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

                            CHAPTER 355-S.F.No. 2989 
                  An act relating to state government; the office of 
                  administrative hearings; authorizing the chief 
                  administrative law judge to establish a system of 
                  training in additional areas for judges; providing 
                  ethical standards for the chief administrative law 
                  judge, administrative law judges, and compensation 
                  judges; amending Minnesota Statutes 1998, sections 
                  14.48; and 14.50. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 14.48, is 
        amended to read: 
           14.48 [CREATION OF OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS; CHIEF 
        ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE APPOINTED; OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE LAW 
        JUDGES APPOINTED.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [CREATION.] A state office of 
        administrative hearings is created.  
           Subd. 2.  [CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE.] The office 
        shall be under the direction of a chief administrative law judge 
        who shall be learned in the law and appointed by the governor, 
        with the advice and consent of the senate, for a term ending on 
        June 30 of the sixth calendar year after appointment.  Senate 
        confirmation of the chief administrative law judge shall be as 
        provided by section 15.066.  The chief administrative law judge 
        may hear cases and shall appoint additional administrative law 
        judges and compensation judges to serve in the office as 
        necessary to fulfill the duties prescribed in chapters 14 and 
        176.  The chief administrative law judge may delegate to a 
        subordinate employee the exercise of a specified statutory power 
        or duty as deemed advisable, subject to the control of the chief 
        administrative law judge.  Every delegation must be by written 
        order filed with the secretary of state.  The chief 
        administrative law judge is subject to the provisions of the 
        Minnesota Constitution, article VI, section 6, the jurisdiction 
        of the board on judicial standards, and the provisions of the 
        code of judicial conduct. 
           Subd. 3.  [ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES AND COMPENSATION 
        JUDGES.] (a) All administrative law judges and compensation 
        judges shall be in the classified service except that the chief 
        administrative law judge shall be in the unclassified service, 
        but may be removed only for cause.  
           (b) All administrative law judges and workers' compensation 
        judges must be learned in the law and must be free of any 
        political or economic association that would impair their 
        ability to function in a fair and impartial manner.  
        Administrative law judges shall have demonstrated knowledge of 
        administrative procedures and shall be free of any political or 
        economic association that would impair their ability to function 
        officially in a fair and objective manner.  All workers' 
        compensation judges shall be learned in the law, shall have 
        demonstrated knowledge of workers' compensation laws and shall 
        be free of any political or economic association that would 
        impair their ability to function officially in a fair and 
        objective manner. 
           (c) The appointment of individuals as workers' compensation 
        judges or as administrative law judges does not preclude the 
        chief administrative law judge from establishing a system of 
        training to enable them to acquire demonstrable knowledge and to 
        become qualified to conduct hearings in the area other than the 
        area of their original appointment.  Conducting hearings in the 
        other area does not affect an administrative law judge's or 
        workers' compensation judge's job class established pursuant to 
        section 43A.07 or seniority within that job class.  The chief 
        administrative law judge shall annually notify the department of 
        finance of the amount of credit payable to the workers' 
        compensation special fund for time spent by workers' 
        compensation judges on noncompensation proceedings. 
           (d) Administrative law judges and compensation judges are 
        subject to the provisions of the code of judicial conduct.  
        Administrative law and compensation judges may, however, serve 
        as a member of a governmental board when so directed by the 
        legislature.  The chief administrative law judge shall provide 
        training to administrative law and compensation judges about the 
        requirements of the code and shall apply the provisions of the 
        code to their actions.  Only administrative law judges serving 
        as temporary judges under a written contract are considered to 
        be part-time judges for purposes of the code.  Reports required 
        to be filed by the code must be filed with the chief 
        administrative law judge.  The chief administrative law judge 
        shall apply the provisions of the code of judicial conduct, to 
        the extent applicable, to the other administrative law and 
        compensation judges in a manner consistent with interpretations 
        made by the board on judicial standards.  The chief 
        administrative law judge shall follow the procedural 
        requirements of the commissioner's plan for state employees if 
        any adverse personnel action is taken based in whole or in part 
        as a violation of the code of judicial conduct.  
           (e) In addition to other duties provided by law, workers' 
        compensation and administrative law judges may mediate, 
        arbitrate, or take other appropriate action on matters referred 
        to the office of administrative hearings by any member of the 
        federal or state judicial branch or by the workers' compensation 
        court of appeals.  
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 14.50, is amended 
        to read: 
           14.50 [HEARINGS BEFORE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE.] 
           All hearings of state agencies required to be conducted 
        under this chapter shall be conducted by an administrative law 
        judge assigned by the chief administrative law judge or by a 
        workers' compensation judge assigned by the chief administrative 
        law judge as provided in section 14.48.  All hearings required 
        to be conducted under chapter 176 shall be conducted by a 
        compensation judge assigned by the chief administrative law 
        judge or by an administrative law judge assigned by the chief 
        administrative law judge as provided in section 14.48.  In 
        assigning administrative law judges or compensation judges to 
        conduct such hearings, the chief administrative law judge shall 
        attempt to utilize personnel having expertise in the subject to 
        be dealt with in the hearing.  Only administrative law judges 
        learned in the law shall be assigned to contested case 
        hearings.  Only compensation judges shall be assigned to 
        workers' compensation matters.  It shall be the duty of 
        the administrative law judge to:  (1) advise an agency as to the 
        location at which and time during which a hearing should be held 
        so as to allow for participation by all affected interests; (2) 
        conduct only hearings for which proper notice has been given; 
        (3) see to it that all hearings are conducted in a fair and 
        impartial manner.  Except in the case of workers' compensation 
        hearings involving claims for compensation it shall also be the 
        duty of the administrative law judge to make a report on each 
        proposed agency action in which the administrative law judge 
        functioned in an official capacity, stating findings of fact and 
        conclusions and recommendations, taking notice of the degree to 
        which the agency has (i) documented its statutory authority to 
        take the proposed action, (ii) fulfilled all relevant 
        substantive and procedural requirements of law or rule, and 
        (iii) in rulemaking proceedings, demonstrated the need for and 
        reasonableness of its proposed action with an affirmative 
        presentation of facts. 
           Sec. 3.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 and 2 are effective December 31, 2000. 
           Presented to the governor April 6, 2000 
           Signed by the governor April 10, 2000, 2:55 p.m.