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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

                            CHAPTER 198-S.F.No. 1367 
                  An act relating to counties; providing a new standard 
                  of market value for new counties; providing for 
                  signatures from both affected areas on a petition to 
                  change county boundaries; requiring the secretary of 
                  state to certify the validity of the signatures; 
                  providing for canvass, proclamation, and certification 
                  of the vote on the proposition; providing for a 
                  special election to fill vacancies or add members to a 
                  county board after the change of county boundaries; 
                  amending Minnesota Statutes 2000, sections 370.01; 
                  370.02; 370.03; 370.07; 370.10; 370.12; 370.13; 
                  repealing Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 370.11. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 370.01, is 
        amended to read: 
           370.01 [CHANGE OF BOUNDARIES; CREATION OF NEW COUNTIES.] 
           The boundaries of counties may be changed by taking 
        territory from a county and attaching it to an adjoining county, 
        and new counties may be established out of territory of one or 
        more existing counties.  A new county shall contain at least 400 
        square miles, and have at least 2,000 4,000 inhabitants, and 
        have a market value of at least $17,000,000.  A proposed new 
        county must have a total taxable market value of at least 35 
        percent of (i) the total taxable market value of the existing 
        county, or (ii) the average total taxable market value of the 
        existing counties, included in the proposition.  The 
        determination of the taxable market value of a county must be 
        made by the commissioner of revenue.  An existing county shall 
        not be reduced in area below 400 square miles, have less than 
        2,000 4,000 inhabitants, or have a total taxable market value of 
        less than $17,000,000 that required of a new county.  
           In existing counties having an area of more than 3,500 and 
        less than 6,000 square miles, boundaries may be changed and new 
        counties established having a market value of at least 
        $10,000,000.  
           No change in the boundaries of any county having an area of 
        more than 2,500 square miles, whether by the creation of a new 
        county, or otherwise, shall detach from the existing county any 
        territory within 12 miles of the county seat.  
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 370.02, is 
        amended to read: 
           370.02 [PETITION.] 
           A separate petition for each affected county signed by at 
        least one-fourth of those voting in the county at the last 
        preceding election, giving the residence of each signer, may be 
        filed with the secretary of state, and a copy with the auditor 
        of each county, at least 90 days before any general election, 
        requesting a change of county boundaries, or that a new county 
        is established out of territory taken from one or more existing 
        counties.  If the petition is for a change of boundaries, it 
        must contain a description of the territory to be taken, the 
        name of the county from which the territory is to be detached, 
        and the county to which the territory is to be attached.  If the 
        petition is for the establishment of a new county, it must be 
        signed by at least a number of registered voters equal to 
        one-fourth of those voting in each portion of both the proposed 
        new county and the remaining portion of the existing county in 
        the last general election, state the name of the proposed new 
        county, a description of the territory to be included, giving 
        boundaries, the name and location of the proposed county 
        seat for the new county and for the remainder of the existing 
        county if not the current county seat, and the names and places 
        of residence of the persons who shall constitute the first 
        county board.  
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 370.03, is 
        amended to read: 
           370.03 [PROCLAMATION; ONLY ONE PROPOSITION.] 
           If each petition is signed by The secretary of state must 
        certify, on the basis of information supplied by the county 
        auditor, that the signatures on the petition are registered 
        voters of the affected county and that there is the requisite 
        number of persons who are voters in each of the affected 
        counties, them.  Once this determination has been made, the 
        secretary of state shall notify the governor of the filing.  The 
        affidavits of the persons obtaining the signatures shall be 
        prima facie evidence that each petition is signed by persons who 
        are voters in each of the affected counties.  The governor shall 
        issue a proclamation, at least 60 days before the election, 
        stating that the petitions have been filed, and the substance of 
        the petitions, and directing that the question of change of 
        boundaries, or the establishment of a new county and county seat 
        as stated in the petition, as the case may be, be submitted to 
        the voters of the affected counties at the election.  No more 
        than one proposition may be submitted at the same election, 
        except for mutual exchange of territory between counties.  
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 370.07, is 
        amended to read: 
           370.07 [CANVASS; PROCLAMATION; SECRETARY OF STATE; AUDITOR; 
        NOTICE TO COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.] 
           The state canvassing board shall canvass the returns at the 
        time of canvassing the votes cast for state officers, and in the 
        same manner.  The board may use the returns received from the 
        election judges to correct errors and supply omissions in the 
        returns of the county canvassing board.  When the canvass is 
        completed, the board shall file a certificate declaring the 
        result of the vote with the secretary of state.  If the 
        certificate shows that the proposition has received a majority 
        of the votes cast in each affected county if changing county 
        boundaries, and or has received a majority of the votes cast in 
        the territory forming the proposed new county, and a majority of 
        the votes cast in the remaining portion of the existing county 
        if the proposition was for the establishment of a new county, 
        the governor shall issue a proclamation declaring that the 
        proposition has been adopted within ten days after completion of 
        the canvass.  The secretary of state shall record the 
        certificate and proclamation, and transmit a certified copy of 
        the proclamation to the auditor of each county whose territory 
        is affected.  The auditor shall, if the proposition was for the 
        establishment of a new county, serve a certified copy on each of 
        the persons elected as county commissioners of the new county.  
        The proclamation shall also be published with the general laws 
        enacted at the next session of the legislature. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 370.10, is 
        amended to read: 
           370.10 [FILLING VACANCY IN COMMISSIONER DISTRICT CAUSED BY 
        CHANGE OF BOUNDARIES.] 
           If a change in the boundaries of a county abolishes a 
        commissioner district or districts in the county, by the removal 
        of all the territory of the district or districts from the 
        original county, or otherwise, or creates a vacancy or vacancies 
        in the board of county commissioners of the original county, the 
        filling of which is not provided for by law, and the board of 
        county commissioners is left with less than five members or, 
        with an even number of members, the governor shall immediately, 
        upon the issuance of the proclamation declaring the change in 
        the boundaries, appoint a sufficient number of members to 
        complete a board of five commissioners for the county; or, if 
        the board, after the change of boundaries, is left or with more 
        than five members, to complete a board consisting of an odd 
        number of members, and shall designate, in the appointment, the 
        name of the retiring commissioner succeeded by each commissioner 
        appointed or at least five members, a special election shall be 
        held as provided by section 375.101, except that the person 
        shall be elected at large within the changed boundaries of the 
        original county.  
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 370.12, is 
        amended to read: 
           370.12 [DUTIES OF AUDITOR; MEETING OF BOARD.] 
           Immediately upon the appointment election and qualification 
        of the commissioner or commissioners at large the county auditor 
        shall give written notice, delivered personally or by mail, to 
        each commissioner in the county, of a meeting of the board.  The 
        meeting shall be held at least five, but not more than ten, days 
        after notice is given.  The meeting's business shall include any 
        business which may have been required by law, or by previous 
        proceedings, to be transacted by the county board at a meeting 
        held after the change of boundaries became effective and before 
        the vacancies created were filled, and which was not transacted, 
        after the qualification of the commissioner or commissioners at 
        large, and shall have the effect and validity as if accomplished 
        at the prior meeting.  Further proceedings required to follow 
        the commissioners' action on these matters shall be taken within 
        the times or on the dates provided by law, or within a 
        reasonable time after giving notice as required by law. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 370.13, is 
        amended to read: 
           370.13 [REDISTRICTING OF COUNTY; SUBSEQUENT ELECTION.] 
           At least six months before the next general election in the 
        county held after the appointment election and qualification of 
        the commissioner or commissioners at large, unless there is less 
        time between the appointment at-large election and qualification 
        and the general election, in which event the action provided for 
        shall be taken at the first meeting after the commissioners have 
        qualified, the board shall proceed to redivide the county into 
        five commissioner districts, numbered from 1 to 5, unless 
        otherwise provided by law.  At the next general election held in 
        the county after the redistricting, a commissioner shall be 
        elected from each district, the member from each odd-numbered 
        district to hold a two-year term, and the member from each 
        even-numbered district to hold a four-year term, and thereafter 
        all commissioners, except those elected or appointed to fill 
        vacancies for unexpired terms, shall be elected for four-year 
        terms.  If, the redistricting causes any new district to cover 
        the same territory as any one of the old districts, the 
        commissioner elected from the old district shall continue to act 
        as commissioner from the new district for the remainder of the 
        term for which elected.  In case a contest, or other litigation, 
        is pending involving the legality of the change of boundaries of 
        the county, the redistricting shall not be made until after the 
        contest, or other litigation, has been finally determined in 
        favor of the change of boundaries.  In this event, if the term 
        of any commissioner at large expires before the county is 
        redistricted, a successor shall be elected by the voters of the 
        entire county for a term of four years, unless sooner ended, 
        under this chapter, or otherwise.  
           Sec. 8.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 370.11, is repealed. 
           Presented to the governor May 25, 2001 
           Signed by the governor May 29, 2001, 11:32 a.m.