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Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1990 

                        CHAPTER 521-S.F.No. 2375 
           An act relating to workers' compensation; providing 
          for loggers; requiring the commissioner of labor and 
          industry to study issues concerning loggers; 
          appropriating money; proposing coding for new law in 
          Minnesota Statutes, chapter 176.  
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:  
    Section 1.  [176.130] [TARGETED INDUSTRY FUND; LOGGERS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] For purposes of this 
section, the following terms have the meaning given them, except 
where the context clearly indicates a different meaning.  
    (a) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of labor and 
industry unless otherwise provided.  
    (b) "Logger" means the following occupations:  
    (1) timber fellers:  those who employ chainsaws or other 
mechanical devices mounted on logging vehicles to fell or delimb 
trees; 
    (2) buckers or chippers:  those who cut trees into 
merchantable lengths with either chainsaws or heavier machinery, 
including slashers, harvesters, and processors; 
    (3) skidders or forwarders:  those who either drag logs or 
trees to roadside landings, or load and transport logs or short 
wood (fuel wood or pulp wood) to similar destinations; and 
    (4) timber harvesters or processors:  those who combine two 
or more of the operations listed in clauses (1) to (3).  
    (c) "Logging industry" means loggers and employers of 
loggers.  
    (d) "Wood mill" means the primary processors of wood or 
wood chips including, but not limited to, hard board 
manufacturers, wafer board or oriented strand board 
manufacturers, pulp and paper manufacturers, sawmills, and other 
primary manufacturers who do the initial processing of wood 
purchased from loggers. 
    (e) "Insurer" means an insurance company that provides 
workers' compensation coverage for loggers, including the 
Minnesota assigned risk plan.  
    (f) "Qualified employer" means a self-employed logger, or 
an employer of a logger, who has paid a premium for workers' 
compensation insurance coverage for the preceding calendar year 
and who has attended, or whose logger employees have attended, 
in the preceding calendar year, at least one safety seminar 
sponsored by or approved by the commissioner.  
    (g) "Rebate" means amounts allocated and paid to qualified 
employers under subdivision 6.  
    Subd. 2.  [ADMINISTRATION.] The commissioner shall 
administer and enforce this section.  Payments and reports 
required by this section must be made with forms provided by the 
commissioner.  The commissioner shall collect all assessments 
and allocate the rebate as provided in this section.  
    Subd. 3.  [PROOF OF INSURANCE; LOGGING INDUSTRY.] 
Purchasers of wood from the logging industry shall obtain from 
the logger a certification of compliance with the mandatory 
insurance requirements of this chapter, or reason for exemption, 
on a form prescribed by the commissioner.  A purchaser includes, 
but is not limited to, dealers and jobbers buying from the 
logging industry to sell to wood mills, and wood mills that buy 
directly from the logging industry.  Certificates obtained by 
the purchaser shall be submitted to the commissioner on 
request.  The powers of inspection and enforcement pertaining to 
employers under section 176.184 shall be available with regard 
to purchasers under this section.  
    Subd. 4.  [ASSESSMENT.] There is imposed an assessment, at 
the rate of 30 cents per cord of wood, for every cord or 
equivalent measurement of wood in excess of 5,000 cords, 
purchased or acquired in any calendar year, either inside or 
outside the state, by a wood mill located in Minnesota.  This 
assessment must be paid by the wood mill to the commissioner on 
or before February 15 for the previous calendar year and may 
not, in any way, be recovered by the wood mill from the logging 
industry.  All revenue collected from this assessment must be 
deposited in a separately maintained account in the special 
compensation fund for the payment of rebates under subdivision 6 
and the loggers safety and education program under subdivision 
11. 
    Subd. 5.  [ANNUAL REPORTS; WOOD MILLS; QUALIFIED 
EMPLOYERS.] (a) Each wood mill that purchases or acquires more 
than 5,000 cords or equivalent measurement of wood in a calendar 
year shall, on or before February 15, make and file with the 
commissioner a report setting forth the number of cords 
purchased or acquired in the preceding calendar year, and other 
information the commissioner may require for the proper 
administration of this section.  
    (b) Each qualified employer shall, on or before February 15 
each year, make and file with the commissioner a report setting 
forth the total amount of payroll paid to loggers in the 
preceding calendar year, together with proof of attendance at an 
approved safety seminar in the preceding calendar year, and 
other information the commissioner may require for the proper 
administration of this section.  The commissioner may, for 
enforcement purposes, share reported payroll data for a 
particular employer with the workers' compensation insurer for 
that employer or with the workers' compensation insurance 
association.  
    Subd. 6.  [ALLOCATION OF REBATE.] Money collected under 
this section, less an amount as provided in subdivision 11, is 
appropriated to and, must be paid by the commissioner, on or 
before June 1 each year, directly to each qualified employer in 
a proportion equal to the proportion that the qualified 
employer's reported payroll dollars for loggers in the preceding 
calendar year is to the total reported payroll dollars for 
loggers from all qualified employers in the preceding calendar 
year.  Payment under this section shall be made only to those 
qualified employers reporting within the time limits provided in 
subdivision 5, paragraph (b).  
    Subd. 7.  [INSPECTION.] The commissioner or duly authorized 
employees may, at all reasonable hours, enter in and upon the 
premises of a wood mill or a qualified employer and examine 
books, papers, and records to determine whether the assessment 
has been properly paid or payroll properly reported.  
    Subd. 8.  [PENALTIES; WOOD MILLS.] If the assessment 
provided for in this chapter is not paid on or before February 
15 of the year when due and payable, the commissioner may impose 
penalties as provided in section 176.129, subdivision 10.  
    Subd. 9.  [FALSE REPORTS.] Any person or entity that, for 
the purpose of evading payment of the assessment or avoiding the 
reimbursement, or any part of it, makes a false report under 
this section shall pay to the special compensation fund, in 
addition to the assessment, a penalty of 50 percent of the 
amount of the assessment.  A person who knowingly makes or signs 
a false report, or who knowingly submits other false 
information, is guilty of a misdemeanor.  
    Subd. 10.  [EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP.] This section 
does not create an employer-employee relationship nor can it be 
used as a factor in determining the existence of an 
employer-employee relationship.  
    Subd. 11.  [SAFETY PROGRAM.] The commissioner shall 
establish or approve a safety and education program for 
Minnesota loggers.  Funding for the program must be in the 
amount of $125,000 each calendar year provided from amounts 
collected in the previous calendar year pursuant to subdivision 
4.  If the amounts collected under subdivision 4 are less than 
$125,000 in any calendar year, funding for the safety and 
education program for the next calendar year must be the actual 
amount collected.  
    Sec. 2.  [ADVISORY COUNCIL.] 
    The governor may appoint an advisory council to recommend 
long-term solutions to the high cost of workers' compensation 
insurance for loggers.  
    Sec. 3.  [STUDY.] 
    The commissioner of labor and industry shall, by July 1, 
1991, study the potential effects on workers' compensation 
insurance costs for loggers of an elimination of minimum premium 
policies.  
    The commissioner of labor and industry shall, by July 1, 
1992, study the potential effects on workers' compensation 
insurance costs for loggers of an elimination of statutory 
exclusions from the mandatory insurance requirement.  
    Sec. 4.  [REPEALER.] 
    Section 1 is repealed July 1, 1995.  
    Sec. 5.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Sections 1 to 4 are effective July 1, 1990. 
    Presented to the governor April 24, 1990 
    Signed by the governor April 27, 1990, 10:43 a.m.