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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

                            CHAPTER 395-H.F.No. 3853 
                  An act relating to agriculture; modifying provisions 
                  for timber permit extensions; extending the 
                  Farmer-Lender Mediation Act; requiring a report; 
                  providing for voluntary alternative dispute resolution 
                  in rural areas; providing emergency financial relief 
                  for farm families in certain counties; establishing a 
                  temporary program of assistance for federal crop 
                  insurance premiums; mitigating neighborhood insect 
                  infestation; appropriating money; amending Minnesota 
                  Statutes 1996, section 90.193; Laws 1986, chapter 398, 
                  article 1, section 18, as amended; proposing coding 
                  for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 583. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 90.193, is 
        amended to read: 
           90.193 [EXTENSION OF TIMBER PERMITS.] 
           The commissioner may, in the case of an exceptional 
        circumstance beyond the control of the timber permit holder 
        which makes it unreasonable, impractical, and not feasible to 
        complete cutting and removal under the permit within the time 
        allowed, grant an extension of one year.  A request for the 
        extension must be received by the commissioner before the permit 
        expires.  The request must state the reason the extension is 
        necessary and be signed by the permit holder.  The value of the 
        timber remaining to be cut will be recalculated using current 
        stumpage rates.  Any timber cut during the period of extension 
        or remaining uncut at the expiration of the extension shall be 
        billed for at the stumpage rates determined at the time of 
        extension provided that in no event shall stumpage rates be less 
        than those in effect at the time of the original sale.  An 
        interest rate of eight percent will may be charged for the 
        period of extension. 
           Sec. 2.  [583.311] [VOLUNTARY ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE 
        RESOLUTION.] 
           The administrator shall establish procedures and measures 
        to ensure maximum use of alternative dispute resolution under 
        this chapter for disputes in rural areas.  Referrals may be 
        accepted from courts, state agencies, local units of government, 
        or any party to a dispute involving rural land, regulation, 
        rural individuals, businesses, or property, or any matter 
        affecting rural quality of life.  The legislature encourages 
        state and federal agencies and governmental subdivisions to use 
        the services provided by the administrator under this chapter 
        and to cooperate fully when matters under this jurisdiction are 
        subjected to alternative dispute resolution methods.  The 
        administrator may set fees for participation in voluntary 
        procedures to pay all or part of the costs of providing such 
        services. 
           Sec. 3.  [REPORT.] 
           By the first Tuesday in January, 1999, the commissioner of 
        agriculture shall report to the committees on agriculture in the 
        senate and house of representatives on the need for and any 
        suggested changes in the Farmer-Lender Mediation Act. 
           Sec. 4.  [DEFINITIONS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [APPLICABILITY.] The definitions in this 
        section apply to sections 4 and 5. 
           Subd. 2.  [COMMISSIONER.] "Commissioner" means the 
        commissioner of agriculture. 
           Subd. 3.  [CRISIS COUNTY.] "Crisis county" means Beltrami, 
        Clay, Clearwater, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Lincoln, Lyon, 
        Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Pipestone, Polk, Red 
        Lake, Roseau, or Wilkin county. 
           Subd. 4.  [FARMER.] "Farmer" means a natural person 
        residing in Minnesota who operates a family farm as defined in 
        Minnesota Statutes, section 500.24, subdivision 2, located 
        wholly or in part in a crisis county.  "Farmer" also means a 
        resident who is a shareholder in a family farm corporation or a 
        partner in a family farm partnership as defined in Minnesota 
        Statutes, section 500.24, subdivision 2, located wholly or in 
        part in a crisis county. 
           Sec. 5.  [FEDERAL CROP INSURANCE ASSISTANCE.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT.] Within 30 days 
        after the effective date of sections 4, 5, and 8, the 
        commissioner shall announce procedures and distribute 
        application forms for the federal crop insurance assistance 
        program. 
           Subd. 2.  [ELIGIBILITY.] A farmer is eligible for state 
        assistance under this section if: 
           (1) the farmer experienced a 50 percent or greater loss 
        from the United States Department of Agriculture, Farm Service 
        Agency, county yield or collected an indemnity or disaster 
        payment on wheat or barley in one or more growing seasons 
        between 1993 and 1997; 
           (2) the crop covered by the insurance is located in a 
        crisis county; and 
           (3) the farmer or the farmer's federal crop insurance agent 
        submits a properly completed application for assistance to the 
        commissioner on forms provided by the commissioner on or before 
        August 1, 1998. 
           Subd. 3.  [REIMBURSEMENT RATE, PRIORITY, AND MAXIMUM 
        ASSISTANCE.] (a) From funds appropriated for purposes of this 
        section, the commissioner shall provide reimbursement to an 
        eligible farmer for premiums and administrative fees paid for 
        federal crop insurance on wheat and barley grown in a crisis 
        county for the 1997 growing season.  The maximum reimbursement 
        available to any farmer, or in the case of a family farm 
        corporation or a family farm partnership, to the family farm 
        corporation or partnership, is $4,000. 
           (b) Properly completed applications for federal crop 
        insurance assistance take priority in the order in which they 
        are received by the commissioner. 
           (c) The farmer must be listed as the payee, or one of the 
        payees, on the reimbursement check. 
           Sec. 6.  [COMMISSIONER TO OVERSEE MITIGATION OF 
        NEIGHBORHOOD INSECT INFESTATION.] 
           (a) The commissioner of agriculture, in close cooperation 
        with the city of Minneapolis and all other appropriate public 
        and nonpublic entities, shall exercise all available authority 
        and enforcement powers to resolve a longstanding problem of red 
        flour beetle infestation in an area of Minneapolis adjacent to a 
        rail transportation corridor and a grain handling and processing 
        facility.  Notwithstanding other law, rule, or local authority 
        to the contrary, the commissioner is authorized to perform 
        inspections, tests, monitoring, insect trapping, or other 
        actions to identify the source or sources of the continued 
        infestation and bring enforcement actions adequate to accomplish 
        resolution of the problems. 
           (b) Not later than March 1, 1999, the commissioner shall 
        report to the agriculture policy committees of the senate and 
        the house of representatives on the actions taken, the 
        conditions identified, and corrective actions ordered and 
        completed. 
           Sec. 7.  Laws 1986, chapter 398, article 1, section 18, as 
        amended by Laws 1987, chapter 292, section 37; Laws 1989, 
        chapter 350, article 16, section 8; Laws 1990, chapter 525, 
        section 1; Laws 1991, chapter 208, section 2; Laws 1993, First 
        Special Session chapter 2, article 6, section 2; Laws 1995, 
        chapter 212, article 2, section 11; and Laws 1997, chapter 183, 
        article 3, section 29, is amended to read: 
           Sec. 18.  [REPEALER.] 
           Sections 1 to 17 and Minnesota Statutes, section 336.9-501, 
        subsections (6) and (7), and sections 583.284, 583.285, 583.286, 
        and 583.305, are repealed on July 1, 1998 1999. 
           Sec. 8.  [APPROPRIATION.] 
           $8,800,000 is appropriated to the commissioner of 
        agriculture for purposes of section 5 from the budget reserve 
        and cash flow account under Minnesota Statutes, section 
        16A.152.  Up to $70,000 of this appropriation is available for 
        necessary program administrative costs of the departments of 
        agriculture and revenue.  The commissioner of finance may 
        transfer money appropriated in this section to the commissioner 
        of revenue to pay for necessary program administration costs. 
           Sec. 9.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Section 1 is effective retroactively to January 1, 1998. 
           Sections 2, 3, and 7 are effective July 1, 1998. 
           Sections 4, 5, 6, and 8 are effective the day following 
        final enactment. 
           Presented to the governor April 10, 1998 
           Signed by the governor April 21, 1998, 9:30 a.m.