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

                            CHAPTER 383-H.F.No. 3862 
                  An act relating to tornado and other natural disaster 
                  relief; providing for temporary waivers of certain 
                  programs and other relief; appropriating money; 
                  amending Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 268.38, by 
                  adding a subdivision; Minnesota Statutes 1997 
                  Supplement, sections 41B.043, subdivision 2a; 168.16; 
                  and 273.124, subdivision 14; Laws 1997, chapter 203, 
                  article 1, sections 15 and 17, as added; proposing 
                  coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 12; 
                  and 41B; repealing Laws 1997, chapter 203, article 1, 
                  section 16, as added. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
        Section 1.  [APPROPRIATIONS.] 
           The sums in the column under "APPROPRIATIONS" are 
        appropriated from the general fund to be spent for tornado 
        relief, as specified in this act, in the area designated under 
        Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster, DR1212, whether 
        included in the original declaration or added later by federal 
        government action.  The appropriations are available until June 
        30, 1999, unless otherwise specified.  If there is a shortage of 
        funds in any of the programs under section 2, 3, 4, or 5, unused 
        funds in any of the other programs under these sections may be 
        transferred by interagency agreement to cover the shortfall. 
                                    SUMMARY 
        PUBLIC SAFETY                                    $    8,800,000
        HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY                                4,000,000
        TRADE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT                        5,950,000
        AGRICULTURE                                           4,000,000
        REVENUE                                                 500,000
        HUMAN SERVICES                                          400,000
        CHILDREN, FAMILIES, AND LEARNING                        250,000
        MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY                          1,000,000
        FINANCE                                               2,700,000
        TOTAL                                            $   27,600,000
                                                         APPROPRIATIONS 
                                                         $
        Sec. 2.  PUBLIC SAFETY                                          
        Subdivision 1.  To the commissioner 
        of public safety for the purposes of 
        this section                                          8,800,000
        Subd. 2.  Disaster Assistance Match                   8,000,000 
        For the state and local match of 
        federal disaster assistance funds under 
        Minnesota Statutes, section 12.221.  
        This appropriation is available to fund 
        100 percent of the state and local 
        match obligations incurred through the 
        receipt of federal disaster assistance. 
        This appropriation is also available as 
        a match for eligible state agency 
        expenditures. 
        Subd. 3.  Increases In Services                         300,000 
        To provide for the cost of increases in 
        services by the division of emergency 
        management to respond to the tornado 
        disaster. 
        Subd. 4.  Grants To Farmers                             500,000
        For grants to counties for costs 
        related to the burial and removal of 
        debris from rural residences and farms 
        from the March 29, 1998, tornado and 
        storm damage.  The commissioner may 
        require documentation of costs.  Grants 
        are available for debris removal and 
        burial costs not covered by private 
        insurance or federal reimbursement. 
        Sec. 3.  HOUSING FINANCE                                       
        Subdivision 1.  For transfer to the 
        housing development fund for the 
        programs specified in this section                    4,000,000
        Subd. 2.  Affordable Rental
        Investment Fund                                         500,000
        For the affordable rental investment 
        fund under Minnesota Statutes, section 
        462A.21, subdivision 8b, to be used for 
        rental housing.  Notwithstanding 
        Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.21, 
        subdivision 8b, assistance provided 
        from this appropriation for the 
        rehabilitation of existing rental 
        housing may be in the form of 
        forgivable loans.  In making forgivable 
        loans from this appropriation, the 
        agency shall determine the 
        circumstances, terms, and conditions 
        under which all or any portion of the 
        grant shall be repaid.  This 
        appropriation is available until 
        expended. 
        Subd. 3  Community  
        Rehabilitation Fund Program                           3,500,000
        For the community rehabilitation fund 
        program under Minnesota Statutes, 
        section 462A.206.  This appropriation 
        is available until spent. 
        Subd. 4  Transfers  
        Money appropriated under this section 
        may be transferred between the 
        affordable rental investment fund 
        account and the community 
        rehabilitation fund account.  
        Sec. 4.  TRADE AND ECONOMIC
        DEVELOPMENT                                                      
        Subdivision 1.  To the commissioner of 
        trade and economic development for purposes 
        of this section                                       5,950,000
        Subd. 2.  Minnesota Investment Fund                   4,800,000 
        To the Minnesota investment fund for 
        grants to local units of government for 
        locally administered operating loan 
        programs for businesses and farms 
        directly and adversely affected by the 
        tornadoes.  Loan criteria and 
        requirements must be locally 
        established with approval by the 
        department.  For the purposes of this 
        appropriation, Minnesota Statutes, 
        sections 116J.8731, subdivisions 3, 4, 
        5, and 7, and 116J.991, are waived.  
        Businesses that receive grants or loans 
        from this appropriation shall set goals 
        for jobs retained and wages paid within 
        the area designated under Presidential 
        Declaration of Major Disaster, DR1212, 
        whether included in the original 
        declaration or added later by federal 
        government action. 
        Subd. 3.  Public Infrastructure                       1,000,000 
        For grants to local units of government 
        to assist with the cost of repair and 
        replacement of publicly owned 
        buildings; storm sewers, wastewater and 
        municipal utility service; drinking 
        water systems; and streets, bridges, 
        and other infrastructure. 
        Subd. 4.  Technical Assistance                          150,000 
        For grants to local units of government 
        for technical assistance for loan 
        programs. 
        Sec. 5.  AGRICULTURE                                  4,000,000
        To the rural finance authority for 
        department of agriculture loans under 
        Minnesota Statutes, chapter 41B, to 
        farmers for repairs to farm buildings 
        and for working capital operating loans.
        Sec. 6.  REVENUE                                        500,000
        To the commissioner of revenue to be 
        apportioned among the counties within 
        the area designated under Presidential 
        Declaration of Major Disaster, DR1212, 
        whether included in the original 
        declaration or added later by federal 
        government action to provide 
        reimbursement for abatements granted 
        for taxes payable in 1998 to properties 
        damaged in the March 29, 1998, 
        tornadoes.  The apportionment shall be 
        based upon the amount of 
        tornado-related market value loss in 
        each county.  Counties must be 
        reimbursed only for property taxes that 
        actually abated, not to exceed each 
        county's apportioned amount.  
        Sec. 7.  HUMAN SERVICES                                 400,000
        For grants to counties, nonprofit 
        social service agencies, and the state 
        farm advocate program for social 
        services and farm advocacy outreach.  
        Sec. 8.  CHILDREN,    
        FAMILIES, AND LEARNING                                  250,000
        For grants for after-school and 
        expanded day care services. 
        Sec. 9.  MINNESOTA    
        HISTORICAL SOCIETY                                    1,000,000
        For historic preservation loans or 
        grants. 
        Sec. 10.  FINANCE                                     2,700,000
        A contingency appropriation to the 
        commissioner of finance for allocations 
        to programs at the request of the 
        governor, for unanticipated needs to 
        aid disaster victims.  This 
        appropriation includes the amounts 
        needed in fiscal years 1998 and 1999 
        for the department of children, 
        families, and learning for the costs of 
        sections 23, 24, and 25.  Before 
        transfer of funds to specific programs, 
        the commissioner must seek a 
        recommendation on the proposed spending 
        from the legislative commission on 
        planning and fiscal policy.  If no 
        recommendation is received by the 
        commissioner from the commission within 
        ten days of notice, the recommendation 
        is considered to be positive. 
           Sec. 11.  [TEMPORARY WAIVER OF FEES.] 
           Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for fiscal years 
        1998 and 1999, an agency, with the approval of the governor, may 
        waive fees that would otherwise be charged for agency services.  
        The waiver of fees must be confined to geographic areas within 
        counties included in the area designated under Presidential 
        Declaration of Major Disaster, DR1212, whether included in the 
        original declaration or added later by federal government 
        action, and to the minimum periods of times necessary to deal 
        with the emergency situation.  The agency must promptly report 
        the reasons for and the impact of any suspended fees to the 
        chairs of the legislative committees that oversee the policy and 
        budgetary affairs of the agency.  This section expires January 
        15, 1999. 
           Sec. 12.  [EARLY PAYMENT OF STATE AIDS.] 
           Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, sections 273.1398, 
        subdivision 6, and 477A.015, the commissioner of revenue, in 
        consultation with the division of emergency management, shall 
        make payments of homestead and agricultural credit aid and local 
        government aid as provided in this section to all qualified 
        local units of government that the commissioner determines have 
        suffered financial hardship.  As used in this section, 
        "qualified local units of government" means counties, home rule 
        charter or statutory cities, and towns that suffered damage in 
        the tornadoes and storms of March 29, 1998. 
           Payment of the homestead and agricultural credit aid and 
        local government aid that would otherwise have been payable on 
        July 20, 1998, shall be made as soon as practicable after the 
        date of final enactment of this act.  
           Sec. 13.  [TORNADO DAMAGED SCHOOL RECONSTRUCTION.] 
           In order to expedite school reconstruction of school 
        buildings destroyed by the tornadoes of March 29, 1998, the 
        school districts of St. Peter, Comfrey, and Le Center may enter 
        into construction contracts, including but not limited to 
        design-build, that the districts determine to be in their best 
        interests.  Construction of these educational facilities is 
        emergency construction and not subject to competitive bid 
        requirements of Minnesota Statutes, sections 123.37 and 471.345, 
        or other law or charter or the requirements of Minnesota 
        Statutes, section 16B.335.  The department of children, 
        families, and learning shall notify the chairs of the senate 
        finance committees, the house ways and means committee, and the 
        house capital investment committee that the projects have been 
        approved under review and comment and necessary contracts have 
        been executed. 
           Sec. 14.  [SCHOOL FACILITY STORM DAMAGE RELATED 
        BETTERMENT.] 
           The school districts of St. Peter, Comfrey, and Le Center 
        may make an additional levy for facility betterment under this 
        section. 
           The levy must be directly related to the costs of the 
        betterment of the damaged facility and may only be for costs not 
        otherwise paid for by insurance or other proceeds.  The total 
        costs related to the levy may not exceed two percent of a 
        district's 1995 adjusted net tax capacity.  The project must be 
        approved under Minnesota Statutes, section 121.15.  The levy may 
        be spread over more than one year.  The levy is not eligible for 
        state-aid payments under Minnesota Statutes, section 124.83 or 
        124.95, or any other aid program.  A district must consult with 
        and receive approval from the city and county in which its 
        administrative offices are located prior to making this levy 
        according to Minnesota Statutes, section 124.239, subdivisions 
        3, 4, 5, and 6. 
           Sec. 15.  [SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT TAX WAIVER.] 
           Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the commissioner 
        of revenue may waive solid waste management taxes under 
        Minnesota Statutes, chapter 297H, for construction debris 
        generated from repair and demolition activities in the area 
        designated under Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster, 
        DR1212, whether included in the original declaration or added 
        later by federal government action due to tornado and other 
        weather damage on March 29, 1998, and disposed of in a waste 
        management facility designated by the commissioner of the 
        pollution control agency.  The commissioner of revenue's 
        authority under this section to waive the taxes expires for 
        waste transported to the designated facilities after March 31, 
        1999. 
           Sec. 16.  [WAITING WEEK WAIVER.] 
           The waiting week requirement under Minnesota Statutes, 
        section 268.08, subdivision 1, clause (3), does not apply to 
        persons who became unemployed and filed an application for 
        reemployment insurance benefits as a direct result of the March 
        29, 1998, tornado and resulting storm damage. 
           Sec. 17.  [WAIVER ON DEFINITION OF AT-RISK YOUTH.] 
           The limitation on the definition of an at-risk youth under 
        the Minnesota youth program, in Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 
        268.56, subdivision 3, is waived to include a youth affected by 
        the March 29, 1998, tornado disaster.  The waiver is effective 
        until May 30, 1999. 
           Sec. 18.  [WAIVER OF LIMITATION FOR FACILITY CHANGES.] 
           The limitation under Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 
        268.362, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), on the type of facilities 
        which may be rehabilitated, improved, or constructed as part of 
        a work experience component to provide education and work 
        experience to targeted youth is waived and shall include 
        low-income private residences, private businesses, municipal 
        parks, and other land areas in the area designated under 
        Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster, DR1212, whether 
        included in the original declaration or added later by federal 
        government action. 
           Sec. 19.  [12.331] [LOCAL ASSISTANCE BETWEEN POLITICAL 
        SUBDIVISIONS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [AUTHORITY BETWEEN POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS.] 
        When the public interest requires it because of an emergency, a 
        political subdivision may request the assistance of another 
        political subdivision.  Upon receiving such a request, a 
        political subdivision, called the "sending political 
        subdivision," may go to the assistance of the requesting 
        political subdivision, called the "receiving political 
        subdivision."  The receiving political subdivision may accept 
        and use the personnel, equipment, and supplies of the sending 
        political subdivision as agreed upon by both political 
        subdivisions. 
           Subd. 2.  [EFFECT.] Unless there is a written agreement 
        between the political subdivisions establishing the rules for 
        conducting these activities, the provisions of paragraphs (a) to 
        (d) shall apply while the political subdivisions are engaged in 
        the activities described in subdivision 1. 
           (a) For the purposes of worker's compensation insurance, 
        the employees, officers, and members of the sending political 
        subdivision have the same powers, duties, rights, privileges, 
        and immunities as if they were performing similar services in 
        the sending political subdivision and are considered to be 
        acting within the scope of and in the course of their regular 
        employment, as employees of the sending political subdivision. 
           (b) For the purposes of chapter 466, the employees and 
        officers of the sending political subdivision are deemed to be 
        employees, as defined in section 466.01, subdivision 6, of the 
        receiving political subdivision. 
           (c) The sending political subdivision shall be responsible 
        for any damages to its equipment. 
           (d) The receiving political subdivision shall reimburse the 
        sending political subdivision for the supplies used and the 
        compensation paid to the officers and members of the forces 
        furnished, during the time when the rendition of aid prevents 
        them from performing their duties in the sending political 
        subdivision, and for the actual travel and maintenance expenses 
        of the officers and members while so engaged.  A claim for loss, 
        damage, or expense in using equipment or supplies or for 
        additional expenses incurred in operating or maintaining them 
        must not be allowed unless within 90 days after the loss, 
        damage, or expense is sustained or incurred, an itemized notice 
        of it, verified by an officer or employee of the municipality 
        having knowledge of the facts, is filed with the clerk of the 
        receiving political subdivision. 
           Subd. 3.  [RETROACTIVE EFFECT.] Notwithstanding other laws 
        this section is effective retroactive to March 29, 1998. 
           Sec. 20.  [PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENTS; PROPERTY DAMAGED BY 
        TORNADO.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [AUTHORIZATION.] Notwithstanding the 
        requirements of Minnesota Statutes, section 375.192, the county 
        board of a qualified county may grant abatements of the full 
        amount of taxes on eligible property for taxes payable in 1998 
        as provided in this section.  The owner of the property is not 
        required to apply for the abatement. 
           Subd. 2.  [DEFINITIONS.] (a) As used in this section, the 
        terms defined in this subdivision have the meanings given them. 
           (b) "Qualified county" means any county in the area 
        designated under Presidential Declaration of Major Disaster, 
        DR1212, whether included in the original declaration or added 
        later by federal government action. 
           (c) "Eligible property" means a parcel of taxable property 
        located in a qualified county that contains a structure that has 
        been determined by the assessor to have lost over 50 percent of 
        its estimated market value due to wind damage.  In the case of 
        agricultural property, the abatement is limited to the taxes on 
        the parcel attributable to the value of the house, garage, and 
        surrounding one acre, if the house has lost over 50 percent of 
        its estimated market value, and the tax attributable to the 
        value of any farm buildings and structures that have lost over 
        50 percent of their estimated market value. 
           Subd. 3.  [ASSESSORS' DUTIES.] As soon as practicable, 
        local and county assessors in qualified counties shall notify 
        the county board and property owners of parcels of eligible 
        property. 
           Sec. 21.  [VALUATION EXCLUSION FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO CERTAIN 
        BUSINESS PROPERTY.] 
           Property classified under Minnesota Statutes, section 
        273.13, subdivision 24, which is eligible for the preferred 
        class rate on the market value up to $150,000, shall qualify for 
        a valuation exclusion for assessment purposes, provided all of 
        the following conditions are met: 
           (1) the building must be damaged by the tornadoes of March 
        29, 1998; 
           (2) the building must be located within an area designated 
        by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as eligible for 
        federal aid due to the tornadoes of March 29, 1998; 
           (3) the total estimated market value of the land and 
        buildings must be $150,000 or less prior to the damage caused by 
        the tornadoes of March 29, 1998; 
           (4) a building permit must have been issued prior to the 
        commencement of the improvement, or if the building is located 
        in a city or town which does not have a building permit process, 
        the property owner must notify the assessor prior to the 
        commencement of the improvement; 
           (5) the property, including its improvements, has received 
        no public assistance, grants, or financing; 
           (6) the property is not receiving a property tax abatement 
        under Minnesota Statutes, section 469.1813; and 
           (7) the improvements are made after the date of final 
        enactment of this act and prior to January 1, 2000. 
           The assessor shall estimate the market value of the 
        building in the assessment year immediately following the year 
        that (1) the building permit was taken out, or (2) the taxpayer 
        notified the assessor that an improvement was to be made.  If 
        the estimated market value of the building has increased over 
        the prior year's assessment, the assessor shall note the amount 
        of the increase on the property's record, and that amount shall 
        be subtracted from the value of the property in each year for 
        five years after the improvement has been made, at which time an 
        amount equal to 20 percent of the excluded value shall be added 
        back in each of the five subsequent assessment years. 
           For any property, there can be no more than two 
        improvements qualifying for exclusion under this subdivision.  
        The maximum amount of value that can be excluded from any 
        property under this subdivision is $50,000. 
           The assessor shall require an application.  Applications 
        must be received prior to July 1 of any year in order to be 
        effective for taxes payable in the following year. 
           Sec. 22.  [DISASTER AREA; DUE DATE EXTENDED FOR BUSINESS 
        PROPERTY TAXES.] 
           (a) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 279.01, 
        subdivision 1, a penalty shall not accrue if (1) because of a 
        natural disaster, a taxpayer is unable to pay the first half of 
        the payable 1998 property taxes on class 3a or 3b property, 
        classified under Minnesota Statutes, section 273.13, subdivision 
        24, located in an area designated under Presidential Declaration 
        of Major Disaster, DR1212, whether included in the original 
        declaration or added later by federal government action and (2) 
        the taxpayer pays the first half of the payable 1998 taxes by 
        October 15, 1998. 
           (b) If the first one-half payment is paid after October 15, 
        1998, then all penalties that would have occurred on the due 
        date under Minnesota Statutes, section 279.01, subdivision 1, 
        shall be charged on the amount of the unpaid tax. 
           (c) The property taxpayer shall attach to the payment a 
        statement that the property is located in the disaster area and 
        qualified for an extension under this section.  
           Sec. 23.  [1997-1998 AVERAGE DAILY MEMBERSHIP.] 
           Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 124.17, the 
        1997-1998 average daily membership for a school building in the 
        school districts of St. Peter, Comfrey, and Le Center closed due 
        to tornado damage for part of the school year and reopened 
        before the end of the school year shall be the greater of the 
        amount that would have been computed if the school building had 
        not reopened or the amount computed using actual data for the 
        entire school year. 
           Sec. 24.  [FISCAL YEAR 1999 AND 2000 DECLINING PUPIL UNIT 
        AID.] 
           This section applies to the school districts of St. Peter, 
        Comfrey, and Le Center.  For fiscal year 1999 only, a school 
        district with one or more school buildings closed during the 
        1997-1998 school year due to tornado damage is eligible for 
        declining pupil unit aid equal to the greater of zero or the 
        product of the general education formula allowance for fiscal 
        year 1999 times the difference between the district's actual 
        pupil units for the 1997-1998 school year and the district's 
        actual pupil units for the 1998-1999 school year. 
           For fiscal year 2000 only, a school district with one or 
        more school buildings closed during the 1998-1999 school year 
        due to tornado damage is eligible for declining pupil unit aid 
        equal to the greater of zero or the product of the general 
        education formula allowance for fiscal year 2000 times the 
        difference between the district's actual pupil units for the 
        1997-1998 school year and the district's actual pupil units for 
        the 1999-2000 school year. 
           Sec. 25.  [SCHOOL DISTRICT AVERAGE DAILY MEMBERSHIP.] 
           For fiscal year 1999, the commissioner of children, 
        families, and learning may adjust school district average daily 
        membership data calculated under Minnesota Statutes, section 
        124.17, for those school districts whose enrollment is affected 
        by tornado damage in the spring of 1998 because students have 
        not yet returned to their resident school districts because 
        school facilities or homes are not available for occupancy. 
           Sec. 26.  [TEMPORARY AUTHORITY TO SUSPEND RULES.] 
           Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for fiscal years 
        1998 and 1999, an agency with the approval of the governor, may 
        temporarily suspend specific agency rules because of the effects 
        of the March 29, 1998 tornadoes.  The suspension of rules must 
        be confined to geographic areas affected within counties located 
        in the area designated under Presidential Declaration of Major 
        Disaster, DR1212, whether included in the original declaration 
        or added later by federal government action, and to the minimum 
        periods of time necessary to deal with the emergency situation.  
        The agency must promptly report the reasons for and the impact 
        of any suspended rules to the chairs of the legislative 
        committees that oversee the policy and budgetary affairs of the 
        agency and to the chairs of the legislative committees on 
        governmental operations.  This section expires January 15, 1999. 
           Sec. 27.  [FEDERAL FUNDS.] 
           State agencies may apply for any federal funds available 
        for tornado relief.  Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 
        3.3005, the commissioner of finance may submit the request to 
        receive and spend federal funds to the legislative advisory 
        commission required under Minnesota Statutes, section 3.3005, 
        any time after the application is made for those funds.  If a 
        recommendation is not made within five days, no further review 
        by the legislative advisory commission is required, and the 
        commissioner shall approve or disapprove the request.  If a 
        recommendation is made for further review, the commissioner may 
        proceed according to Minnesota Statutes, section 3.3005, 
        subdivision 5.  This section expires January 15, 1999. 
           Sec. 28.  [WAIVER OF HUMAN SERVICES STATUTES.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [WAIVER AUTHORIZED.] In response to the 
        immediate and long-term effects on individuals and public and 
        private entities because of the March 29, 1998, tornadoes, the 
        commissioner of human services may waive or grant variances to 
        provisions in chapters 245A, 252, 256, 256B, 256D, 256E, 256G, 
        256I, 257, 259, 260, 518, and 626 governing:  the transference 
        of funds between grant accounts; rate setting or other funding 
        requirements or limits for specific services; documentation or 
        reporting requirements; licensing requirements; payments, 
        including MinnesotaCare premiums; emergency assistance time 
        limits; general assistance citizenship requirements for student 
        residents; restrictions on receipt of emergency general 
        assistance by MFIP-S recipients; and other administrative 
        procedures as needed to ensure timely and continuous service to 
        persons receiving or eligible to receive services administered 
        by the commissioner or by the counties under supervision of the 
        commissioner.  In granting a waiver or variance, the 
        commissioner shall consider the impact on the health and safety 
        of vulnerable persons.  Waivers or variances may be restricted 
        to specific geographical areas and specific time periods. 
           Subd. 2.  [NOTICE TO LEGISLATIVE CHAIRS.] The commissioner 
        shall notify the chairs of the senate health and family security 
        committee, health and family security budget division, human 
        resources finance committee, the house health and human services 
        committee, health and human services finance division, and ways 
        and means committee ten days prior to the effective date of any 
        waiver or variance granted under subdivision 1. 
           Subd. 3.  [APPEALS.] The appeal rights of applicants for, 
        or recipients of, public assistance or a program of social 
        services under Minnesota Statutes, section 256.045, are not 
        affected by this provision.  Counties and other services 
        providers do not have a right to appeal the commissioner's 
        decision on whether to waive or grant a variance from a statute 
        under this provision. 
           Subd. 4.  [SUMMARY TO LEGISLATIVE CHAIRS.] Expenditures 
        under the waivers or variances must not exceed the total 
        appropriation for the commissioner, including any special 
        appropriations for tornado relief.  The commissioner shall issue 
        a summary to the chairs of the senate human resources finance 
        and house ways and means committees by January 15, 1999, 
        regarding variances and waivers granted under the terms under 
        this provision. 
           Subd. 5.  [EXPIRATION.] This section is effective the day 
        following final enactment and expires February 15, 1999. 
           Sec. 29.  [DISASTER CLEANUP VEHICLE EXEMPTIONS.] 
           A commercial motor vehicle that is involved in the cleanup 
        of or assistance to the victims of the tornado disaster of March 
        29, 1998, is not subject to enforcement of the following laws or 
        rules: 
           (1) federal intra-state transportation under Code of 
        Federal Regulations, title 49, parts 390 to 399; 
           (2) intra-state registration under Minnesota Statutes, 
        sections 168.181 to 168.187 and 169.79; 
           (3) inspections under Minnesota Statutes, sections 169.781 
        and 169.782; and 
           (4) size and weight under Minnesota Statutes, sections 
        169.80, 169.81, 169.825, and 169.87, and chapters 221 and 296. 
           Sec. 30.  [CRIME VICTIM REPARATIONS DEADLINES EXTENDED.] 
           The time limitations in Minnesota Statutes, section 
        611A.53, subdivision 2, for filing claims for crime victim 
        reparations are tolled for one year for crime victims who 
        resided on March 29, 1998, in the geographic areas within 
        counties included in the area designated under Presidential 
        Declaration of Major Disaster, DR1212, whether included in the 
        original declaration or added later by federal government action.
           Sec. 31.  Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 
        41B.043, subdivision 2a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2a.  [SNOW OR, FLOOD, OR OTHER NATURALLY CAUSED 
        DAMAGE.] A prospective borrower applying for a loan 
        participation through an eligible lender may refinance an 
        existing debt in order to repair or replace farm driveways, 
        drainage ditches and tile lines, grassed waterways, or 
        agricultural buildings damaged due to snow or, flooding, or 
        other weather-related causes. 
           Sec. 32.  [41B.047] [DISASTER RECOVERY LOAN PROGRAM.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [ESTABLISHMENT.] The authority shall 
        establish and implement a disaster recovery loan program to help 
        farmers clean up, repair, or replace farm structures and septic 
        and water systems, as well as replacement of seed, other crop 
        inputs, feed, and livestock. 
           Subd. 2.  [REVOLVING FUND.] There is established in the 
        state treasury a disaster recovery revolving fund which is 
        eligible to receive appropriations.  All repayments of financial 
        assistance granted under subdivision 1, including principal and 
        interest, must be deposited into this fund.  Interest earned on 
        money in the fund accrues to the fund, and money in the fund is 
        appropriated to the commissioner of agriculture for purposes of 
        the disaster recovery loan program, including costs incurred by 
        the authority to establish and administer the program. 
           Subd. 3.  [ELIGIBILITY.] To be eligible for this program, a 
        borrower must: 
           (1) be a resident of this state or a domestic family farm 
        corporation or family farm partnership as defined in section 
        500.24, subdivision 2; 
           (2) certify that the damage or loss was sustained within a 
        county that was the subject of a state or federal disaster 
        declaration; 
           (3) demonstrate an ability to repay the loan; 
           (4) have a total net worth, including assets and 
        liabilities of the borrower's spouse and dependents, of less 
        than $400,000; and 
           (5) have received at least 50 percent of average annual 
        gross income from farming for the past three years. 
           Subd. 4.  [LOANS.] (a) The authority may participate in a 
        disaster recovery loan with an eligible lender to a farmer who 
        is eligible under subdivision 3.  Participation is limited to 45 
        percent of the principal amount of the loan or $50,000, 
        whichever is less.  The interest rates and repayment terms of 
        the authority's participation interest may differ from the 
        interest rates and repayment terms of the lender's retained 
        portion of the loan, but the authority's interest rate must not 
        exceed four percent. 
           (b) Standards for loan amortization shall be set by the 
        rural finance authority not to exceed ten years. 
           (c) Loans under this program must not be included in the 
        lifetime limitation calculated under section 41B.03, subdivision 
        1. 
           (d) Security for the disaster recovery loans must be a 
        personal note executed by the borrower and whatever other 
        security is required by the eligible lender or the authority. 
           (e) The authority may impose a reasonable nonrefundable 
        application fee for a disaster recovery loan.  The authority may 
        review the fee annually and make adjustments as necessary.  The 
        application fee is initially $50.  Application fees received by 
        the authority must be deposited in the disaster recovery 
        revolving fund. 
           (f) Disaster recovery loans under this program will be made 
        using money in the disaster recovery revolving fund established 
        under subdivision 2. 
           Sec. 33.  Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 
        168.16, is amended to read: 
           168.16 [REFUNDS; APPROPRIATION.] 
           After the tax upon any motor vehicle shall have been paid 
        for any year, refund shall be made for errors made in computing 
        the tax or fees and for the error on the part of an owner who 
        may in error have registered a motor vehicle that was not 
        before, nor at the time of registration, nor at any time 
        thereafter during the current past year, subject to tax in this 
        state as provided by section 168.012.  Unless otherwise provided 
        in this chapter, a claim for a refund of an overpayment of 
        registration tax must be filed within 3-1/2 years from the date 
        of payment.  The refundment shall be made from any fund in 
        possession of the registrar and shall be deducted from the 
        registrar's monthly report to the commissioner of finance.  A 
        detailed report of the refundment shall accompany the report.  
        The former owner of a transferred vehicle by an assignment in 
        writing endorsed upon the registration certificate and delivered 
        to the registrar within the time provided herein may sell and 
        assign to the new owner thereof the right to have the tax paid 
        by the former owner accredited to the owner who duly registers 
        the vehicle.  Any owner at the time of such occurrence, whose 
        vehicle is declared by an insurance company to be a total loss 
        due to flood or tornado damage, permanently destroyed, or sold 
        to the federal government, the state, or political subdivision 
        thereof, and any owner who sells a rental motor vehicle and 
        transfers the license plates issued to that motor vehicle under 
        section 168.15, subdivision 3, shall upon filing a verified 
        claim be entitled to a refund of the unused portion of the tax 
        paid upon the vehicle, computed as follows: 
           (1) if the vehicle is registered under the calendar year 
        system of registration, the refund is computed pro rata by the 
        month, 1/12 of the annual tax paid for each month of the year 
        remaining after the month in which the plates and certificate 
        were returned to the registrar; 
           (2) in the case of a vehicle registered under the monthly 
        series system of registration, the amount of the refund is equal 
        to the sum of the amounts of the license fee attributable to 
        those months remaining in the licensing period after the month 
        in which the plates and certificate were returned to the 
        registrar. 
           There is hereby appropriated to the persons entitled to a 
        refund, from the fund or account in the state treasury to which 
        the money was credited, an amount sufficient to make the refund 
        and payment.  Refunds under this section to licensed motor 
        vehicle lessors must be made annually in a manner the registrar 
        determines. 
           Sec. 34.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 268.38, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 13.  [AUTHORITY TO WAIVE REQUIREMENTS DURING DISASTER 
        PERIODS.] The commissioner may waive requirements under this 
        section for up to nine months after the disaster for grantees in 
        areas where a federal disaster has been declared under United 
        States Code, title 42, section 5121, et seq., or the governor 
        has exercised authority under chapter 12.  The commissioner 
        shall notify the chairs of the senate family and early childhood 
        education budget division, the senate education finance 
        committee, the house family and early childhood education 
        finance division, the house education committee, and the house 
        ways and means committee ten days before the effective date of 
        any waiver granted under this section. 
           Sec. 35.  Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 
        273.124, subdivision 14, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 14.  [AGRICULTURAL HOMESTEADS; SPECIAL PROVISIONS.] 
        (a) Real estate of less than ten acres that is the homestead of 
        its owner must be classified as class 2a under section 273.13, 
        subdivision 23, paragraph (a), if:  
           (1) the parcel on which the house is located is contiguous 
        on at least two sides to (i) agricultural land, (ii) land owned 
        or administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, 
        or (iii) land administered by the department of natural 
        resources on which in lieu taxes are paid under sections 477A.11 
        to 477A.14; 
           (2) its owner also owns a noncontiguous parcel of 
        agricultural land that is at least 20 acres; 
           (3) the noncontiguous land is located not farther than two 
        townships or cities, or a combination of townships or cities 
        from the homestead; and 
           (4) the agricultural use value of the noncontiguous land 
        and farm buildings is equal to at least 50 percent of the market 
        value of the house, garage, and one acre of land. 
           Homesteads initially classified as class 2a under the 
        provisions of this paragraph shall remain classified as class 
        2a, irrespective of subsequent changes in the use of adjoining 
        properties, as long as the homestead remains under the same 
        ownership, the owner owns a noncontiguous parcel of agricultural 
        land that is at least 20 acres, and the agricultural use value 
        qualifies under clause (4). 
           (b) Except as provided in paragraph (d), noncontiguous land 
        shall be included as part of a homestead under section 273.13, 
        subdivision 23, paragraph (a), only if the homestead is 
        classified as class 2a and the detached land is located in the 
        same township or city, or not farther than two townships or 
        cities or combination thereof from the homestead.  
           (c) Agricultural land used for purposes of a homestead and 
        actively farmed by a person holding a vested remainder interest 
        in it must be classified as a homestead under section 273.13, 
        subdivision 23, paragraph (a).  If agricultural land is 
        classified class 2a, any other dwellings on the land used for 
        purposes of a homestead by persons holding vested remainder 
        interests who are actively engaged in farming the property, and 
        up to one acre of the land surrounding each homestead and 
        reasonably necessary for the use of the dwelling as a home, must 
        also be assessed class 2a. 
           (d) Agricultural land and buildings that were class 2a 
        homestead property under section 273.13, subdivision 23, 
        paragraph (a), for the 1997 assessment shall remain classified 
        as agricultural homesteads for subsequent assessments if:  
           (1) the property owner abandoned the homestead dwelling 
        located on the agricultural homestead as a result of the April 
        1997 floods; 
           (2) the property is located in the county of Polk, Clay, 
        Kittson, Marshall, Norman, or Wilkin; 
           (3) the agricultural land and buildings remain under the 
        same ownership for the current assessment year as existed for 
        the 1997 assessment year; 
           (4) the dwelling occupied by the owner is located in 
        Minnesota and is within 30 miles of one of the parcels of 
        agricultural land that is owned by the taxpayer; and 
           (5) the owner notifies the county assessor that the 
        relocation was due to the 1997 floods, and the owner furnishes 
        the assessor any information deemed necessary by the assessor in 
        verifying the change in homestead dwelling.  For taxes payable 
        in 1998, the owner must notify the assessor by December 1, 1997. 
           (e) Agricultural land and buildings that were class 2a 
        homestead property under section 273.13, subdivision 23, 
        paragraph (a), for the 1998 assessment shall remain classified 
        agricultural homesteads for subsequent assessments if: 
           (1) the property owner abandoned the homestead dwelling 
        located on the agricultural homestead as a result of damage 
        caused by a March 29, 1998, tornado; 
           (2) the property is located in the county of Blue Earth, 
        Brown, Cottonwood, LeSueur, Nicollet, Nobles, or Rice; 
           (3) the agricultural land and buildings remain under the 
        same ownership for the current assessment year as existed for 
        the 1998 assessment year; 
           (4) the dwelling occupied by the owner is located in this 
        state and is within 50 miles of one of the parcels of 
        agricultural land that is owned by the taxpayer; and 
           (5) the owner notifies the county assessor that the 
        relocation was due to a March 29, 1998, tornado, and the owner 
        furnishes the assessor any information deemed necessary by the 
        assessor in verifying the change in homestead dwelling.  For 
        taxes payable in 1999, the owner must notify the assessor by 
        December 1, 1998.  Further notifications to the assessor are not 
        required if the property continues to meet all the requirements 
        in this paragraph and any dwellings on the agricultural land 
        remain uninhabited. 
           Sec. 36.  Laws 1997, chapter 203, article 1, section 15, as 
        added by Laws 1997, First Special Session chapter 5, section 46, 
        is amended to read: 
           Sec. 15.  [119B.26] [AUTHORITY TO WAIVE REQUIREMENTS DURING 
        DISASTER PERIODS.] 
           The commissioner of children, families, and learning may 
        waive requirements under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 119B, for 
        up to nine months after the disaster in areas where a federal 
        disaster has been declared under United States Code, title 42, 
        section 5121, et seq., or the governor has exercised authority 
        under chapter 12.  The commissioner shall notify the chairs of 
        the senate family and early childhood education budget division, 
        the senate education finance committee, the house family and 
        early childhood education finance division, the house education 
        committee, and the house ways and means committee ten days 
        before the effective date of any waiver granted under this 
        section. 
           Sec. 37.  Laws 1997, chapter 203, article 1, section 17, as 
        added by Laws 1997, First Special Session chapter 5, section 46, 
        is amended to read: 
           Sec. 17.  [268.9165] [AUTHORITY TO WAIVE REQUIREMENTS 
        DURING DISASTER PERIODS.] 
           The commissioner of children, families, and learning may 
        waive requirements under Minnesota Statutes, sections 268.912 to 
        268.916, for up to nine months after the disaster for Head Start 
        grantees in areas where a federal disaster has been declared 
        under United States Code, title 42, section 5121, et seq., or 
        the governor has exercised authority under chapter 12.  The 
        commissioner shall notify the chairs of the senate family and 
        early childhood education budget division, the senate education 
        finance committee, the house family and early childhood 
        education finance division, the house education committee, and 
        the house ways and means committee ten days before the effective 
        date of any waiver granted under this section. 
           Sec. 38.  [TORNADO DAMAGES; STATE EMPLOYEE VACATION 
        DONATION.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DONATION OF VACATION TIME.] A state 
        employee may donate up to 40 hours of accrued vacation time, in 
        addition to that donated under Minnesota Statutes, section 
        43A.181, in the biennium ending June 30, 1999, to the account 
        established by subdivision 2.  The employee must notify the 
        employee's agency head of the amount of accrued vacation time 
        the employee wishes to donate.  Vacation donations of more than 
        12 hours require the approval of the agency head.  The agency 
        head shall determine the monetary value of the donated time, 
        using the gross salary of the employee making the donation.  The 
        agency head shall transfer that amount, less deductions for 
        applicable taxes and retirement contributions, to the account 
        established by subdivision 2.  A donation of accrued vacation 
        time is irrevocable once its monetary value has been transferred 
        to the account. 
           Subd. 2.  [TORNADO DISASTER BENEFIT ACCOUNT.] The tornado 
        disaster benefit account, consisting of money transferred under 
        subdivision 1, is administered by the commissioner of employee 
        relations.  Money in the account is appropriated to the 
        commissioner for purposes of this section. 
           Subd. 3.  [USE OF ACCOUNT ASSETS.] Expenditures from the 
        account established by subdivision 2 must be used to assist 
        needy families and individuals affected by the tornadoes 
        occurring on March 29, 1998.  The commissioner must consult with 
        charitable organizations and collective bargaining units in 
        targeting the money appropriately. 
           Subd. 4.  [RECOVERY LEAVE BANK.] In the biennium ending 
        June 30, 1999, a state employee may donate up to 12 hours of 
        accrued vacation time to a recovery leave bank administered by 
        the commissioner of employee relations.  This donation is in 
        addition to those permitted in subdivision 1 and Minnesota 
        Statutes, sections 43A.181 and 43A.1815.  The recovery leave 
        bank is for the use of state employees who have been adversely 
        affected by the tornadoes occurring on March 29, 1998.  The 
        donating employee must notify the employee's agency head of the 
        amount of accrued vacation time the employee wishes to donate to 
        the recovery leave bank.  A donation of accrued vacation time is 
        irrevocable after the donor signs a donation request form.  The 
        agency head must transfer that vacation time to the recovery 
        leave bank.  The commissioner must establish procedures for 
        determining eligibility for receiving the time donated to the 
        recovery leave bank and other issues related to the 
        administration of this program.  These procedures must be 
        established after consulting with the exclusive representatives 
        of affected employees and are not subject to the provisions of 
        Minnesota Statutes, chapter 14.  The commissioner must 
        distribute all hours remaining in the recovery leave bank at the 
        end of the biennium to the sick leave balances of those 
        employees eligible to receive donated time under the provisions 
        of Minnesota Statutes, section 43A.1815. 
           Sec. 39.  [DELAY OF FINANCIAL REPORT FILING; DISASTER 
        AREAS.] 
           For any city or town located in whole or in part within a 
        county that has been designated by the Federal Emergency 
        Management Agency as eligible for federal aid due to the 
        tornadoes of March 29, 1998, the deadline by which financial 
        reports are required to be filed under Minnesota Statutes, 
        section 471.697 or 471.698, is extended by 90 days. 
           Sec. 40.  [VICTIMS OF TORNADO; EXTENSIONS OF TIME RELATING 
        TO TAXES.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [INCOME TAX EXTENSION.] The limitations of 
        time provided by Minnesota Statutes, chapters 289 and 290, 
        relating to income taxes, and Minnesota Statutes, chapter 271, 
        relating to the tax court, for filing income tax returns, paying 
        income taxes, claiming income tax refunds, commencing actions 
        relating to income taxes, appealing to the tax court from orders 
        relating to income taxes, and appealing to the supreme court 
        from decisions of the tax court relating to income taxes are 
        extended until May 30, 1998, for individuals who are residents 
        in an area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency 
        pursuant to a disaster declaration issued for the tornadoes of 
        March 29, 1998. 
           Subd. 2.  [INTEREST AND PENALTIES.] Interest on income tax 
        must not be assessed or collected from an individual with 
        respect to whom, and for the period during which, the 
        limitations of time are extended as provided in subdivision 1.  
        A penalty is not assessed or collected from an individual for 
        failure during that period to perform an act required by the 
        laws described in subdivision 1. 
           Subd. 3.  [ABATEMENT.] The commissioner of revenue shall 
        abate penalties and interest on withholding taxes and 
        declarations under Minnesota Statutes, section 290.92, and on 
        sales taxes deposits and returns under Minnesota Statutes, 
        chapters 289A and 297B, for failure to pay amounts or file 
        returns due between April 1, 1998, and May 30, 1998, if: 
           (1) the taxpayer qualifies under subdivision 1; and 
           (2) the taxpayer files all required returns and 
        declarations and pays all tax amounts due by May 30, 1998. 
           Subd. 4.  [APPLICABILITY.] Nothing in this section reduces 
        the time within which an act is required or permitted under 
        Minnesota Statutes, chapter 271, 289A, 290, 297A, or 297B. 
           Sec. 41.  [REPEALER.] 
           Laws 1997, chapter 203, article 1, section 16, as added by 
        Laws 1997, First Special Session chapter 5, section 46, is 
        repealed. 
           Sec. 42.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Except as otherwise provided in this act, this act is 
        effective the day after its final enactment. 
           Presented to the governor April 9, 1998 
           Signed by the governor April 9, 1998, 6:45 p.m.