language to be deleted (2) new language
relating to commerce; establishing a supplemental budget for the Department of Commerce; adding and modifying provisions governing insurance, financial institutions, and other entities regulated by the Department of Commerce; making technical changes to various provisions administered by the Department of Commerce; updating references to federal law; appropriating money; requiring reports;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2020, sections 45.0135, subdivisions 2a, 2b; 46.131, subdivisions 2, 4, 11; 47.08; 47.16, subdivisions 1, 2; 47.172, subdivision 2; 47.28, subdivision 3; 47.30, subdivision 5; 48A.15, subdivision 1; 53.03, subdivisions 1, 5; 53C.02; 55.10, subdivision 1; 56.02; 60A.031, subdivision 6, by adding subdivisions; 60A.033, subdivisions 8, 9, by adding subdivisions; 60A.954, subdivision 1; 65B.84, subdivisions 1, 2; 72A.12, subdivision 4; 72A.20, subdivision 11; 72A.328, subdivisions 1, 2; 80A.61; 80C.05, subdivision 2; 80E.13; 239.761, subdivisions 3, 4; 239.791, subdivision 2a; 296A.01, subdivision 23; 325E.21, subdivision 4; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 60B; 72A; 214; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2020, sections 60A.033, subdivision 3; 72A.08; 72A.20, subdivisions 10, 15.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
The commissioner may appoint peace officers, as defined in section 626.84, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), and establish a law enforcement agency, as defined in section 626.84, subdivision 1, paragraph (f), known as the Commerce Fraud Bureau, to conduct investigations, and to make arrests under sections 629.30 and 629.34. The jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency is limited to offenses related to insurance fraud.
The Commerce Fraud Bureau shall:
(1) review notices and reports of insurance fraud submitted by authorized insurers, their employees, and agents or producers;
(2) respond to notifications or complaints of suspected insurance fraud generated by other law enforcement agencies, state or federal governmental units, or any other person;
(3) initiate inquiries and conduct investigations when the bureau has reason to believe that insurance fraud has been or is being committed; and
(4) report incidents of alleged insurance fraud disclosed by its investigations to appropriate law enforcement agencies, including, but not limited to, the attorney general, county attorneys, or any other appropriate law enforcement or regulatory agency, and shall assemble evidence, prepare charges, and otherwise assist any law enforcement authority having jurisdiction.
Each bank, trust company, savings bank, savings association, regulated lender, industrial loan and thrift company, credit union, motor vehicle sales finance company, debt management services provider, debt settlement services provider, insurance premium finance company, and residential PACE administrator, as defined in section 216C.435, subdivision 10a, organized under the laws of this state or required to be administered by the commissioner of commerce shall pay into the state treasury its proportionate share of the cost of maintaining the Department of Commerce.
(a) Assessments shall be made by the commissioner against each institution within the industry on an equitable basis, according to the total assets of each institution as of the end of the previous calendar year.
(b) Assessments against residential PACE administrators, as defined in section 216C.435, subdivision 10a, must be made by the commissioner according to the total business volume as of the end of the previous calendar year.
(a) The financial institutions account is created as a separate account in the special revenue fund. Earnings, including interest, dividends, and any other earnings arising from account assets, must be credited to the account.
(b) The account consists of funds received from assessments under subdivision 7, examination fees under subdivision 8, and funds received pursuant to subdivision 10 and the following provisions: sections 53B.09; 53B.11, subdivision 1; 58A.045, subdivision 2; and 216C.437, subdivision 12.
(c) Funds in the account are annually appropriated to the commissioner of commerce for activities under this section.
All persons proposing to incorporate and organize any financial institution, whether defined or described as such by the laws of the state, shall, before doing any business in the state as a corporation, and before filing their articles of incorporation with the secretary of state or with any other officer with whom the law requires such articles to be filed or recorded, file a copy of such articles with the commissioner of commerce.
The certificate of a corporation must be filed for record with the secretary of state. If the secretary of state finds that it conforms to law and that the required fee has been paid, the secretary of state must record it and certify that fact on it. The secretary of state may not accept a certificate for filing unless the certificate also contains the endorsement of the commissioner of commerce.
If the commissioner of commerce is satisfied that the corporation has been organized for legitimate purposes, and under such conditions as to merit and have public confidence, and that all provisions of law applicable to every branch of business in which, by the terms of its certificate, it is authorized to engage, have been complied with, the commissioner shall so certify. When the original certificate and the certificate of incorporation from the secretary of state is filed with the commissioner of commerce, the commissioner shall, within 60 days thereafter, execute and deliver to it a certificate of authority.
The certificate to be filed to accomplish a restated certificate of incorporation must be entitled "restated certificate of incorporation of (name of financial corporation)" and must contain a statement that the restated certificate supersedes and takes the place of the existing certificate of incorporation and all amendments to it. The restated certificate of incorporation when executed, filed and recorded in the manner prescribed for certificate of amendment supersedes and takes the place of an existing certificate of incorporation and amendments to it. The secretary of state upon request must certify the restated certificate of incorporation.
Upon receipt of the fees required for filing and recording amended articles of incorporation of savings banks, the secretary of state shall record the amended articles of incorporation and certify that fact thereon, whereupon the conversion of such savings bank into a savings association shall become final and complete and thereafter said corporation shall have the powers and be subject to the duties and obligations prescribed by the laws of this state applicable to savings associations.
Upon receipt of the fees required for filing and recording amended articles of incorporation of savings associations, the secretary of state shall record the amended articles of incorporation and certify that fact thereon, whereupon the conversion of such savings association into a savings bank shall become final and complete and thereafter the signers of said amended articles and their successors shall be a corporation, and have the powers and be subject to the duties and obligations prescribed by the laws of this state applicable to savings banks.
A trust company organized under the laws of this state or a state bank and trust may, after completing the notification procedure required by this subdivision, establish and maintain a trust service office at any office in this state or of any other state or national bank. A state bank may, after completing the notification procedure required by this subdivision, permit a trust company organized under the laws of this state or a state bank and trust or a national bank in this state that is authorized to exercise trust powers to establish and maintain a trust service office at any of its banking offices.
The trust company or state bank and trust and a state bank at which a trust service office is to be established according to this section shall jointly file, on forms provided by the commissioner, a notification of intent to establish a trust service office. The notification must be accompanied by a filing fee of $100 payable to the commissioner, to be deposited in the general fund of the state. No trust service office shall be established according to this section if disallowed by order of the commissioner within 30 days of the filing of a complete and acceptable notification of intent to establish a trust service office. An order of the commissioner to disallow the establishment of a trust service office under this section is subject to judicial review under sections 14.63 to 14.69.
Any corporation hereafter organized as an industrial loan and thrift company, shall, after compliance with the requirements set forth in sections 53.01 and 53.02, file a written application with the Department of Commerce for a certificate of authorization. A corporation that will not sell or issue thrift certificates for investment as permitted by this chapter need not comply with subdivision 2b. The application must be in the form prescribed by the Department of Commerce. The application must be made in the name of the corporation, executed and acknowledged by an officer designated by the board of directors of the corporation, requesting a certificate authorizing the corporation to transact business as an industrial loan and thrift company, at the place and in the name stated in the application. At the time of filing the application the applicant shall pay $1,500 filing fee if the corporation will not sell or issue thrift certificates for investment, and a filing fee of $8,000 if the corporation will sell or issue thrift certificates for investment. The fees must be turned over by the commissioner to the commissioner of management and budget and credited to the general fund. The applicant shall also submit a copy of the bylaws of the corporation, its articles of incorporation and all amendments thereto at that time. An application for powers under subdivision 2b must also require that a notice of the filing of the application must be published once within 30 days of the receipt of the form prescribed by the Department of Commerce, at the expense of the applicant, in a qualified newspaper published in the municipality in which the proposed industrial loan and thrift company is to be located, or, if there be none, in a qualified newspaper likely to give notice in the municipality in which the company is proposed to be located. If the Department of Commerce receives a written objection to the application from any person within 15 days of the notice having been fully published, the commissioner shall proceed in the same manner as required under section 46.041, subdivisions 3 and 4, relating to state banks.
Not more than one place of business may be maintained under any certificate of authorization issued subsequent to the enactment of Laws 1943, chapter 67, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, but the Department of Commerce may issue more than one certificate of authorization to the same corporation upon compliance with all the provisions of this chapter governing an original issuance of a certificate of authorization. To the extent that previously filed applicable information remains unchanged, the applicant need not refile this information, unless requested. The filing fee for a branch application shall be $500 and the investigation fee $250. An industrial loan and thrift corporation with deposit liabilities may change one or more of its locations upon the written approval of the commissioner of commerce. A fee of $100 must accompany each application to the commissioner for approval to change the location of an established office. An industrial loan and thrift corporation that does not sell and issue thrift certificates for investment may change one or more locations by giving 30 days' written notice to the Department of Commerce which shall promptly amend the certificate of authorization accordingly. No change in place of business of a company to a location outside of its current trade area or more than 25 miles from its present location, whichever distance is greater, shall be permitted under the same certificate unless all of the applicable requirements of this section have been met.
(a) No person shall engage in the business of a sales finance company in this state without a license therefor as provided in sections 53C.01 to 53C.14 provided, however, that no bank, trust company, savings bank, savings association, or credit union, whether state or federally chartered, industrial loan and thrift company, or licensee under the Minnesota Regulated Loan Act authorized to do business in this state shall be required to obtain a license under sections 53C.01 to 53C.14.
(b) The application for a license shall be in writing, under oath and in the form prescribed by the commissioner. The application shall contain the name of the applicant; date of incorporation, if incorporated; the address where the business is or is to be conducted and similar information as to any branch office of the applicant; the name and resident address of the owner or partners, or, if a corporation or association, of the directors, trustees and principal officers, and other pertinent information the commissioner requires.
(c) The licensee fee for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30 of the following year, or any part thereof shall be the sum of $250 for the principal place of business of the licensee, and the sum of $125 for each branch of the licensee. Any licensee who proves to the satisfaction of the commissioner, by affidavit or other proof satisfactory to the commissioner, that during the 12 calendar months of the immediately preceding fiscal year, for which the license has been paid that the licensee has not held retail installment contracts exceeding $15,000 in amount, shall be entitled to a refund of that portion of each license fee paid in excess of $25. The commissioner shall certify to the commissioner of management and budget that the licensee is entitled to a refund, and payment thereof shall be made by the commissioner of management and budget. The amount necessary to pay for the refundment of the license fee is appropriated out of the general fund. All license fees received by the commissioner under sections 53C.01 to 53C.14 shall be deposited with the commissioner of management and budget.
(d) Each license shall specify the location of the office or branch and must be conspicuously displayed there. In case the location be changed, the commissioner shall endorse the change of location on the license.
(e) Upon the filing of such application, and the payment of the fee, the commissioner shall issue a license to the applicant to engage in the business of a sales finance company under and in accordance with the provisions of sections 53C.01 to 53C.14 for a period which shall expire the last day of June next following the date of its issuance. The license shall not be transferable or assignable. No licensee shall transact any business provided for by sections 53C.01 to 53C.14 under any other name.
(f) Section 58A.04, subdivisions 2 and 3, apply to this section.
When a safe deposit box shall have been hired from any licensed safe deposit company in the name of two or more persons, including husband and wife, with the right of access being given to either, or with access to either or the survivor or survivors of the person, or property is held for safekeeping by any licensed safe deposit company for two or more persons, including husband and wife, with the right of delivery being given to either, or with the right of delivery to either of the survivor or survivors of these persons, any one or more of these persons, whether the other or others be living or not, shall have the right of access to the safe deposit box and the right to remove all, or any part, of the contents thereof, or to have delivered to all or any one of them, or any part of the valuable personal property so held for safekeeping; and, in case of this access, removal, or delivery, the safe deposit company shall be exempt from any liability for permitting the access, removal, or delivery.
(a) Application for license shall be in writing, under oath, and in the form prescribed by the commissioner, and contain the name and the address, both of the residence and place of business, of the applicant and, if the applicant is a copartnership or association, of every member thereof, and if a corporation, of each officer and director thereof; also the county and municipality, with street and number, if any, where the business is to be conducted, and such further information as the commissioner may require. The applicant at the time of making application, shall pay to the commissioner the sum of $500 as a fee for investigating the application, and the additional sum of $250 as an annual license fee for a period terminating on the last day of the current calendar year. In addition to the annual license fee, every licensee hereunder shall pay to the commissioner the actual costs of each examination, as provided for in section 56.10. All moneys collected by the commissioner under this chapter shall be turned over to the commissioner of management and budget and credited by the commissioner of management and budget to the general fund of the state.
(b) Every applicant shall also prove, in form satisfactory to the commissioner, that the applicant has available for the operation of the business at the location specified in the application, liquid assets of at least $50,000.
(c) Section 58A.04, subdivisions 2 and 3, apply to this section.
Notwithstanding section 72A.05, any person who violates or aids and abets any violation of a written order issued pursuant to this section may be fined not more than $10,000 for each day the violation continues for each violation of the order and the money so recovered shall be paid into the general fund.
All bills for examination costs being charged to an insurance company pursuant to subdivision 5 or section 60A.031, subdivision 3, paragraph (c), must:
(1) be itemized and, with respect to examiner billings, contain activity detail on a quarterly hourly basis by an individual examiner and disclose the applicable hourly billing rates, together with per-charge detail for related travel or other expenses; and
(2) provide a due date no less than 30 days from receipt of the bill.
An examination under section 60A.031 must not exceed 18 months from the date the commissioner receives the insurance company's first submission pursuant to a scheduling order, unless:
(1) the commissioner determines that there has been a material lack of cooperation by the insurance company;
(2) the examination is a multistate examination; or
(3) the commissioner determines that additional time is necessary to complete the examination and the commissioner notifies the insurance company in writing of the reasons why the examination requires additional time.
An insurer shall institute, implement, and maintain an antifraud plan. For the purpose of this section, the term insurer does not include reinsurers, the Workers' Compensation Reinsurance Association, self-insurers, and excess insurers. Within 30 days after instituting or modifying an antifraud plan, the insurer shall notify the commissioner in writing. The notice must include the name of the person responsible for administering the plan. An antifraud plan shall establish procedures to:
(1) prevent insurance fraud, including: internal fraud involving the insurer's officers, employees, or agents; fraud resulting from misrepresentations on applications for insurance; and claims fraud;
(2) report insurance fraud to appropriate law enforcement authorities; and
(3) cooperate with the prosecution of insurance fraud cases.
(a) The commissioner of commerce shall:
(1) develop and sponsor the implementation of statewide plans, programs, and strategies to combat automobile theft, improve the administration of the automobile theft laws, and provide a forum for identification of critical problems for those persons dealing with automobile theft;
(2) coordinate the development, adoption, and implementation of plans, programs, and strategies relating to interagency and intergovernmental cooperation with respect to automobile theft enforcement;
(3) annually audit the plans and programs that have been funded in whole or in part to evaluate the effectiveness of the plans and programs and withdraw funding should the commissioner determine that a plan or program is ineffective or is no longer in need of further financial support from the fund;
(4) develop a plan of operation including:
(i) an assessment of the scope of the problem of automobile theft, including areas of the state where the problem is greatest;
(ii) an analysis of various methods of combating the problem of automobile theft;
(iii) a plan for providing financial support to combat automobile theft;
(iv) a plan for eliminating car hijacking; and
(v) an estimate of the funds required to implement the plan; and
(5) distribute money, in consultation with the commissioner of public safety, pursuant to subdivision 3 from the automobile theft prevention special revenue account for automobile theft prevention activities, including:
(i) paying the administrative costs of the program;
(ii) providing financial support to the State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies for automobile theft enforcement teams;
(iii) providing financial support to state or local law enforcement agencies for programs designed to reduce the incidence of automobile theft and for improved equipment and techniques for responding to automobile thefts;
(iv) providing financial support to local prosecutors for programs designed to reduce the incidence of automobile theft;
(v) providing financial support to judicial agencies for programs designed to reduce the incidence of automobile theft;
(vi) providing financial support for neighborhood or community organizations or business organizations for programs designed to reduce the incidence of automobile theft and to educate people about the common methods of automobile theft, the models of automobiles most likely to be stolen, and the times and places automobile theft is most likely to occur; and
(vii) providing financial support for automobile theft educational and training programs for state and local law enforcement officials, driver and vehicle services exam and inspections staff, and members of the judiciary.
(b) The commissioner may not spend in any fiscal year more than ten percent of the money in the fund for the program's administrative and operating costs. The commissioner is annually appropriated and must distribute the amount of the proceeds credited to the automobile theft prevention special revenue account each year, less the transfer of $1,300,000 each year to the insurance fraud prevention account described in section 297I.11, subdivision 2.
(c) At the end of each fiscal year, the commissioner may transfer any unobligated balances in the auto theft prevention account to the insurance fraud prevention account under section 45.0135, subdivision 6.
By January 15 of each year, the commissioner shall report to the governor and the chairs and ranking minority members of the house of representatives and senate committees having jurisdiction over the Departments of Commerce and Public Safety on the activities and expenditures in the preceding year.
(a) No life insurance company doing business in this state shall make or permit any distinction or discrimination in favor of individuals between insurants of the same class and equal expectation of life in the amount or payment of premiums or rates charged for policies of life or endowment insurance, or in the dividends or other benefits payable thereon, or in any other of the terms and conditions of the contracts it makes; nor shall any such company or agent thereof make any contract of insurance or agreement as to such contract other than as plainly expressed in the policy issued thereon; nor shall any such company or any officer, agent, solicitor, or representative thereof pay, allow or give, or offer to pay, allow or give, directly or indirectly, as inducement to insurance, any rebate of premium payable on the policy, or any special favor or advantage in the dividends or other benefits to accrue thereon or any paid employment or contract for services of any kind, or any valuable consideration or inducement whatever not specified in the policy contract of insurance.
Any violation of the provisions of this subdivision shall be a misdemeanor and punishable as such.
(b) A promotional advertising item of $25 or less or a gift of $25 or less per year is not a rebate if the receipt of the item or gift is not conditioned upon purchase of an insurance policy or product.
Violating any provision of the following sections of this chapter not set forth in this section shall constitute an unfair method of competition and an unfair and deceptive act or practice: sections 72A.12, subdivisions 2, 3, and 4, 72A.16, subdivision 2, 72A.03 and 72A.04, 72A.08, subdivision 1, as modified by sections 72A.08, subdivision 4, 72A.201, and sections 72A.49 to 72A.505.
(a) For purposes of this section the following terms have the meanings given.
(b) "Affinity program" means a group of individuals who are members of an entity that offers individuals benefits based on their membership in that entity. Affinity program does not include an entity that obtains group insurance, as defined in section 60A.02, subdivision 28, or risk retention groups as defined in section 60E.02, subdivision 12.
(c) "Policy" means an individually underwritten policy of private passenger vehicle insurance, as defined in section 65B.001, subdivision 2, an individually underwritten policy of homeowner's insurance, as defined in section 65A.27, subdivision 4, or an individually underwritten policy issued under section 60A.06, subdivision 1, clause (10).
An insurance company may offer an individual a discount or other benefit relating to a policy based on the individual's membership in an affinity program if:
(1) the benefit or discount is based on an actuarial justification; and
(2) the insurance company offers the benefit or discount to all members of the affinity program eligible for the discount or benefit.
(a) Application for initial registration by broker-dealer, agent, investment adviser, or investment adviser representative. A person shall register as a broker-dealer, agent, investment adviser, or investment adviser representative by filing an application and a consent to service of process complying with section 80A.88, and paying the fee specified in section 80A.65 and any reasonable fees charged by the designee of the administrator for processing the filing. The application must contain:
(1) the information or record required for the filing of a uniform application; and
(2) upon request by the administrator, any other financial or other information or record that the administrator determines is appropriate.
(b) Amendment. If the information or record contained in an application filed under subsection (a) is or becomes inaccurate or incomplete in a material respect, the registrant shall promptly file a correcting amendment.
(c) Effectiveness of registration. If an order is not in effect and a proceeding is not pending under section 80A.67, registration becomes effective at noon on the 45th day after a completed application is filed, unless the registration is denied. A rule adopted or order issued under this chapter may set an earlier effective date or may defer the effective date until noon on the 45th day after the filing of any amendment completing the application.
(d) Registration renewal. A registration is effective until midnight on December 31 of the year for which the application for registration is filed. Unless an order is in effect under section 80A.67, a registration may be automatically renewed each year by filing such records as are required by rule adopted or order issued under this chapter, by paying the fee specified in section 80A.65, and by paying costs charged by the designee of the administrator for processing the filings.
(e) Additional conditions or waivers. A rule adopted or order issued under this chapter may impose such other conditions, not inconsistent with the National Securities Markets Improvement Act of 1996. An order issued under this chapter may waive, in whole or in part, specific requirements in connection with registration as are in the public interest and for the protection of investors.
(f) Funding portal registration. A funding portal that has its principal place of business in the state of Minnesota shall register with the state of Minnesota by filing with the administrator a copy of the information or record required for the filing of an application for registration as a funding portal in the manner established by the Securities and Exchange Commission and/or the Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (FINRA), along with any rule adopted or order issued, and any amendments thereto.
(g) Application for investment adviser representative registration.
(1) The application for initial registration as an investment adviser representative pursuant to section 80A.58 is made by completing Form U-4 (Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer) in accordance with the form instructions and by filing the form U-4 with the IARD. The application for initial registration must also include the following:
(i) proof of compliance by the investment adviser representative with the examination requirements of:
(A) the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination (Series 65); or
(B) the General Securities Representative Examination (Series 7) and the Uniform Combined State Law Examination (Series 66);
(ii) any other information the administrator may reasonably require.
(2) The application for the annual renewal registration as an investment adviser representative shall be filed with the IARD.
(3)(i) The investment adviser representative is under a continuing obligation to update information required by Form U-4 as changes occur;
(ii) An investment adviser representative and the investment adviser must file promptly with the IARD any amendments to the representative's Form U-4; and
(iii) An amendment will be considered to be filed promptly if the amendment is filed within 30 days of the event that requires the filing of the amendment.
(4) An application for initial or renewal of registration is not considered filed for purposes of section 80A.58 until the required fee and all required submissions have been received by the administrator.
(5) The application for withdrawal of registration as an investment adviser representative pursuant to section 80A.58 shall be completed by following the instructions on Form U-5 (Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration) and filed upon Form U-5 with the IARD.
The commissioner shall have power to place such conditions, limitations, and restrictions on any registration as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of sections 80C.01 to 80C.22. Upon compliance with the provisions of sections 80C.01 to 80C.22 and other requirements of the commissioner, and if the commissioner finds no ground for denial of the registration, the commissioner shall register the franchise. Registration shall be by entry in a book called Register of Franchises, which entry shall show the franchise registered and for whom registered, and shall specify the conditions, limitations, and restrictions upon such registration, if any, or shall make proper reference to a formal order of the commissioner on file showing such conditions, limitations, and restrictions. The registration shall become effective upon issuance by the commissioner of an order for registration.
It is unlawful and an unfair practice for a manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch to engage in any of the following practices:
(a) delay, refuse, or fail to deliver new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle parts or accessories in reasonable time and in reasonable quantity relative to the new motor vehicle dealer's facilities and sales potential in the dealer's relevant market area, after having accepted an order from a new motor vehicle dealer having a franchise for the retail sale of any new motor vehicle sold or distributed by the manufacturer or distributor, if the new motor vehicle or new motor vehicle parts or accessories are publicly advertised as being available for delivery or actually being delivered. This clause is not violated, however, if the failure is caused by acts or causes beyond the control of the manufacturer;
(b) refuse to disclose to any new motor vehicle dealer handling the same line make, the manner and mode of distribution of that line make within the relevant market area;
(c) obtain money, goods, service, or any other benefit from any other person with whom the dealer does business, on account of, or in relation to, the transaction between the dealer and the other person, other than for compensation for services rendered, unless the benefit is promptly accounted for, and transmitted to, the new motor vehicle dealer;
(d) increase prices of new motor vehicles which the new motor vehicle dealer had ordered for private retail consumers prior to the dealer's receiving the written official price increase notification. A sales contract signed by a private retail consumer shall constitute evidence of each order if the vehicle is in fact delivered to that customer. In the event of manufacturer price reductions, the amount of any reduction received by a dealer shall be passed on to the private retail consumer by the dealer if the retail price was negotiated on the basis of the previous higher price to the dealer;
(e) offer any refunds or other types of inducements to any new motor vehicle dealer for the purchase of new motor vehicles of a certain line make without making the same offer to all other new motor vehicle dealers in the same line make within geographic areas reasonably determined by the manufacturer;
(f) release to any outside party, except under subpoena or in an administrative or judicial proceeding involving the manufacturer or dealer, any business, financial, or personal information which may be provided by the dealer to the manufacturer, without the express written consent of the dealer or unless pertinent to judicial or governmental administrative proceedings or to arbitration proceedings of any kind;
(g) deny any new motor vehicle dealer the right of free association with any other new motor vehicle dealer for any lawful purpose;
(h) unfairly discriminate among its new motor vehicle dealers with respect to warranty reimbursement or authority granted its new vehicle dealers to make warranty adjustments with retail customers;
(i) compete with a new motor vehicle dealer in the same line make operating under an agreement or franchise from the same manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch. A manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch is considered to be competing when it has an ownership interest, other than a passive interest held for investment purposes, in a dealership of its line make located within the state. A manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch shall not, however, be deemed to be competing when operating a dealership, either temporarily or for a reasonable period, which is for sale to any qualified independent person at a fair and reasonable price, or when involved in a bona fide relationship in which an independent person has made a significant investment subject to loss in the dealership and can reasonably expect to acquire full ownership and full management and operational control of the dealership within a reasonable time on reasonable terms and conditions;
(j) prevent a new motor vehicle dealer from transferring or assigning a new motor vehicle dealership to a qualified transferee. There shall be no transfer, assignment of the franchise, or major change in the executive management of the dealership, except as is otherwise provided in sections 80E.01 to 80E.17, without consent of the manufacturer, which shall not be withheld without good cause. In determining whether good cause exists for withholding consent to a transfer or assignment, the manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or importer has the burden of proving that the transferee is a person who is not of good moral character or does not meet the franchisor's existing and reasonable capital standards and, considering the volume of sales and service of the new motor vehicle dealer, reasonable business experience standards in the market area. Denial of the request must be in writing and delivered to the new motor vehicle dealer within 60 days after the manufacturer receives the completed application customarily used by the manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or importer for dealer appointments. If a denial is not sent within this period, the manufacturer shall be deemed to have given its consent to the proposed transfer or change. In the event of a proposed sale or transfer of a franchise, the manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or importer shall be permitted to exercise a right of first refusal to acquire the franchisee's assets or ownership if:
(1) the franchise agreement permits the manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or importer to exercise a right of first refusal to acquire the franchisee's assets or ownership in the event of a proposed sale or transfer;
(2) the proposed transfer of the dealership or its assets is of more than 50 percent of the ownership or assets;
(3) the manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or importer notifies the dealer in writing within 60 days of its receipt of the complete written proposal for the proposed sale or transfer on forms generally utilized by the manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or importer for such purposes and containing the information required therein and all documents and agreements relating to the proposed sale or transfer;
(4) the exercise of the right of first refusal will result in the dealer and dealer's owners receiving the same or greater consideration with equivalent terms of sale as is provided in the documents and agreements submitted to the manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or importer under clause (3);
(5) the proposed change of 50 percent or more of the ownership or of the dealership assets does not involve the transfer or sale of assets or the transfer or issuance of stock by the dealer or one or more dealer owners to a family member, including a spouse, child, stepchild, grandchild, spouse of a child or grandchild, brother, sister, or parent of the dealer owner; to a manager who has been employed in the dealership for at least four years and is otherwise qualified as a dealer operator; or to a partnership or corporation owned and controlled by one or more of such persons; and
(6) the manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or importer agrees to pay the reasonable expenses, including reasonable attorney fees, which do not exceed the usual customary and reasonable fees charged for similar work done for other clients incurred by the proposed new owner and transferee before the manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or importer exercises its right of first refusal, in negotiating and implementing the contract for the proposed change of ownership or transfer of dealership assets. However, payment of such expenses and attorney fees shall not be required if the dealer has not submitted or caused to be submitted an accounting of those expenses within 20 days after the dealer's receipt of the manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or importer's written request for such an accounting. The manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or importer may request such an accounting before exercising its right of first refusal. The obligation created under this clause is enforceable by the transferee;
(k) threaten to modify or replace or modify or replace a franchise with a succeeding franchise that would adversely alter the rights or obligations of a new motor vehicle dealer under an existing franchise or that substantially impairs the sales or service obligations or investments of the motor vehicle dealer;
(l) unreasonably deny the right to acquire factory program vehicles to any dealer holding a valid franchise from the manufacturer to sell the same line make of vehicles, provided that the manufacturer may impose reasonable restrictions and limitations on the purchase or resale of program vehicles to be applied equitably to all of its franchised dealers. For the purposes of this paragraph, "factory program vehicle" has the meaning given the term in section 80E.06, subdivision 2;
(m) fail or refuse to offer to its same line make franchised dealers all models manufactured for that line make, other than alternative fuel vehicles as defined in section 216C.01, subdivision 1b. Failure to offer a model is not a violation of this section if the failure is not arbitrary and is due to a lack of manufacturing capacity, a strike, labor difficulty, or other cause over which the manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch has no control;
(n) require a dealer to pay an extra fee, or remodel, renovate, or recondition the dealer's existing facilities, or purchase unreasonable advertising displays, training, tools, or other materials, or to require the dealer to establish exclusive facilities or dedicated personnel as a prerequisite to receiving a model or a series of vehicles;
(o) require a dealer by program, incentive provision, or otherwise to adhere to performance standards that are not applied uniformly to other similarly situated dealers.
A performance standard, sales objective, or program for measuring dealership performance that may have a material effect on a dealer, including the dealer's right to payment under any incentive or reimbursement program, and the application of the standard or program by a manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch must be fair, reasonable, equitable, and based on accurate information. Upon written request by any of its franchised dealers located within Minnesota, a manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch must provide the method or formula used by the manufacturer in establishing the sales volumes for receiving a rebate or incentive and the specific calculations for determining the required sales volumes of the inquiring dealer and any of the manufacturer's other Minnesota-franchised new motor vehicle dealers of the same line-make located within 75 miles of the inquiring dealer. Nothing contained in this section requires a manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch to disclose confidential business information of any of its franchised dealers or the required numerical sales volumes that any of its franchised dealers must attain to receive a rebate or incentive. An inquiring dealer may file a civil action as provided in section 80E.17 without a showing of injury if a manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch fails to make the disclosure required by this section.
A manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch has the burden of proving that the performance standard, sales objective, or program for measuring dealership performance is fair, reasonable, and uniformly applied under this section;
(p) assign or change a dealer's area of sales effectiveness arbitrarily or without due regard to the present pattern of motor vehicle sales and registrations within the dealer's market. The manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch must provide at least 90 days' notice of the proposed change. The change may not take effect if the dealer commences a civil action within the 90 days' notice period to determine whether the manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch met its obligations under this section. The burden of proof in such an action shall be on the manufacturer or distributor. In determining at the evidentiary hearing whether a manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch has assigned or changed the dealer's area of sales effectiveness or is proposing to assign or change the dealer's area of sales effectiveness arbitrarily or without due regard to the present pattern of motor vehicle sales and registrations within the dealer's market, the court may take into consideration the relevant circumstances, including, but not limited to:
(1) the traffic patterns between consumers and the same line-make franchised dealers of the affected manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch who are located within the market;
(2) the pattern of new vehicle sales and registrations of the affected manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch within various portions of the area of sales effectiveness and within the market as a whole;
(3) the growth or decline in population, density of population, and new car registrations in the market;
(4) the presence or absence of natural geographical obstacles or boundaries, such as rivers;
(5) the proximity of census tracts or other geographic units used by the affected manufacturer, factory branch, distributor, or distributor branch in determining the same line-make dealers' respective areas of sales effectiveness; and
(6) the reasonableness of the change or proposed change to the dealer's area of sales effectiveness, considering the benefits and harm to the petitioning dealer, other same line-make dealers, and the manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch;
(q) to charge back, withhold payment, deny vehicle allocation, or take any other adverse action against a dealer when a new vehicle sold by the dealer has been exported to a foreign country, unless the manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch can show that at the time of sale, the customer's information was listed on a known or suspected exporter list made available to the dealer, or the dealer knew or reasonably should have known of the purchaser's intention to export or resell the motor vehicle in violation of the manufacturer's export policy. There is a rebuttable presumption that the dealer did not know or should not have reasonably known that the vehicle would be exported or resold in violation of the manufacturer's export policy if the vehicle is titled and registered in any state of the United States;
(r) to implement a charge back or withhold payment to a dealer that is solely due to an unreasonable delay by the registrar, as defined in section 168.002, subdivision 29, in the transfer or registration of a new motor vehicle. The dealer must give the manufacturer notice of the state's delay in writing. Within 30 days of any notice of a charge back, withholding of payments, or denial of a claim, the dealer must transmit to the manufacturer: (1) documentation to demonstrate the vehicle sale and delivery as reported; and (2) a written attestation signed by the dealer operator or general manager stating that the delay is attributable to the state. This clause expires on June 30, 2022; or
(s) to require a dealer or prospective dealer by program, incentive provision, or otherwise to construct improvements to its or a predecessor's facilities or to install new signs or other franchisor image elements that replace or substantially alter improvements, signs, or franchisor image elements completed within the preceding ten years that were required and approved by the manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch, including any such improvements, signs, or franchisor image elements that were required as a condition of the dealer or predecessor dealer receiving an incentive or other compensation from the manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch.
This paragraph shall not apply to a program or agreement that provides lump sum payments to assist dealers in making facility improvements or to pay for signs or franchisor image elements when such payments are not dependent on the dealer selling or purchasing specific numbers of new vehicles and shall not apply to a program that is in effect with more than one Minnesota dealer on August 1, 2018, nor to any renewal of such program, nor to a modification that is not a substantial modification of a material term or condition of such program.
(a) Gasoline that is not blended with biofuel must not be contaminated with water or other impurities and must comply with ASTM specification D4814-11b. Gasoline that is not blended with biofuel must also comply with the volatility requirements in Code of Federal Regulations, title 40, part 80.
(b) After gasoline is sold, transferred, or otherwise removed from a refinery or terminal, a person responsible for the product:
(1) may blend the gasoline with agriculturally derived ethanol as provided in subdivision 4;
(2) shall not blend the gasoline with any oxygenate other than biofuel;
(3) shall not blend the gasoline with other petroleum products that are not gasoline or biofuel;
(4) shall not blend the gasoline with products commonly and commercially known as casinghead gasoline, absorption gasoline, condensation gasoline, drip gasoline, or natural gasoline; and
(5) may blend the gasoline with a detergent additive, an antiknock additive, or an additive designed to replace tetra-ethyl lead, that is registered by the EPA.
(a) Gasoline may be blended with agriculturally derived, denatured ethanol that complies with the requirements of subdivision 5.
(b) A gasoline-ethanol blend must:
(1) comply with the volatility requirements in Code of Federal Regulations, title 40, part 80;
(2) comply with ASTM specification D4814-11b, or the gasoline base stock from which a gasoline-ethanol blend was produced must comply with ASTM specification D4814-11b; and
(3) not be blended with casinghead gasoline, absorption gasoline, condensation gasoline, drip gasoline, or natural gasoline after the gasoline-ethanol blend has been sold, transferred, or otherwise removed from a refinery or terminal.
(a) Before a waiver granted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under United States Code, title 42, section 7545, may alter the minimum content level required by subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (1), item (ii), the waiver must:
(1) apply to all gasoline-powered motor vehicles irrespective of model year; and
(2) allow for special regulatory treatment of Reid vapor pressure under Code of Federal Regulations, title 40, section 80.27, paragraph (d), for blends of gasoline and ethanol up to the maximum percent of denatured ethanol by volume authorized under the waiver.
(b) The minimum biofuel requirement in subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (1), item (ii), shall, upon the grant of the federal waiver, be effective the day after the commissioner of commerce publishes notice in the State Register. In making this determination, the commissioner shall consider the amount of time required by refiners, retailers, pipeline and distribution terminal companies, and other fuel suppliers, acting expeditiously, to make the operational and logistical changes required to supply fuel in compliance with the minimum biofuel requirement.
(a) "Gasoline" means:
(1) all products commonly or commercially known or sold as gasoline regardless of their classification or uses, except casinghead gasoline, absorption gasoline, condensation gasoline, drip gasoline, or natural gasoline that under the requirements of section 239.761, subdivision 3, must not be blended with gasoline that has been sold, transferred, or otherwise removed from a refinery or terminal; and
(2) any liquid prepared, advertised, offered for sale or sold for use as, or commonly and commercially used as, a fuel in spark-ignition, internal combustion engines, and that when tested by the Weights and Measures Division meets the specifications in ASTM specification D4814-11b.
(b) Gasoline that is not blended with ethanol must not be contaminated with water or other impurities and must comply with both ASTM specification D4814-11b and the volatility requirements in Code of Federal Regulations, title 40, part 80.
(c) After gasoline is sold, transferred, or otherwise removed from a refinery or terminal, a person responsible for the product:
(1) may blend the gasoline with agriculturally derived ethanol, as provided in subdivision 24;
(2) must not blend the gasoline with any oxygenate other than denatured, agriculturally derived ethanol;
(3) must not blend the gasoline with other petroleum products that are not gasoline or denatured, agriculturally derived ethanol;
(4) must not blend the gasoline with products commonly and commercially known as casinghead gasoline, absorption gasoline, condensation gasoline, drip gasoline, or natural gasoline; and
(5) may blend the gasoline with a detergent additive, an antiknock additive, or an additive designed to replace tetra-ethyl lead, that is registered by the EPA.
(a) Every scrap metal dealer shall register annually with the commissioner.
(b) The scrap metal dealer shall pay to the commissioner of public safety a $50 annual fee.
Presented to the governor May 24, 2022
Signed by the governor June 2, 2022, 2:08 p.m.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes