall vary with the office sought as follows:

(a) for the office of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state auditor,
secretary of state, representative in Congress, judge of the Supreme Court, judge of the
Court of Appeals, or judge of the district court, $300;

(b) for the office of senator in Congress, $400;

(c) for office of senator or representative in the legislature, $100;

(d) for a new text beginPublic Utilities Commission or new text endcounty office, $50; and

(e) for the office of soil and water conservation district supervisor, $20.

For the office of presidential elector, and for those offices for which no compensation
is provided, no filing fee is required.

The filing fees received by the county auditor shall immediately be paid to the
county treasurer. The filing fees received by the secretary of state shall immediately be
paid to the commissioner of management and budget.

When an affidavit of candidacy has been filed with the appropriate filing officer and
the requisite filing fee has been paid, the filing fee shall not be refunded. If a candidate's
filing fee is paid with a check, draft, or similar negotiable instrument for which sufficient
funds are not available or that is dishonored, notice to the candidate of the worthless
instrument must be sent by the filing officer via registered mail no later than immediately
upon the closing of the filing deadline with return receipt requested. The candidate will
have five days from the time the filing officer receives proof of receipt to issue a check
or other instrument for which sufficient funds are available. The candidate issuing the
worthless instrument is liable for a service charge pursuant to section 604.113. If adequate
payment is not made, the name of the candidate must not appear on any official ballot and
the candidate is liable for all costs incurred by election officials in removing the name
from the ballot.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204B.32, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Allocation of election expenses.

The secretary of state shall develop
procedures for the allocation of election expenses among counties, municipalities, deleted text beginanddeleted text end
school districtsnew text begin, and the Public Utilities Commissionnew text end for elections that are held concurrently.
The following expenses must be included in the procedures: salaries of election judges;
postage for absentee ballots and applications; preparation of polling places; preparation
and testing of electronic voting systems; ballot preparation; publication of election notices
and sample ballots; transportation of ballots and election supplies; and compensation for
administrative expenses of the county auditor, municipal clerk, or school district clerk.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204D.02, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Officers.

All elective statenew text begin, Public Utilities Commission,new text end and county
officers, justices of the Supreme Court, judges of the Court of Appeals and district court,
state senators and state representatives, and senators and representatives in Congress shall
be elected at the state general election held in the year before their terms of office expire.
Presidential electors shall be chosen at the state general election held in the year before the
expiration of a term of a president of the United States.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204D.08, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

State and county nonpartisan primary ballot.

The state and county
nonpartisan primary ballot shall be headed "State and County Nonpartisan Primary
Ballot." It shall be printed in the manner provided in the rules of the secretary of state.
The names of candidates for nomination to the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, district
court, and allnew text begin Public Utilities Commission andnew text end county offices shall be placed on this ballot.

No candidate whose name is placed on the state and county nonpartisan primary
ballot shall be designated or identified as the candidate of any political party or in any
other manner except as expressly provided by law.

Sec. 9.

new text begin [204D.265] VACANCY IN OFFICE OF PUBLIC UTILITIES
COMMISSION MEMBER.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Election in 60 to 90 days. new text end

new text begin Except as provided in subdivision 3, a
vacancy in the Office of Public Utilities Commission member must be filled at a special
election scheduled by the Public Utilities Commission on a date not less than 60 nor more
than 90 days after the vacancy occurs. The special primary or special election may be held
on the same day as a regular primary or general election, but the special election must
be held not less than 14 days after the special primary. The person elected at the special
election must take office immediately after receipt of the certificate of election and upon
taking the oath of office and must serve the remainder of the unexpired term. If the Public
Utilities Commission districts have been redrawn since the beginning of the term of the
vacant office, the election must be based on the district as redrawn.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin When victor seated immediately. new text end

new text begin If a vacancy for which a special
election is required occurs less than 60 days before the general election preceding the
end of the term, the vacancy must be filled by the person elected at that election for the
ensuing term and that person must take office immediately after receiving the certificate
of election and taking the oath of office.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Inability or refusal to serve. new text end

new text begin In addition to when the events specified in
section 351.02 occur, a vacancy in the Office of Public Utilities Commission member may
be declared by the commission when a member is unable to serve in the office or attend
commission meetings for a 90-day period because of illness, or absence from or refusal
to attend, commission meetings for a 90-day period. If any of the conditions described
or referred to in this subdivision occur, the commission may, after the commission by
resolution has declared a vacancy to exist, appoint someone to fill the vacancy at a regular
or special meeting for the remainder of the unexpired term or until the ill or absent
member is again able to resume duties and attend meetings, whichever is earlier. If the
commission determines, by resolution, that the original member is again able to resume
duties and attend meetings, the commission must remove the appointed member and
restore the original member to office.
new text end

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 204D.27, is amended by adding a
subdivision to read:


new text begin Subd. 12. new text end

new text begin Special Public Utilities Commission election. new text end

new text begin (a) State Canvassing
Board.
Except as provided in subdivision 4, the State Canvassing Board shall complete
its canvass of a special election for Public Utilities Commission member and declare the
results within four days after the returns of the county canvassing boards are certified to
the secretary of state, excluding Sundays and legal holidays.
new text end

new text begin (b) Election contest. In case of a contest of a special election for Public Utilities
Commission member, the notice of contest must be filed within two days after the canvass
is completed, excluding Sundays and legal holidays. In other respects, the contest must
proceed in the manner provided by law for contesting elections.
new text end

new text begin (c) Certificate of election. A certificate of election in a special election for Public
Utilities Commission member must be issued by the county auditor or the secretary of
state to the individual declared elected by the county or State Canvassing Board two days,
excluding Sundays and legal holidays, after the appropriate canvassing board finishes
canvassing the returns for the election. In case of a contest, the certificate must not be
issued until the district court decides the contest.
new text end

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 209.02, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

General.

Any eligible voter, including a candidate, may contest in
the manner provided in this chapter: (1) the nomination or election of any person for
whom the voter had the right to vote if that person is declared nominated or elected to
the senate or the house of representatives of the United States, or to a statewide, new text beginPublic
Utilities Commission,
new text endcounty, legislative, municipal, school, or district court office; or
(2) the declared result of a constitutional amendment or other question voted upon at an
election. The contest may be brought over an irregularity in the conduct of an election or
canvass of votes, over the question of who received the largest number of votes legally
cast, over the number of votes legally cast in favor of or against a question, or on the
grounds of deliberate, serious, and material violations of the Minnesota Election Law.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 211B.01, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Candidate.

"Candidate" means an individual who seeks nomination or
election to a federal, statewide, new text beginPublic Utilities Commission, new text endlegislative, judicial, or local
office including special districts, school districts, towns, home rule charter and statutory
cities, and counties, except candidates for president and vice-president of the United States.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 216A.03, is amended by adding a
subdivision to read:


new text begin Subd. 1b. new text end

new text begin Election of members. new text end

new text begin The Public Utilities Commission shall consist of
one member elected at a state general election from each congressional district in the state.
The terms of members shall be six years and until their successors have been elected and
qualified. Each commissioner must reside within the congressional district in which
election is sought at the time of election.
new text end

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 216A.03, is amended by adding a
subdivision to read:


new text begin Subd. 1c. new text end

new text begin Transition. new text end

new text begin (a) Until commissioners have been elected from each
congressional district, this subdivision governs membership of the commission.
new text end

new text begin (b) The governor shall appoint a commissioner by and with the advice and consent
of the senate to replace a commissioner whose term expires in January 2017. The
appointment shall be for a term that expires January 7, 2019. At the state general election
held in November 2018, commissioners shall be elected from:
new text end

new text begin (1) the first and second congressional districts for a term of four years and until their
successors have been elected and qualified; and
new text end

new text begin (2) the third, fourth, and fifth congressional districts for a period of six years and
until their successors have been elected and qualified.
new text end

new text begin (c) The governor shall appoint a commissioner by and with the advice and consent of
the senate to replace a commissioner whose term expires January 6, 2020. The appointment
shall be for a term that expires January 4, 2021. At the state general election held in
November 2020, commissioners shall be elected from the sixth and seventh congressional
districts for a term of six years and until their successors have been elected and qualified.
new text end

new text begin (d) The governor shall appoint a commissioner by and with the advice and consent
of the senate to replace a commissioner whose term expires January 3, 2022. The
appointment shall be for a term that expires January 2, 2023. At the state general election
held in November 2022, a commissioner shall be elected from the eighth congressional
district for a term of six years and until a successor has been elected and qualified.
new text end

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 216A.03, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Chair.

The deleted text begingovernor shall select one of the commissioners to serve as thedeleted text end
chairnew text begin of the commission shall be elected by a majority vote of the commissionersnew text end for a
term deleted text beginconcurrent with that of the governordeleted text endnew text begin of four yearsnew text end.

If a vacancy occurs in the position of chair, the deleted text begingovernordeleted text endnew text begin commissionersnew text end shall deleted text beginselectdeleted text endnew text begin
elect
new text end a new chairnew text begin by majority votenew text end to complete the unexpired term.

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 290.06, subdivision 23, is amended to read:


Subd. 23.

Refund of contributions to political parties and candidates.

(a) A
taxpayer may claim a refund equal to the amount of the taxpayer's contributions made
in the calendar year to candidates and to a political party. The maximum refund for
an individual must not exceed $50 and for a married couple, filing jointly, must not
exceed $100. A refund of a contribution is allowed only if the taxpayer files a form
required by the commissioner and attaches to the form a copy of an official refund receipt
form issued by the candidate or party and signed by the candidate, the treasurer of the
candidate's principal campaign committee, or the chair or treasurer of the party unit, after
the contribution was received. The receipt forms must be numbered, and the data on the
receipt that are not public must be made available to the campaign finance and public
disclosure board upon its request. A claim must be filed with the commissioner no sooner
than January 1 of the calendar year in which the contribution was made and no later
than April 15 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the contribution
was made. A taxpayer may file only one claim per calendar year. Amounts paid by the
commissioner after June 15 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the
contribution was made must include interest at the rate specified in section 270C.405.

(b) No refund is allowed under this subdivision for a contribution to a candidate
unless the candidate:

(1) has signed an agreement to limit campaign expenditures as provided in section
10A.322;

(2) is seeking an office for which voluntary spending limits are specified in section
10A.25; and

(3) has designated a principal campaign committee.

This subdivision does not limit the campaign expenditures of a candidate who does
not sign an agreement but accepts a contribution for which the contributor improperly
claims a refund.

(c) For purposes of this subdivision, "political party" means a major political party as
defined in section 200.02, subdivision 7, or a minor political party qualifying for inclusion
on the income tax or property tax refund form under section 10A.31, subdivision 3a.

A "major party" or "minor party" includes the aggregate of that party's organization
within each house of the legislature, the state party organization, and the party organization
within congressional districts, counties, legislative districts, municipalities, and precincts.

"Candidate" means a candidate as defined in section 10A.01, subdivision 10, except
a candidate for judicial officenew text begin or the Public Utilities Commissionnew text end.

"Contribution" means a gift of money.

(d) The commissioner shall make copies of the form available to the public and
candidates upon request.

(e) The following data collected or maintained by the commissioner under this
subdivision are private: the identities of individuals claiming a refund, the identities
of candidates to whom those individuals have made contributions, and the amount of
each contribution.

(f) The commissioner shall report to the campaign finance and public disclosure
board by each August 1 a summary showing the total number and aggregate amount of
political contribution refunds made on behalf of each candidate and each political party.
These data are public.

(g) The amount necessary to pay claims for the refund provided in this section is
appropriated from the general fund to the commissioner of revenue.

(h) For a taxpayer who files a claim for refund via the Internet or other electronic
means, the commissioner may accept the number on the official receipt as documentation
that a contribution was made rather than the actual receipt as required by paragraph (a).

Sec. 17. new text begin REPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 216A.03, subdivisions 1 and 1a, new text end new text begin are repealed.
new text end