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1997 Minnesota Session Laws

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                            CHAPTER 245-S.F.No. 830 
                  An act relating to family law; modifying provisions 
                  and procedures governing child support and 
                  maintenance, visitation, and related matters; making 
                  complying and technical changes; amending Minnesota 
                  Statutes 1996, sections 168A.05, subdivision 8; 
                  171.19; 256.87, by adding a subdivision; 256.978, 
                  subdivision 2, as amended; 256.979, subdivisions 5, 6, 
                  7, 8, and by adding a subdivision; 256.9791, 
                  subdivision 1; 256.998, subdivisions 3 and 9; 257.75, 
                  subdivisions 1a and 4; 518.157; 518.175, subdivision 
                  6; 518.1751; 518.179, subdivision 1; 518.195; 518.54, 
                  subdivision 6, as amended; 518.551, subdivisions 5b, 
                  7, 12, as amended, 14, and by adding subdivisions; 
                  518.5511, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, and by adding a 
                  subdivision; 518.5512, subdivisions 2, as amended, 3, 
                  and by adding a subdivision; 518.553; 518.5852; 
                  518.64, subdivision 2; 518.641, subdivision 2; 518.68, 
                  subdivision 2; 518C.305; 518C.306; 518C.307; 518C.605; 
                  518C.606; 519.05; 548.091, subdivision 9, as added; 
                  609.375, by adding a subdivision; 626.556, subdivision 
                  2; and 631.52, subdivision 1; Laws 1997, chapter 85, 
                  article 1, sections 16, subdivision 1, as amended; 36, 
                  subdivision 2; 43, subdivisions 4 and 5; and 66, 
                  subdivision 2; and article 3, by adding a section; 
                  S.F. No. 1908, article 6, sections 3, subdivisions 1, 
                  4, 6, and 10; and 5, subdivision 4; proposing coding 
                  for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 518; 
                  repealing Minnesota Statutes 1996, sections 256.996; 
                  and 609.375, subdivisions 3, 4, and 6. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
                                   ARTICLE 1 
                                 CHILD SUPPORT 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 168A.05, 
        subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 8.  [LIENS FILED FOR ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT.] 
        This subdivision applies if the court or a public authority 
        responsible for child support enforcement orders or directs the 
        commissioner to enter a lien, as provided in section 518.551, 
        subdivision 14.  If a certificate of title is applied for by the 
        owner, the department shall enter a lien on the title in the 
        name of the state of Minnesota or in the name of the obligee in 
        accordance with the notice if the value of the motor vehicle 
        determined in accordance with either the definitions of section 
        297B.01, subdivision 8, or the retail value described in the 
        N.A.D.A. Official Used Car Guide, Midwest Edition, for the 
        current year exceeds the exemption allowed in section 550.37.  
        The lien on the title is subordinate to any bona fide purchase 
        money security interest as defined in section 336.9-107 
        regardless of when the purchase money security interest is 
        perfected.  With respect to all other security interests, the 
        lien is perfected as of the date entered on the title.  The lien 
        is subject to an exemption in the amount currently in effect 
        under section 518.551, subdivision 14. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 171.19, is 
        amended to read: 
           171.19 [PETITION FOR LICENSE REINSTATEMENT.] 
           Any person whose driver's license has been refused, 
        revoked, suspended, or canceled by the commissioner, except 
        where the license is revoked under section 169.123 or section 
        171.186, may file a petition for a hearing in the matter in the 
        district court in the county wherein such person shall reside 
        and, in the case of a nonresident, in the district court in any 
        county, and such court is hereby vested with jurisdiction, and 
        it shall be its duty, to set the matter for hearing upon 15 
        days' written notice to the commissioner, and thereupon to take 
        testimony and examine into the facts of the case to determine 
        whether the petitioner is entitled to a license or is subject to 
        revocation, suspension, cancellation, or refusal of license, and 
        shall render judgment accordingly.  The petition shall be heard 
        by the court without a jury and may be heard in or out of term.  
        The commissioner may appear in person, or by agents or 
        representatives, and may present evidence upon the hearing by 
        affidavit personally, by agents, or by representatives.  The 
        petitioner may present evidence by affidavit, except that the 
        petitioner must be present in person at such hearing for the 
        purpose of cross-examination.  In the event the department shall 
        be sustained in these proceedings, the petitioner shall have no 
        further right to make further petition to any court for the 
        purpose of obtaining a driver's license until after the 
        expiration of one year after the date of such hearing. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256.87, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [ARREARS FOR PARENT WHO REUNITES WITH 
        FAMILY.] (a) A parent liable for assistance under this section 
        may seek a suspension of collection efforts under Title IV-D of 
        the Social Security Act or a payment agreement based on ability 
        to pay if the parent has reunited with that parent's family and 
        lives in the same household as the child on whose behalf the 
        assistance was furnished. 
           (b) The Title IV-D agency shall consider the individual 
        financial circumstances of each obligor in evaluating the 
        obligor's ability to pay a proposed payment agreement and shall 
        propose a reasonable payment agreement tailored to those 
        individual financial circumstances. 
           (c) The Title IV-D agency may suspend collection of arrears 
        owed to the state under this section for as long as the obligor 
        continues to live in the same household as the child on whose 
        behalf the assistance was furnished if the total gross household 
        income of the obligor is less than 185 percent of the federal 
        poverty level. 
           (d) An obligor must annually reapply for suspension of 
        collection of arrearages under paragraph (c). 
           (e) The obligor must notify the Title IV-D agency if the 
        obligor no longer resides in the same household as the child. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256.979, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [PATERNITY ESTABLISHMENT AND CHILD SUPPORT 
        ORDER ESTABLISHMENT AND MODIFICATION BONUS INCENTIVES.] (a) A 
        bonus incentive program is created to increase the number of 
        paternity establishments and establishment and modifications of 
        child support orders done by county child support enforcement 
        agencies. 
           (b) A bonus must be awarded to a county child support 
        agency for each child case for which the agency completes a 
        paternity or child support order establishment or modification 
        through judicial, or administrative, or expedited processes and 
        for each instance in which the agency reviews a case for a 
        modification of the child support order. 
           (c) The rate of bonus incentive is $100 for each 
        paternity or child support order establishment and $50 for each 
        review for modification of a child support order modification 
        set in a specific dollar amount. 
           (d) No bonus shall be paid for a modification that is a 
        result of a termination of child care costs according to section 
        518.551, subdivision 5, paragraph (b), or due solely to a 
        reduction of child care expenses. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256.979, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [CLAIMS FOR BONUS INCENTIVE.] (a) The 
        commissioner of human services and the county agency shall 
        develop procedures for the claims process and criteria using 
        automated systems where possible. 
           (b) Only one county agency may receive a bonus per 
        paternity establishment or child support order establishment or 
        modification for each case.  The county agency making the 
        initial preparations for the case resulting in the establishment 
        of paternity or modification of an order is the county agency 
        entitled to claim the bonus incentive, even if the case is 
        transferred to another county agency prior to the time the order 
        is established or modified.  The county agency completing the 
        action or procedure needed to establish paternity or a child 
        support order or modify an order is the county agency entitled 
        to claim the bonus incentive. 
           (c) Disputed claims must be submitted to the commissioner 
        of human services and the commissioner's decision is final. 
           (d) For purposes of this section, "case" means a family 
        unit for whom the county agency is providing child support 
        enforcement services.  
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256.979, 
        subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 7.  [DISTRIBUTION.] (a) Bonus incentives must be 
        issued to the county agency quarterly, within 45 days after the 
        last day of each quarter for which a bonus incentive is being 
        claimed, and must be paid in the order in which claims are 
        received. 
           (b) Bonus incentive funds under this section must be 
        reinvested in the county child support enforcement program and a 
        county may not reduce funding of the child support enforcement 
        program by the amount of the bonus earned. 
           (c) The county agency shall repay any bonus erroneously 
        issued. 
           (d) A county agency shall maintain a record of bonus 
        incentives claimed and received for each quarter. 
           (e) Payment of bonus incentives is limited by the amount of 
        the appropriation for this purpose.  If the appropriation is 
        insufficient to cover all claims, the commissioner of human 
        services may prorate payments among the county agencies. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256.979, 
        subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 8.  [MEDICAL PROVIDER REIMBURSEMENT.] (a) A fee to 
        the providers of medical services is created for the purpose of 
        increasing the numbers of signed and notarized recognition of 
        parentage forms completed in the medical setting. 
           (b) A fee of $25 shall be paid to each medical provider for 
        each properly completed recognition of parentage form sent to 
        the department of vital statistics. 
           (c) The office of vital statistics shall notify the 
        department of human services quarterly of the numbers of 
        completed forms received and the amounts paid. 
           (d) The department of human services shall remit quarterly 
        to each medical provider a payment for the number of signed 
        recognition of parentage forms completed by that medical 
        provider and sent to the office of vital statistics. 
           (e) The commissioners of the department of human services 
        and the department of health shall develop procedures for the 
        implementation of this provision. 
           (f) Payments will be made to the medical provider within 
        the limit of available appropriations. 
           (g) Federal matching funds received as reimbursement for 
        the costs of the medical provider reimbursement must be retained 
        by the commissioner of human services for educational programs 
        dedicated to the benefits of paternity establishment. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256.979, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 10.  [TRANSFERABILITY BETWEEN BONUS INCENTIVE 
        ACCOUNTS AND GRANTS TO COUNTY AGENCIES.] The commissioner of 
        human services may transfer money appropriated for child support 
        enforcement county performance incentives under this section and 
        section 256.9791 among county performance incentive accounts.  
        Incentive funds to counties transferred under this section must 
        be reinvested in the child support enforcement program and may 
        not be used to supplant money now spent by counties for child 
        support enforcement. 
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256.9791, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [BONUS INCENTIVE.] (a) A bonus incentive 
        program is created to increase the identification and 
        enforcement by county agencies of dependent health insurance 
        coverage for persons who are receiving medical assistance under 
        section 256B.055 and for whom the county agency is providing 
        child support enforcement services.  
           (b) The bonus shall be awarded to a county child support 
        agency for each person for whom coverage is identified and 
        enforced by the child support enforcement program when the 
        obligor is under a court order to provide dependent health 
        insurance coverage.  
           (c) Bonus incentive funds under this section must be 
        reinvested in the county child support enforcement program and a 
        county may not reduce funding of the child support enforcement 
        program by the amount of the bonus earned. 
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256.998, 
        subdivision 9, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS.] The state and all 
        political subdivisions of the state, when acting in the capacity 
        of an employer, shall report the hiring of any person as an 
        independent contractor to the centralized work reporting system 
        in the same manner as the hiring of an employee is reported. 
           The attorney general and the commissioner of human services 
        shall work with representatives of the employment community and 
        industries that utilize independent contractors in the regular 
        course of business to develop a plan to include the reporting of 
        independent contractors by all employers to the centralized work 
        reporting system by July 1, 1996.  The attorney general and the 
        commissioner of human services shall present the resulting plan 
        in the form of proposed legislation to the legislature by 
        February 1, 1996. Other payors may report independent 
        contractors to whom they make payments that require the filing 
        of a 1099-MISC report.  Payors reporting independent contractors 
        shall report by use of the same means and provide the same 
        information required under subdivisions 4 and 5.  The 
        commissioner of human services shall establish procedures for 
        payors reporting under this section. 
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 257.75, 
        subdivision 1a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 1a.  [JOINDER IN RECOGNITION BY HUSBAND.] A man who 
        is a presumed father under section 257.55, subdivision 1, 
        paragraph (a), may join in a recognition of parentage that 
        recognizes that another man is the child's biological father.  
        The man who is the presumed father under section 257.55, 
        subdivision 1, paragraph (a), must sign an acknowledgment under 
        oath before a notary public that he is renouncing the 
        presumption under section 257.55, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), 
        and recognizing that the father who is executing the recognition 
        under subdivision 1 is the biological father of the child.  A 
        joinder in a recognition under this subdivision must be executed 
        within one year after the child's birth and at the same time as 
        the recognition under subdivision 1 or within ten days following 
        execution of the recognition. the joinder must be included in 
        the recognition form or incorporated by reference within the 
        recognition and attached to the form when it is filed with the 
        state registrar of vital statistics.  The joinder must be on a 
        form prepared by the commissioner of human services.  Failure to 
        properly execute a joinder in a recognition does not affect the 
        validity of the recognition under subdivision 1.  A joinder 
        without a corresponding recognition of parentage has no legal 
        effect. 
           Sec. 12.  [518.111] [SUFFICIENCY OF NOTICE.] 
           Automated child support notices sent by the public 
        authority which do not require service are sufficient notice 
        when issued and mailed by first class mail to the person's last 
        known address. 
           Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.551, 
        subdivision 5b, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5b.  [DETERMINATION OF INCOME.] (a) The parties shall 
        timely serve and file documentation of earnings and income.  When 
        there is a prehearing conference, the court must receive the 
        documentation of income at least ten days prior to the 
        prehearing conference.  Documentation of earnings and income 
        also includes, but is not limited to, pay stubs for the most 
        recent three months, employer statements, or statement of 
        receipts and expenses if self-employed.  Documentation of 
        earnings and income also includes copies of each parent's most 
        recent federal tax returns, including W-2 forms, 1099 forms, 
        reemployment insurance statements, workers' compensation 
        statements, and all other documents evidencing income as 
        received that provide verification of income over a longer 
        period. 
           (b) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (a), at 
        any time after an action seeking child support has been 
        commenced or when a child support order is in effect, a party or 
        the public authority may require the other party to give them a 
        copy of the party's most recent federal tax returns that were 
        filed with the Internal Revenue Service.  The party shall 
        provide a copy of the tax returns within 30 days of receipt of 
        the request unless the request is not made in good faith.  A 
        request under this paragraph may not be made more than once 
        every two years, in the absence of good cause. 
           (c) If a parent under the jurisdiction of the court does 
        not appear at a court hearing after proper notice of the time 
        and place of the hearing, the court shall set income for that 
        parent based on credible evidence before the court or in 
        accordance with paragraph (d).  Credible evidence may include 
        documentation of current or recent income, testimony of the 
        other parent concerning recent earnings and income levels, and 
        the parent's wage reports filed with the Minnesota department of 
        economic security under section 268.121.  
           (d) If the court finds that a parent is voluntarily 
        unemployed or underemployed, child support shall be calculated 
        based on a determination of imputed income.  A parent is not 
        considered voluntarily unemployed or underemployed upon a 
        showing by the parent that the unemployment or underemployment:  
        (1) is temporary and will ultimately lead to an increase in 
        income; or (2) represents a bona fide career change that 
        outweighs the adverse effect of that parent's diminished income 
        on the child.  Imputed income means the estimated earning 
        ability of a parent based on the parent's prior earnings 
        history, education, and job skills, and on availability of jobs 
        within the community for an individual with the parent's 
        qualifications.  If the court is unable to determine or estimate 
        the earning ability of a parent, the court may calculate child 
        support based on full-time employment of 40 hours per week 
        at 150 percent of the federal minimum wage or the Minnesota 
        minimum wage, whichever is higher.  If the court is unable to 
        determine or estimate the earning ability of a parent, any 
        medical support or child care contribution must be calculated 
        based upon the obligor's proportionate share of the child care 
        expenses using 40 hours per week at 150 percent of the federal 
        minimum wage or the Minnesota minimum wage, whichever is 
        higher.  If a parent is a recipient of public assistance under 
        sections 256.72 to 256.87 or chapter 256D section 256.741, or is 
        physically or mentally incapacitated, it shall be presumed that 
        the parent is not voluntarily unemployed or underemployed.  
           (e) Income from self employment is equal to gross receipts 
        minus ordinary and necessary expenses.  Ordinary and necessary 
        expenses do not include amounts allowed by the Internal Revenue 
        Service for accelerated depreciation expenses or investment tax 
        credits or any other business expenses determined by the court 
        to be inappropriate for determining income for purposes of child 
        support.  The person seeking to deduct an expense, including 
        depreciation, has the burden of proving, if challenged, that the 
        expense is ordinary and necessary.  Net income under this 
        section may be different from taxable income. 
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.551, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 5e.  [ADJUSTMENT TO SUPPORT ORDER.] A support order 
        issued under this section may provide that during any period of 
        time of 30 consecutive days or longer that the child is residing 
        with the noncustodial parent, the amount of support otherwise 
        due under the order may be reduced. 
           Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.551, 
        subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 7.  [SERVICE FEE.] When the public agency responsible 
        for child support enforcement provides child support collection 
        services either to a public assistance recipient or to a party 
        who does not receive public assistance, the public agency may 
        upon written notice to the obligor charge a monthly collection 
        fee equivalent to the full monthly cost to the county of 
        providing collection services, in addition to the amount of the 
        child support which was ordered by the court.  The fee shall be 
        deposited in the county general fund.  The service fee assessed 
        is limited to ten percent of the monthly court ordered child 
        support and shall not be assessed to obligors who are current in 
        payment of the monthly court ordered child support. 
           An application fee of $25 shall be paid by the person who 
        applies for child support and maintenance collection services, 
        except persons who are receiving public assistance as defined in 
        section 256.741, persons who transfer from public assistance to 
        nonpublic assistance status, and minor parents and parents 
        enrolled in a public secondary school, area learning center, or 
        alternative learning program approved by the commissioner of 
        children, families, and learning.  Fees assessed by state and 
        federal tax agencies for collection of overdue support owed to 
        or on behalf of a person not receiving public assistance must be 
        imposed on the person for whom these services are provided.  The 
        public authority upon written notice to the obligee shall assess 
        a fee of $25 to the person not receiving public assistance for 
        each successful federal tax interception.  The fee must be 
        withheld prior to the release of the funds received from each 
        interception and deposited in the general fund. 
           However, the limitations of this subdivision on the 
        assessment of fees shall not apply to the extent inconsistent 
        with the requirements of federal law for receiving funds for the 
        programs under Title IV-A and Title IV-D of the Social Security 
        Act, United States Code, title 42, sections 601 to 613 and 
        United States Code, title 42, sections 651 to 662.  
           Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.551, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 13a.  [DATA ON SUSPENSIONS FOR SUPPORT 
        ARREARS.] Notwithstanding section 13.03, subdivision 4, 
        paragraph (c), data on an occupational license suspension under 
        subdivision 12 or a driver's license suspension under 
        subdivision 13 that are transferred by the department of human 
        services to respectively the department of public safety or any 
        state, county, or municipal occupational licensing agency must 
        have the same classification at the department of public safety 
        or other receiving agency under section 13.02 as other license 
        suspension data held by the receiving agency.  The transfer of 
        the data does not affect the classification of the data in the 
        hands of the department of human services. 
           Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.551, 
        subdivision 14, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 14.  [MOTOR VEHICLE LIEN.] (a) Upon motion of an 
        obligee, if a court finds that the obligor is the registered 
        owner of a motor vehicle and the obligor is a debtor for a 
        judgment debt resulting from nonpayment of court-ordered child 
        support or maintenance payments, or both, in an amount equal to 
        or greater than three times the obligor's total monthly support 
        and maintenance payments, the court shall order the commissioner 
        of public safety to enter a lien in the name of the obligee or 
        in the name of the state of Minnesota, as appropriate, in 
        accordance with section 168A.05, subdivision 8, unless the court 
        finds that the obligor is in compliance with a written payment 
        agreement regarding both current support and arrearages approved 
        by the court, an administrative law judge, or the public 
        authority or that the obligor's interest in the motor vehicle is 
        valued at less than $4,500.  The court's order must be stayed 
        for 90 days in order to allow the obligor to either execute a 
        written payment agreement regarding both current support and 
        arrearages, which agreement shall be approved by either the 
        court or the public authority responsible for child support 
        enforcement, or to allow the obligor to demonstrate that the 
        ownership interest in the motor vehicle is valued at less than 
        $4,500.  If the obligor has not executed or is not in compliance 
        with a written payment agreement regarding both current support 
        and arrearages approved by the court, an administrative law 
        judge, or the public authority or has not demonstrated that the 
        ownership interest in the motor vehicle is valued at less than 
        $4,500 within the 90-day period, the court's order becomes 
        effective and the commissioner of public safety shall record the 
        lien on any motor vehicle certificate of title subsequently 
        issued in the name of the obligor.  The remedy under this 
        subdivision is in addition to any other enforcement remedy 
        available to the court. 
           (b) If a public authority responsible for child support 
        enforcement determines that the obligor is the registered owner 
        of a motor vehicle and the obligor is a debtor for judgment debt 
        resulting from nonpayment of court-ordered child support or 
        maintenance payments, or both, in an amount equal to or greater 
        than three times the obligor's total monthly support and 
        maintenance payments, the public authority shall direct the 
        commissioner of public safety to enter a lien in the name of the 
        obligee or in the name of the state of Minnesota, as 
        appropriate, under section 168A.05, subdivision 8, on any motor 
        vehicle certificate of title subsequently issued in the name of 
        the obligor unless the public authority determines that the 
        obligor is in compliance with a written payment agreement 
        regarding both current support and arrearages approved by the 
        court, an administrative law judge, or the public authority or 
        that the obligor's ownership interest in the motor vehicle is 
        valued at less than $4,500.  The remedy under this subdivision 
        is in addition to any other enforcement remedy available to the 
        public agency. 
           (c) At least 90 days prior to notifying the commissioner of 
        public safety pursuant to paragraph (b), the public authority 
        must mail a written notice to the obligor at the obligor's last 
        known address, that it intends to record a lien on the obligor's 
        any motor vehicle certificate of title subsequently issued in 
        the name of the obligor and that the obligor must request a 
        hearing within 30 days in order to contest the action.  If the 
        obligor makes a written request for a hearing within 30 days of 
        the date of the notice, either a court hearing or a contested 
        administrative proceeding must be held under section 518.5511, 
        subdivision 4.  Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the 
        obligor must be served with 14 days' notice in writing 
        specifying the time and place of the hearing and the allegations 
        against the obligor.  The notice may be served personally or by 
        mail.  If the public authority does not receive a request for a 
        hearing within 30 days of the date of the notice and the obligor 
        does not execute or is not in compliance with a written payment 
        agreement regarding both current support and arrearages approved 
        by the court, an administrative law judge, or the public 
        authority or demonstrate to the public authority that the 
        obligor's ownership interest in the motor vehicle is valued at 
        less than $4,500 within 90 days of the date of the notice, the 
        public authority shall direct the commissioner of public safety 
        to record the lien under paragraph (b). 
           (d) At a hearing requested by the obligor under paragraph 
        (c), and on finding that the obligor is in arrears in 
        court-ordered child support or maintenance payments or both in 
        an amount equal to or greater than three times the obligor's 
        total monthly support and maintenance payments, the district 
        court or the administrative law judge shall order the 
        commissioner of public safety to record the lien unless the 
        court or administrative law judge determines that: 
           (1) the obligor has executed and is in compliance with a 
        written payment agreement regarding both current support and 
        arrearages determined to be acceptable by the court, an 
        administrative law judge, or the public authority; or 
           (2) the obligor has demonstrated that the ownership 
        interest in the motor vehicle is valued at less than $4,500. 
           (e) An obligor who has had a lien recorded against a motor 
        vehicle certificate of title may provide proof to the court or 
        the public authority responsible for child support enforcement 
        that the obligor is in compliance with all written payment 
        agreements regarding both current support and arrearages or that 
        the value of the motor vehicle is less than the exemption 
        provided under section 550.37.  Within 15 days of the receipt of 
        that proof, the court or public authority shall either execute a 
        release of security interest under section 168A.20, subdivision 
        4, and mail or deliver the release to the owner or other 
        authorized person or shall direct the commissioner of public 
        safety not to enter a lien on any motor vehicle certificate of 
        title subsequently issued in the name of the obligor in 
        instances where a lien has not yet been entered.  The dollar 
        amounts in this section shall change periodically in the manner 
        provided in section 550.37, subdivision 4a. 
           (f) Any lien recorded against a motor vehicle certificate 
        of title under this section and section 168A.05, subdivision 8, 
        attaches only to the nonexempt value of the motor vehicle as 
        determined in accordance with section 550.37.  The value of a 
        motor vehicle must be determined in accordance with the retail 
        value described in the N.A.D.A. Official Used Car Guide, Midwest 
        Edition, for the current year, or in accordance with the 
        purchase price as defined in section 297B.01, subdivision 8. 
           Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.5511, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [GENERAL.] (a) An administrative process is 
        established to obtain, modify, and enforce child and medical 
        support orders and parentage orders and modify enforce 
        maintenance if combined with a child support proceeding.  All 
        laws governing these actions apply insofar as they are not 
        inconsistent with the provisions of this section and section 
        518.5512.  Wherever other laws or rules are inconsistent with 
        this section and section 518.5512, the provisions in this 
        section and section 518.5512 shall apply. 
           (b) All proceedings for obtaining, modifying, or enforcing 
        child and medical support orders and modifying enforcing 
        maintenance orders if combined with a child support proceeding, 
        are required to be conducted in the administrative process when 
        the public authority is a party or provides services to a party 
        or parties to the proceedings.  Cases in which there is no 
        assignment of support or in which the public authority is not 
        providing services may not be conducted in the administrative 
        process.  At county option, the administrative process may 
        include contempt motions or actions to establish parentage.  
        Nothing contained herein shall prevent a party, upon timely 
        notice to the public authority, from commencing an action or 
        bringing a motion for the establishment, modification, or 
        enforcement of child support or modification enforcement of 
        maintenance orders if combined with a child support proceeding 
        in district court, if additional issues involving domestic 
        abuse, establishment or modification of custody or visitation, 
        property issues, or other issues outside the jurisdiction of the 
        administrative process, are part of the motion or action, or 
        from proceeding with a motion or action brought by another party 
        containing one or more of these issues if it is pending in 
        district court. 
           (c) A party may make a written request to the public 
        authority to initiate an uncontested administrative proceeding.  
        If the public authority denies the request, the public authority 
        shall issue a summary notice of denial which denies the request 
        for relief within 30 days of receiving the written request, 
        states the reasons for the denial, and notifies the party of the 
        right to commence an action for relief proceed directly to a 
        contested administrative proceeding according to subdivision 3a, 
        paragraph (a).  If the party commences an action or serves and 
        files a motion proceeds directly to a contested hearing and 
        files the requisite documents, as provided by the commissioner, 
        with the court administrator within 30 days after the public 
        authority's denial and the party's action results in a 
        modification of a child support order, the modification may be 
        retroactive to the date the written request was received by the 
        public authority.  If the public authority accepts the request 
        and proceeds with the uncontested administrative process, any 
        order or modification may be retroactive to the date the written 
        request was received by the public authority. 
           (d) After August 1, 1994, all counties shall participate in 
        the administrative process established in this section in 
        accordance with a statewide implementation plan to be set forth 
        by the commissioner of human services.  No county shall be 
        required to participate in the administrative process until 
        after the county has been trained.  The implementation plan 
        shall include provisions for training the counties by region no 
        later than July 1, 1995.  The public authority may initiate 
        actions in the administrative process.  
           (e) For the purpose of the administrative process, all 
        powers, duties, and responsibilities conferred on judges of 
        district court to obtain and enforce child and medical support 
        and parentage and maintenance obligations, subject to the 
        limitations of this section are conferred on administrative law 
        judges, including the power to determine controlling interstate 
        orders, and to issue subpoenas, orders to show cause, and bench 
        warrants for failure to appear. 
           The administrative law judge has the authority to enter 
        parentage orders in which the custody and visitation provisions 
        are uncontested. 
           (f) Nonattorney employees of the public authority 
        responsible for child support may prepare, sign, serve, and file 
        complaints, motions, notices, summary notices, proposed orders, 
        default orders, consent orders, orders for blood or genetic 
        tests, and other documents related to the administrative process 
        for obtaining, modifying, or enforcing child and medical support 
        orders, orders establishing paternity, and related documents, 
        and orders to enforce maintenance if combined with a child 
        support order.  The nonattorney employee may issue 
        administrative subpoenas, conduct prehearing conferences, and 
        participate in proceedings before an administrative law judge.  
        This activity shall not be considered to be the unauthorized 
        practice of law.  Nonattorney employees may not represent the 
        interests of any party other than the public authority, and may 
        not give legal advice.  The nonattorney employees may act 
        subject to the limitations of section 518.5512. 
           (g) Any party may make a written request to the office of 
        administrative hearings for a subpoena compelling the attendance 
        of a witness or the production of books, papers, records, or 
        other documents relevant to the administrative process.  
        Subpoenas are enforceable through the district court.  The 
        public authority may also request a subpoena from the office of 
        administrative hearings for the production of a witness or 
        documents.  The nonattorney employee of the public authority may 
        issue subpoenas subject to the limitations in section 518.5512, 
        subdivision 6, paragraph (a), clause (2).  
           (h) At all stages of the administrative process, the county 
        attorney, or other attorney under contract, shall act as the 
        legal adviser for the public authority. 
           (i) The commissioner of human services shall:  
           (1) provide training to child support officers and other 
        persons involved in the administrative process; 
           (2) timely prepare simple and easy to understand forms, in 
        consultation with the office of administrative hearings, for all 
        notices and orders prescribed in this section, including a 
        support order worksheet form, with the exception of orders 
        issued by the district court or the office of administrative 
        hearings under subdivision 4; and 
           (3) distribute money to cover the costs of the 
        administrative process, including the salaries of administrative 
        law judges.  If available appropriations are insufficient to 
        cover the costs, the commissioner shall prorate the amount among 
        the counties. 
           (j) The commissioner of human services, in consultation 
        with the office of administrative hearings, is responsible for 
        the supervision of the administrative process.  
           (k) The public authority, the office of administrative 
        hearings, court administrators, and other entities involved in 
        the administrative process shall use the forms prepared by the 
        commissioner.  
           (l) The office of administrative hearings may reject orders 
        that have not been prepared using the commissioner's forms or on 
        forms that have not been approved by the commissioner. 
           (m) The office of administrative hearings is responsible 
        for training and monitoring the performance of administrative 
        law judges, maintaining records of proceedings, providing 
        transcripts upon request, and maintaining the integrity of the 
        district court file.  
           Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.5511, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [UNCONTESTED ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDING.] (a) A 
        party may petition the chief administrative law judge, the chief 
        district court judge, or the chief family court referee to 
        proceed immediately to a contested hearing upon good cause shown.
           (b) The public authority shall give the parties written 
        notice requesting the submission of information necessary for 
        the public authority to prepare a proposed order.  The written 
        notice shall be sent by first class mail to the parties' last 
        known addresses.  The written notice shall describe the 
        information requested, state the purpose of the request, state 
        the date by which the information must be postmarked or received 
        (which shall be at least 30 days from the date of the mailing of 
        the written notice), state that if the information is not 
        postmarked or received by that date, the public authority will 
        prepare a proposed order on the basis of the information 
        available, and identify the type of information which will be 
        considered.  
           (c) Following the submission of information or following 
        the date when the information was due the initiation of the 
        administrative process under subdivision 1, paragraph (c) or 
        (d), the public authority shall, on the basis of all information 
        available, complete and sign a proposed order and notice.  The 
        public authority shall attach a support order worksheet.  In 
        preparing the proposed order, the public authority will 
        establish child support in the highest amount permitted under 
        section 518.551, subdivision 5.  The proposed order shall 
        include written findings in accordance with section 518.551, 
        subdivision 5, clauses (i) and (j).  If the public authority has 
        incomplete or insufficient information upon which to prepare a 
        proposed order, the public authority shall use the default 
        standard established in section 518.551, subdivision 5b, 
        paragraph (d), to prepare the proposed order.  The notice shall 
        state that the proposed order will be entered as a final and 
        binding default order unless one of the parties requests a 
        conference under subdivision 3 contacts the public authority 
        regarding the proposed order within 21 30 days following the 
        date of service of the proposed order.  The method for 
        requesting the conference shall be stated in the notice.  The 
        notice and proposed order shall be served under the rules of 
        civil procedure on the noninitiating party and by first class 
        mail on the initiating party.  After receipt of the notice and 
        proposed order, the court administrator shall file the documents.
           For the purposes of the contested hearing administrative 
        process, and notwithstanding any law or rule to the contrary, 
        the service of the proposed order pursuant to under this 
        paragraph shall be deemed to have commenced a proceeding and the 
        judge, including an administrative law judge or a referee, shall 
        have jurisdiction over the a contested hearing administrative 
        proceeding.  
           (d) (b) If a conference under subdivision 3 is not 
        requested the public authority is not contacted by a party 
        within 21 30 days after the date of service of the proposed 
        order, the public authority may submit the proposed order as the 
        default order.  The default order becomes enforceable upon 
        signature by an administrative law judge, district court judge, 
        or referee.  The public authority may also prepare and serve a 
        new notice and proposed order if new information is subsequently 
        obtained.  The default order shall be a final order, and shall 
        be served under the rules of civil procedure. 
           (c) If the public authority obtains new information after 
        service of the proposed order, the public authority may prepare 
        one notice and revised proposed order.  The revised order must 
        be served by first class mail on the parties.  If the public 
        authority is not contacted within seven days after the date of 
        service of the revised order, the public authority may submit 
        the revised order as a default order but in no event sooner than 
        30 days after the service of the original proposed order. 
           (e) (d) The public authority shall file in the district 
        court copies of all notices served on the parties, proof of 
        service, the support order worksheet, and all orders.  
           Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.5511, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE.] (a) If a party 
        requests a conference contacts the public authority within 21 30 
        days of the date of service of the proposed order, and the 
        public authority does not choose to proceed directly to a 
        contested administrative proceeding, the public authority shall 
        schedule a conference, and shall serve send written notice of 
        the date, time, and place of the conference and the date, time, 
        and place of a contested administrative proceeding in the event 
        the administrative conference fails to resolve all of the issues 
        on the parties.  The public authority may request any additional 
        information necessary to establish child support.  The public 
        authority may choose to go directly to a contested 
        administrative proceeding and is not required to conduct an 
        administrative conference.  The date of the contested 
        administrative proceeding must be set within 31 days of the 
        administrative conference or not more than 60 days from the date 
        of the notice of the administrative conference.  A request for a 
        continuance must be made to the chief administrative law judge 
        according to Minnesota Rules, part 1400.7500. 
           (b) The purpose of the conference is to review all 
        available information and seek an agreement to enter a consent 
        order.  The notice shall state the purpose of the conference, 
        and that the proposed order will be entered as a final and 
        binding default order if the requesting party fails both parties 
        fail to appear at the conference.  The notice must also state 
        that if only one party appears at the conference and there is no 
        new information provided, the matter shall proceed by default.  
        The notice shall be served on the parties by first class mail at 
        their last known addresses, and the method of service shall be 
        documented in the public authority file.  All available and 
        relevant information must be shared with the parties at the 
        conference subject to the limitations of sections 256.87, 
        subdivision 8, 257.70, and 518.005, subdivision 5.  If a 
        conference is not held, information which would have been shared 
        at the conference by the public authority must be provided to a 
        party or the party's attorney within 15 days of receipt of a 
        written request. 
           (c) A party alleging domestic abuse by the other party 
        shall not be required to participate in a conference.  In such a 
        case, the public authority shall meet separately with the 
        parties in order to determine whether an agreement can be 
        reached. 
           (d) If all parties appear at the conference and agree to 
        all issues, and the public authority approves the agreement, the 
        public authority shall prepare a consent order for the parties 
        and the public authority to sign.  The public authority shall 
        submit the consent order to the administrative law judge.  Upon 
        signature, the order is a final order and must be served on the 
        parties by first class mail.  
           (d) If the party requesting the conference does not appear 
        and fails to provide a written excuse (with supporting 
        documentation if relevant) to the public authority within seven 
        days after the date of the conference which constitutes good 
        cause (e) If only one party appears at the conference and there 
        is no new information available, or if both of the parties fail 
        to appear at the conference, the public authority may enter 
        submit a default order through the uncontested administrative 
        process.  The public authority shall not enter the default order 
        until at least seven days after the date of the conference.  
           For purposes of this section, misrepresentation, excusable 
        neglect, or circumstances beyond the control of the person who 
        requested the conference which prevented the person's appearance 
        at the conference constitutes good cause for failure to appear.  
        If the public authority finds good cause, the conference shall 
        be rescheduled by the public authority and the public authority 
        shall send notice as required under this subdivision. If only 
        one party appears at the conference and there is new information 
        available, the matter shall proceed directly to the scheduled 
        contested administrative proceeding.  
           (e) (f) If the parties appear at the conference, the public 
        authority shall seek and do not reach agreement of the parties 
        to the entry of a consent order which establishes child support 
        in accordance with applicable law., the public authority shall 
        advise the parties that if a consent order is not entered, the 
        matter will be remains scheduled for a hearing before an 
        administrative law judge, or a district court judge or 
        referee contested administrative proceeding, and that the public 
        authority will seek the establishment of child support at 
        the hearing proceeding in accordance with the highest amount 
        permitted under section 518.551, subdivision 5.  If an agreement 
        to enter the consent order is not reached at the conference, the 
        public authority shall schedule the matter for a contested 
        hearing child support guidelines. 
           (f) If an agreement is reached by the parties at the 
        conference, a consent order shall be prepared by the public 
        authority, and shall be signed by the parties.  All consent and 
        default orders shall be signed by the nonattorney employee of 
        the public authority and shall be submitted to an administrative 
        law judge or the district court for approval and signature.  The 
        order is enforceable upon the signature by the administrative 
        law judge or the district court.  The consent order shall be 
        served on the parties under the rules of civil procedure. 
           (g) If one or both of the parties appear at the 
        administrative conference and there is new information that 
        makes the proposed order unreasonable or inappropriate, the 
        public authority may issue a revised proposed order pursuant to 
        subdivision 2, paragraph (c), or proceed directly to a contested 
        administrative proceeding. 
           Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.5511, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 3a.  [ALTERNATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE RESOLUTIONS.] (a)(1) 
        Any party may proceed directly to a contested administrative 
        proceeding under subdivision 4 by making a written request to 
        the public authority.  After the public authority receives a 
        written request, the public authority shall request or schedule 
        a contested administrative proceeding and inform the requester 
        of the date, time, and place of the hearing.  The public 
        authority shall also provide the requester with the contested 
        administrative documents necessary for the proceeding.  These 
        documents must be completed by the requester, served on the 
        other party and the public authority, and filed with the court 
        administrator at least 21 days before the hearing.  If the 
        documents are not filed with the court administrator, the 
        contested administrative proceeding must be canceled unless the 
        public authority or a party objects. 
           (2) The public authority may also proceed directly to a 
        contested administrative proceeding.  
           (b) At any time in the administrative process, including 
        prior to the issuance of the proposed order, if the parties and 
        the public authority are in agreement, the public authority 
        shall prepare a consent order to be signed by the public 
        authority and the parties.  The parties must waive any of their 
        rights to the notices and time frames required by this section.  
        The public authority shall submit the order to the 
        administrative law judge.  Upon signature by the court, the 
        order is a final order and must be filed with the court 
        administrator and served by first class mail on the parties. 
           Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.5511, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [CONTESTED ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEEDING.] (a) All 
        counties shall participate in the contested administrative 
        process established in this section as designated in a statewide 
        implementation plan to be set forth by the commissioner of human 
        services.  No county shall be required to participate in the 
        contested administrative process until after the county has been 
        trained.  The contested administrative process shall be in 
        operation in all counties no later than July 1, 1998, with the 
        exception of Hennepin county which shall have a pilot program in 
        operation no later than July 1, 1996.  
           The Hennepin county pilot program shall be jointly planned, 
        implemented, and evaluated by the department of human services, 
        the office of administrative hearings, the fourth judicial 
        district court, and Hennepin county.  The pilot program shall 
        provide that one-half of the case load use the contested 
        administrative process.  The pilot program shall include an 
        evaluation which shall be conducted after one year of program 
        operation.  A preliminary evaluation report shall be submitted 
        by the commissioner to the legislature by March 1, 1997.  A 
        final evaluation report shall be submitted by the commissioner 
        to the legislature by January 15, 1998.  The pilot program shall 
        continue pending final decision by the legislature, or until the 
        commissioner determines that the pilot program shall discontinue 
        and that Hennepin county shall not participate in the contested 
        administrative process. 
           In counties designated by the commissioner, contested 
        hearings administrative proceedings required under this section 
        shall be scheduled before administrative law judges, and shall 
        be conducted in accordance with the provisions under this 
        section.  In counties not designated by the commissioner, 
        contested hearings administrative proceedings shall be conducted 
        in district court in accordance with the rules of civil 
        procedure and the rules of family court.  
           (b) An administrative law judge may conduct hearings 
        administrative proceedings and approve a stipulation reached on 
        a contempt motion brought by the public authority.  Any 
        stipulation that involves a finding of contempt and a jail 
        sentence, whether stayed or imposed, shall require the review 
        and signature of a district court judge. 
           (c) A party, witness, or attorney may appear or testify by 
        telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means, at the 
        discretion of the administrative law judge. 
           (d) Before implementing the process in a county, the chief 
        administrative law judge, the commissioner of human services, 
        the director of the county human services agency, the county 
        attorney, the county court administrator, and the county sheriff 
        shall jointly establish procedures, and the county shall provide 
        hearing facilities for implementing this process in the county.  
        A contested administrative hearing proceeding shall be conducted 
        in a courtroom, if one is available, or a conference or meeting 
        room with at least two exits and of sufficient size to permit 
        adequate physical separation of the parties.  The court 
        administrator shall, to the extent practical, provide 
        administrative support for the contested hearing administrative 
        proceeding.  Security personnel shall either be present during 
        the administrative hearings proceedings, or be available to 
        respond to a request for emergency assistance.  
           (e) The contested administrative hearings shall be 
        conducted under the rules of the office of administrative 
        hearings, Minnesota Rules, parts 1400.5275, 1400.5500, 1400.6000 
        to 1400.6400, 1400.6600 to 1400.7000, 1400.7100 to 1400.7500, 
        1400.7700, 1400.7800, and 1400.8100, as adopted by the chief 
        administrative law judge.  For matters not initiated under 
        subdivision 2, documents from the moving party shall be served 
        and filed at least 21 14 days prior to the hearing and the 
        opposing party shall serve and file documents raising new issues 
        at least ten days prior to the hearing.  In all contested 
        administrative proceedings, the administrative law judge may 
        limit the extent and timing of discovery.  Except as provided 
        under this section, other aspects of the case, including, but 
        not limited to, discovery, shall be conducted under the rules of 
        family court, the rules of civil procedure, and chapter 518.  
           (f) Pursuant to Following a contested administrative 
        hearing, the administrative law judge shall make findings of 
        fact, conclusions, and a final decision and issue an order.  
        Orders issued by an administrative law judge may be enforceable 
        by the contempt powers of the district courts.  
           (g) At the time the matter is scheduled for a contested 
        hearing administrative proceeding, the public authority shall 
        file in the district court copies of all relevant documents sent 
        to or received from the parties that have been provided to all 
        parties, in addition to the any documents filed under 
        subdivision 2, paragraph (e) (d).  These documents may be used 
        as evidence by the judge in deciding the case without need for 
        further foundation testimony.  For matters scheduled for a 
        contested hearing administrative proceeding which were not 
        initiated under subdivision 2, the public authority shall obtain 
        any income information available to the public authority through 
        the department of economic security and serve this information 
        on all parties and file the information with the court at least 
        five days prior to the hearing. 
           (h) If only one party appears at the contested 
        administrative proceeding, a hearing must be conducted.  The 
        administrative law judge shall prepare an order and file it with 
        the district court.  The court shall serve the order on the 
        parties by first class mail at the last known address and shall 
        provide a copy of the order to the public authority. 
           (i) If neither party appears at the contested 
        administrative proceeding and no new information has been 
        submitted or made available to the court or public authority, 
        the public authority shall submit the default order to the 
        administrative law judge for signature.  If neither party 
        appears and new information is available to the court or public 
        authority, the administrative law judge shall prepare an order 
        based on the new information.  The court shall serve the order 
        on the parties by first class mail at the last known address and 
        shall provide a copy of the order to the public authority. 
           (j) The decision and order of the administrative law judge 
        is appealable to the court of appeals in the same manner as a 
        decision of the district court.  
           Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.5512, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENT.] The notice of 
        application for adjustment shall be treated as a proposed order 
        under section 518.5511, subdivision 2, paragraph (c).  The 
        public authority shall send notice of its application for a 
        cost-of-living adjustment on the obligor in accord with section 
        518.641.  The public authority shall stay the adjustment of 
        support upon receipt by the public authority of a request for an 
        administrative conference by the obligor to proceed directly to 
        a contested administrative proceeding under section 518.5511, 
        subdivision 4.  An obligor requesting an administrative 
        conference shall provide all relevant information that 
        establishes an insufficient increase in income to justify the 
        adjustment of the support obligation.  If the obligor fails to 
        submit any evidence at the administrative conference, the 
        cost-of-living adjustment will immediately go into effect. 
           Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.5512, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 3a.  [FORM.] The public authority shall prepare and 
        make available to the court and obligors a form, to be submitted 
        to the public authority by the obligor, to request to proceed 
        directly to a contested administrative proceeding regarding a 
        cost-of-living adjustment.  
           Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.553, is 
        amended to read: 
           518.553 [PAYMENT AGREEMENTS.] 
           In proposing or approving proposed written payment 
        agreements for purposes of section 518.551, the court, an 
        administrative law judge, or the public authority shall take 
        into consideration the amount of the arrearages, the amount of 
        the current support order, any pending request for modification, 
        and the earnings of the obligor.  The court, administrative law 
        judge, or public authority shall consider the individual 
        financial circumstances of each obligor in evaluating the 
        obligor's ability to pay any proposed payment agreement and 
        shall propose a reasonable payment agreement tailored to the 
        individual financial circumstances of each obligor. 
           Sec. 26.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.5852, is 
        amended to read: 
           518.5852 [CENTRAL COLLECTIONS UNIT.] 
           The commissioner of human services shall create and 
        maintain a central collections unit for the purpose of 
        receiving, processing, and disbursing payments, and for 
        maintaining a record of payments, in all cases in which: 
           (1) the state or county is a party; 
           (2) the state or county provides child support enforcement 
        services to a party; or 
           (3) payment is collected through income withholding. 
           The commissioner of human services may contract for 
        services to carry out these provisions, provided that the 
        commissioner first meets and negotiates with the affected 
        exclusive representatives. 
           Sec. 27.  [518.618] [CASE REVIEWER.] 
           The commissioner shall make a case reviewer available to 
        obligors and obligees.  The reviewer must be available to answer 
        questions concerning the collection process and to review the 
        collection activity taken.  A reviewer who reasonably believes 
        that a particular action being taken is unreasonable or unfair 
        may make recommendations to the commissioner and the applicable 
        county in regard to the collection action. 
           Sec. 28.  [518.6195] [COLLECTION; ARREARS ONLY.] 
           (a) Remedies available for the collection and enforcement 
        of support in this chapter and chapters 256, 257, and 518C also 
        apply to cases in which the child or children for whom support 
        is owed are emancipated and the obligor owes past support or has 
        an accumulated arrearage as of the date of the youngest child's 
        emancipation.  Child support arrearages under this section 
        include arrearages for child support, medical support, child 
        care, pregnancy and birth expenses, and unreimbursed medical 
        expenses as defined in section 518.171. 
           (b) This section applies retroactively to any support 
        arrearage that accrued on or before the date of enactment and to 
        all arrearages accruing after the date of enactment. 
           Sec. 29.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.64, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [MODIFICATION.] (a) The terms of an order 
        respecting maintenance or support may be modified upon a showing 
        of one or more of the following:  (1) substantially increased or 
        decreased earnings of a party; (2) substantially increased or 
        decreased need of a party or the child or children that are the 
        subject of these proceedings; (3) receipt of assistance under 
        sections 256.72 to 256.87 or 256B.01 to 256B.40; (4) a change in 
        the cost of living for either party as measured by the federal 
        bureau of statistics, any of which makes the terms unreasonable 
        and unfair; (5) extraordinary medical expenses of the child not 
        provided for under section 518.171; or (6) the addition of 
        work-related or education-related child care expenses of the 
        obligee or a substantial increase or decrease in existing 
        work-related or education-related child care expenses.  
           (b) It is presumed that there has been a substantial change 
        in circumstances under clause (1), (2), or (4) paragraph (a) and 
        the terms of a current support order shall be rebuttably 
        presumed to be unreasonable and unfair if: 
           (1) the application of the child support guidelines in 
        section 518.551, subdivision 5, to the current circumstances of 
        the parties results in a calculated court order that is at least 
        20 percent and at least $50 per month higher or lower than the 
        current support order.; 
           (2) the medical support provisions of the order established 
        under section 518.171 are not enforceable by the public 
        authority or the custodial parent; 
           (3) health coverage ordered under section 518.171 is not 
        available to the child for whom the order is established by the 
        parent ordered to provide; or 
           (4) the existing support obligation is in the form of a 
        statement of percentage and not a specific dollar amount.  
           (b) (c) On a motion for modification of maintenance, 
        including a motion for the extension of the duration of a 
        maintenance award, the court shall apply, in addition to all 
        other relevant factors, the factors for an award of maintenance 
        under section 518.552 that exist at the time of the motion.  On 
        a motion for modification of support, the court:  
           (1) shall apply section 518.551, subdivision 5, and shall 
        not consider the financial circumstances of each party's spouse, 
        if any; and 
           (2) shall not consider compensation received by a party for 
        employment in excess of a 40-hour work week, provided that the 
        party demonstrates, and the court finds, that: 
           (i) the excess employment began after entry of the existing 
        support order; 
           (ii) the excess employment is voluntary and not a condition 
        of employment; 
           (iii) the excess employment is in the nature of additional, 
        part-time employment, or overtime employment compensable by the 
        hour or fractions of an hour; 
           (iv) the party's compensation structure has not been 
        changed for the purpose of affecting a support or maintenance 
        obligation; 
           (v) in the case of an obligor, current child support 
        payments are at least equal to the guidelines amount based on 
        income not excluded under this clause; and 
           (vi) in the case of an obligor who is in arrears in child 
        support payments to the obligee, any net income from excess 
        employment must be used to pay the arrearages until the 
        arrearages are paid in full. 
           (c) (d) A modification of support or maintenance may be 
        made retroactive only with respect to any period during which 
        the petitioning party has pending a motion for modification but 
        only from the date of service of notice of the motion on the 
        responding party and on the public authority if public 
        assistance is being furnished or the county attorney is the 
        attorney of record.  However, modification may be applied to an 
        earlier period if the court makes express findings that:  
           (1) the party seeking modification was precluded from 
        serving a motion by reason of a significant physical or mental 
        disability, a material misrepresentation of another party, or 
        fraud upon the court and that the party seeking modification, 
        when no longer precluded, promptly served a motion; 
           (2) the party seeking modification was a recipient of 
        federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Title II Older 
        Americans, Survivor's Disability Insurance (OASDI), other 
        disability benefits, or public assistance based upon need during 
        the period for which retroactive modification is sought; or 
           (3) the order for which the party seeks amendment was 
        entered by default, the party shows good cause for not 
        appearing, and the record contains no factual evidence, or 
        clearly erroneous evidence regarding the individual obligor's 
        ability to pay.  
           The court may provide that a reduction in the amount 
        allocated for child care expenses based on a substantial 
        decrease in the expenses is effective as of the date the 
        expenses decreased. 
           (d) (e) Except for an award of the right of occupancy of 
        the homestead, provided in section 518.63, all divisions of real 
        and personal property provided by section 518.58 shall be final, 
        and may be revoked or modified only where the court finds the 
        existence of conditions that justify reopening a judgment under 
        the laws of this state, including motions under section 518.145, 
        subdivision 2.  The court may impose a lien or charge on the 
        divided property at any time while the property, or subsequently 
        acquired property, is owned by the parties or either of them, 
        for the payment of maintenance or support money, or may 
        sequester the property as is provided by section 518.24. 
           (e) (f) The court need not hold an evidentiary hearing on a 
        motion for modification of maintenance or support. 
           (f) (g) Section 518.14 shall govern the award of attorney 
        fees for motions brought under this subdivision. 
           Sec. 30.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.641, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [CONDITIONS.] No adjustment under this section 
        may be made unless the order provides for it and until the 
        following conditions are met:  
           (a) the obligee or public authority serves notice of its 
        the application for adjustment by mail on the obligor at the 
        obligor's last known address at least 20 days before the 
        effective date of the adjustment; 
           (b) the notice to the obligor informs the obligor of the 
        date on which the adjustment in payments will become effective; 
        and 
           (c) after receipt of notice and before the effective day of 
        the adjustment, the obligor fails to request a hearing on the 
        issue of whether the adjustment should take effect, and ex 
        parte, to stay imposition of the adjustment pending outcome of 
        the hearing; or 
           (d) the public authority sends notice of its application 
        for adjustment to the obligor at the obligor's last known 
        address at least 20 days before the effective date of the 
        adjustment, and the notice informs the obligor of the date on 
        which the adjustment will become effective and the procedures 
        for contesting the adjustment according to section 518.5512. 
           Sec. 31.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 609.375, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 7.  [CONDITIONS OF WORK RELEASE; PROBATION 
        VIOLATION.] Upon conviction under this section, a defendant may 
        obtain work release only upon the imposition of an automatic 
        income withholding order, and may be required to post a bond in 
        avoidance of jail time and conditioned upon payment of all child 
        support owed.  Nonpayment of child support is a violation of any 
        probation granted following conviction under subdivision 2a. 
           Sec. 32.  [INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS.] 
           The department of human services shall report to the chairs 
        of the judiciary committees in the house of representatives and 
        the senate by February 1, 1998, on the state's experience 
        including independent contractors for the state in the work 
        reporting system. 
           Sec. 33.  [CHILD SUPPORT ON-TIME PERFORMANCE BONUS 
        INCENTIVE PROGRAM.] 
           The commissioner shall develop a proposal for a bonus 
        incentive program to reward timeliness of child support service 
        delivery, including the establishment of orders, the 
        modification of orders, and the administrative process.  Special 
        emphasis must be given to cases where timely delivery of 
        services may divert families from public assistance or help 
        families exit public assistance with minimal loss of 
        time-limited public assistance benefits.  The proposal must 
        treat current federal law service delivery timelines as minimum 
        standards and reward county agencies that surpass the minimum 
        standards.  Other methods to enhance timely service delivery may 
        be considered.  The commissioner shall consult with public 
        assistance recipients and low-income nonpublic assistance 
        recipients in developing the proposal.  The commissioner shall 
        report and make recommendations to the legislature by January 
        15, 1998. 
           Sec. 34.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 609.375, subdivisions 3, 
        4, and 6, are repealed.  
           Sec. 35.  [EFFECTIVE DATES.] 
           Sections 16 and 25 are effective the day following final 
        enactment. 
                                   ARTICLE 2
                                   VISITATION
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.157, is 
        amended to read: 
           518.157 [ORIENTATION PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAM IN 
        PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING CHILDREN.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [IMPLEMENTATION; ADMINISTRATION.] By 
        January 1, 1998, the chief judge of each judicial district or a 
        designee shall implement one or more parent education programs 
        within the judicial district for the purpose of educating 
        parents about the impact that divorce, the restructuring of 
        families, and judicial proceedings have upon children and 
        families; methods for preventing visitation conflicts; and 
        dispute resolution options.  The chief judge of each judicial 
        district or a designee may require that children attend a 
        separate education program designed to deal with the impact of 
        divorce upon children as part of the parent education program.  
        Each parent education program must enable persons to have timely 
        and reasonable access to education sessions. 
           Subd. 2.  [MINIMUM STANDARDS; PLAN.] The Minnesota supreme 
        court should promulgate minimum standards for the implementation 
        and administration of a parent education program.  The chief 
        judge of each judicial district or a designee shall submit a 
        plan to the Minnesota conference of chief judges for their 
        approval that is designed to implement and administer a parent 
        education program in the judicial district.  The plan must be 
        consistent with the minimum standards promulgated by the 
        Minnesota supreme court. 
           Subd. 3.  [ATTENDANCE.] In a proceeding under this 
        chapter involving custody, support, or visitation of children, 
        the court may require the parties to or sections 257.51 to 
        257.75 where custody or visitation is contested, the parents of 
        a minor child shall attend an orientation and education 
        program regarding the proceedings and the impact on the children.
        that meets the minimum standards promulgated by the Minnesota 
        supreme court.  In all other proceedings involving custody, 
        support, or visitation the court may order the parents of a 
        minor child to attend a parent education program.  The program 
        shall provide the court with names of persons who fail to attend 
        the parent education program as ordered by the court.  Persons 
        who are separated or contemplating involvement in a dissolution, 
        paternity, custody, or visitation proceeding may attend a parent 
        education program without a court order.  Participation in a 
        parent education program must occur as early as possible.  
        Parent education programs must offer an opportunity to 
        participate at all phases of a pending or postdecree 
        proceeding.  Upon request of a party and a showing of good 
        cause, the court shall may excuse the party from attending the 
        program.  Parties may be required to pay a fee to cover the cost 
        of the program, except that if a party is entitled to proceed in 
        forma pauperis under section 563.01, the court shall waive the 
        fee or direct its payment under section 563.01.  If past or 
        present domestic abuse, as defined in chapter 518B, is alleged, 
        the court may shall not require the parties to attend the 
        same orientation session parent education sessions and shall 
        enter an order setting forth the manner in which the parties may 
        safely participate in the program. 
           Subd. 4.  [SANCTIONS.] The court may impose sanctions upon 
        a parent for failure to attend or complete a parent education 
        program as ordered. 
           Subd. 5.  [CONFIDENTIALITY.] Unless all parties agree in 
        writing, statements made by a party during participation in a 
        parent education program are inadmissible as evidence for any 
        purpose, including impeachment.  No record may be made regarding 
        a party's participation in a parent education program, except a 
        record of attendance at and completion of the program as 
        required under this section.  Instructors shall not disclose 
        information regarding an individual participant obtained as a 
        result of participation in a parent education program.  Parent 
        education instructors may not be subpoenaed or called as 
        witnesses in court proceedings. 
           Subd. 6.  [FEE.] Except as provided in this subdivision, 
        each person who attends a parent education program shall pay a 
        fee to defray the cost of the program.  A party who qualifies 
        for waiver of filing fees under section 563.01 is exempt from 
        paying the parent education program fee and the court shall 
        waive the fee or direct its payment under section 563.01.  
        Program providers shall implement a sliding fee scale. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.175, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [REMEDIES.] (a) The court may provide for one or 
        more of the following remedies for denial of or interference 
        with court-ordered visitation as provided under this 
        subdivision.  All visitation orders must include notice of the 
        provisions of this subdivision. 
           (b) If the court finds that a person has been wrongfully 
        deprived of the duly established right to court-ordered 
        visitation, the court shall order the custodial parent to permit 
        additional visits to compensate for the visitation of which the 
        person was deprived or the court shall make specific findings as 
        to why a request for compensatory visitation is denied.  If 
        compensatory visitation is awarded, additional visits must be: 
           (1) at least of the same type and duration as the 
        wrongfully denied deprived visit and, at the discretion of the 
        court, may be in excess of or of a different type than the 
        deprived visit; 
           (2) taken within one year after the wrongfully denied 
        deprived visit; and 
           (3) at a time acceptable to the person deprived of 
        visitation. 
           (c) If the court finds that a party has wrongfully failed 
        to comply with a visitation order or a binding agreement or 
        decision under section 518.1751, the court may: 
           (1) impose a civil penalty of up to $500 on the party; or 
           (2) require the party to post a bond with the court for a 
        specified period of time to secure the party's compliance.; 
           (3) award reasonable attorney's fees and costs; 
           (4) require the party who violated the visitation order or 
        binding agreement or decision of the visitation expeditor to 
        reimburse the other party for costs incurred as a result of the 
        violation of the order or agreement or decision; or 
           (5) award any other remedy that the court finds to be in 
        the best interests of the children involved. 
           A civil penalty imposed under this paragraph must be 
        deposited in the county general fund and must be used to fund 
        the costs of a visitation expeditor program in a county with 
        this program.  In other counties, the civil penalty must be 
        deposited in the state general fund. 
           (d) If the court finds that a party has been denied 
        visitation and has incurred expenses in connection with the 
        denied visitation, the court may require the party who denied 
        visitation to post a bond in favor of the other party in the 
        amount of prepaid expenses associated with an upcoming planned 
        visitation. 
           (e) Proof of an unwarranted denial of or interference with 
        duly established visitation may constitute contempt of court and 
        may be sufficient cause for reversal of custody. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.1751, is 
        amended to read: 
           518.1751 [VISITATION DISPUTE RESOLUTION.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [VISITATION EXPEDITOR.] (a) Upon request of 
        either party, the parties' stipulation, or upon the court's own 
        motion, the court may appoint a visitation expeditor to resolve 
        visitation disputes that occur under a visitation order while a 
        matter is pending under this chapter, chapter 257 or 518A, or 
        after a decree is entered.  Prior to appointing the visitation 
        expeditor, the court shall give the parties notice that the 
        costs of the visitation expeditor will be apportioned among the 
        parties and that if the parties do not reach an agreement, the 
        visitation expeditor will make a nonbinding decision resolving 
        the dispute. 
           Subd. 1a.  [EXCEPTIONS.] A party may not be required to 
        refer a visitation dispute to a visitation expeditor under this 
        section if: 
           (1) one of the parties claims to be the victim of domestic 
        abuse by the other party; 
           (2) the court determines there is probable cause that one 
        of the parties or a child of the parties has been physically 
        abused or threatened with physical abuse by the other party; or 
           (3) the party is unable to pay the costs of the expeditor, 
        as provided under subdivision 2a. 
           If the court is satisfied that the parties have been 
        advised by counsel and have agreed to use the visitation 
        expeditor process and the process does not involve face-to-face 
        meeting of the parties, the court may direct that the visitation 
        expeditor process be used. 
           Subd. 1b.  [PURPOSE; DEFINITIONS.] (a) The purpose of a 
        visitation expeditor is to resolve visitation disputes by 
        enforcing, interpreting, clarifying, and addressing 
        circumstances not specifically addressed by an existing 
        visitation order and, if appropriate, to make a determination as 
        to whether the existing visitation order has been violated.  A 
        visitation expeditor may be appointed to resolve a one-time 
        visitation dispute or to provide ongoing visitation dispute 
        resolution services. 
           (b) For purposes of this section, "visitation dispute" 
        means a disagreement among parties about visitation with a 
        child, including a dispute about an anticipated denial of a 
        future scheduled visit.  "Visitation dispute" includes a claim 
        by a custodial parent that a noncustodial parent is not visiting 
        a child as well as a claim by a noncustodial parent that a 
        custodial parent is denying or interfering with visitation. 
           (c) A "visitation expeditor" is a neutral person authorized 
        to use a mediation-arbitration process to resolve visitation 
        disputes.  A visitation expeditor shall attempt to resolve a 
        visitation dispute by facilitating negotiations between the 
        parties to promote settlement and, if it becomes apparent that 
        the dispute cannot be resolved by an agreement of the parties, 
        the visitation expeditor shall make a decision resolving the 
        dispute. 
           Subd. 2.  [APPOINTMENT; COSTS.] The court shall appoint the 
        visitation expeditor and indicate the term of the appointment.  
        If the parties cannot agree on a visitation expeditor, the court 
        shall present a list of candidates with one more candidate than 
        there are parties to the dispute.  In developing the list of 
        candidates, the court must give preference (a) The parties may 
        stipulate to the appointment of a visitation expeditor or a team 
        of two expeditors without appearing in court by submitting to 
        the court a written agreement identifying the names of the 
        individuals to be appointed by the court; the nature of the 
        dispute; the responsibilities of the visitation expeditor, 
        including whether the expeditor is appointed to resolve a 
        specific issue or on an ongoing basis; the term of the 
        appointment; and the apportionment of fees and costs.  The court 
        shall review the agreement of the parties.  
           (b) If the parties cannot agree on a visitation expeditor, 
        the court shall provide to the parties a copy of the court 
        administrator's roster of visitation expeditors and require the 
        parties to exchange the names of three potential visitation 
        expeditors by a specific date.  If after exchanging names the 
        parties are unable to agree upon a visitation expeditor, the 
        court shall select the visitation expeditor and, in its 
        discretion, may appoint one expeditor or a team of two 
        visitation expeditors.  In the selection process the court must 
        give consideration to the financial circumstances of the parties 
        and the fees of those being considered as visitation 
        expeditors.  Preference must be given to persons who agree to 
        volunteer their services or who will charge a variable fee for 
        services based on the ability of the parties to pay for 
        them.  Each party shall strike one name and the court shall 
        appoint the remaining individual as the visitation expeditor.  
        In its order appointing the visitation expeditor, the court 
        shall apportion the costs of the visitation expeditor among the 
        parties, with each party bearing the portion of costs that the 
        court determines is just and equitable under the circumstances.  
        If a party files a pro se motion regarding a visitation dispute 
        and there is not a court order that provides for apportionment 
        of the costs of an expeditor, the court administrator may 
        require the party requesting the appointment of an expeditor to 
        pay the costs of the expeditor in advance.  Neither party may be 
        required to submit a dispute to a visitation expeditor if the 
        party cannot afford to pay for the costs of an expeditor and an 
        affordable expeditor is not available, unless the other party 
        agrees to pay the costs.  After costs are incurred, a party may 
        by motion request that the costs be reapportioned on equitable 
        grounds.  The court may consider the resources of the parties, 
        the nature of the dispute, and whether a party acted in bad 
        faith.  The court may consider information from the expeditor in 
        determining bad faith. 
           (c) An order appointing a visitation expeditor must 
        identify the name of the individual to be appointed, the nature 
        of the dispute, the responsibilities of the visitation expeditor 
        including whether the expeditor is appointed to resolve a 
        specific issue or on an ongoing basis, the term of the 
        appointment, the apportionment of fees, and notice that if the 
        parties are unable to reach an agreement with the assistance of 
        the visitation expeditor, the visitation expeditor is authorized 
        to make a decision resolving the dispute which is binding upon 
        the parties unless modified or vacated by the court. 
           Subd. 2a.  [FEES.] Prior to appointing the visitation 
        expeditor, the court shall give the parties notice that the fees 
        of the visitation expeditor will be apportioned among the 
        parties.  In its order appointing the visitation expeditor, the 
        court shall apportion the fees of the visitation expeditor among 
        the parties, with each party bearing the portion of fees that 
        the court determines is just and equitable under the 
        circumstances.  If a party files a pro se motion regarding a 
        visitation dispute and there is not a court order that provides 
        for apportionment of the fees of an expeditor, the court 
        administrator may require the party requesting the appointment 
        of an expeditor to pay the fees of the expeditor in advance.  
        Neither party may be required to submit a dispute to a 
        visitation expeditor if the party cannot afford to pay for the 
        fees of an expeditor and an affordable expeditor is not 
        available, unless the other party agrees to pay the fees.  After 
        fees are incurred, a party may by motion request that the fees 
        be reapportioned on equitable grounds.  The court may consider 
        the resources of the parties, the nature of the dispute, and 
        whether a party acted in bad faith.  The court may consider 
        information from the expeditor in determining bad faith. 
           Subd. 2b.  [ROSTER OF VISITATION EXPEDITORS.] Each court 
        administrator shall maintain and make available to the public 
        and judicial officers a roster of individuals available to serve 
        as visitation expeditors, including each individual's name, 
        address, telephone number, and fee charged, if any.  A court 
        administrator shall not place on the roster the name of an 
        individual who has not completed the training required in 
        subdivision 2c.  If the use of a visitation expeditor is 
        initiated by stipulation of the parties, the parties may agree 
        upon a person to serve as a visitation expeditor even if that 
        person has not completed the training described in subdivision 
        2c.  The court may appoint a person to serve as a visitation 
        expeditor even if the person is not on the court administrator's 
        roster, but may not appoint a person who has not completed the 
        training described in subdivision 2c, unless so stipulated by 
        the parties.  To maintain one's listing on a court 
        administrator's roster of visitation expeditors, an individual 
        shall annually submit to the court administrator proof of 
        completion of continuing education requirements. 
           Subd. 2c.  [TRAINING AND CONTINUING EDUCATION 
        REQUIREMENTS.] To qualify for listing on a court administrator's 
        roster of visitation expeditors, an individual shall complete a 
        minimum of 40 hours of family mediation training that has been 
        certified by the Minnesota supreme court, which must include 
        certified training in domestic abuse issues as required under 
        Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice for the 
        District Courts.  To maintain one's listing on a court 
        administrator's roster of visitation expeditors, an individual 
        shall annually attend three hours of continuing education about 
        alternative dispute resolution subjects.  
           Subd. 3.  [AGREEMENT OR DECISION.] (a) If a visitation 
        dispute arises Within five days of notice of the appointment, or 
        within five days of notice of a subsequent visitation dispute 
        between the same parties, the visitation expeditor shall meet 
        with the parties together or separately within five days and 
        shall make a diligent effort to facilitate an agreement to 
        resolve the visitation dispute.  If a visitation dispute 
        requires immediate resolution, the visitation expeditor may 
        confer with the parties through a telephone conference or 
        similar means.  An expeditor may make a decision without 
        conferring with a party if the expeditor made a good faith 
        effort to confer with the party, but the party chose not to 
        participate in resolution of the dispute. 
           (b) If the parties do not reach an agreement, the expeditor 
        shall make a decision resolving the dispute as soon as possible 
        but not later than five days after receiving all information 
        necessary to make a decision and after the final meeting or 
        conference with the parties.  Resolution of a dispute may 
        include The visitation expeditor is authorized to award 
        compensatory visitation under section 518.175, subdivision 6., 
        and may recommend to the court that the noncomplying party pay 
        attorney's fees, court costs, and other costs under section 
        518.175, subdivision 6, paragraph (d), if the visitation order 
        has been violated.  The visitation expeditor shall not lose 
        authority to make a decision if circumstances beyond the 
        visitation expeditor's control make it impracticable to meet the 
        five-day timelines. 
           (c) Unless the parties mutually agree, the visitation 
        expeditor may shall not make a decision that modifies visitation 
        rights ordered by the court. is inconsistent with an existing 
        visitation order, but may make decisions interpreting or 
        clarifying a visitation order, including the development of a 
        specific schedule when the existing court order grants 
        "reasonable visitation."  
           (d) The expeditor shall put an agreement or decision in 
        writing, and provide a copy to the parties, and file a copy with 
        the court.  The visitation expeditor may include or omit reasons 
        for the agreement or decision.  An agreement of the parties or a 
        decision of the visitation expeditor is binding on the parties 
        unless vacated or modified by the court.  If a party does not 
        comply with an agreement of the parties or a decision of the 
        expeditor, any party may bring a motion with the court to 
        resolve the dispute and shall attach a copy of the parties' 
        written agreement or decision of the expeditor.  The court 
        may consider enforce, modify, or vacate the agreement of the 
        parties or the decision of the expeditor, but neither is binding 
        on the court. 
           Subd. 4.  [OTHER AGREEMENTS.] This section does not 
        preclude the parties from voluntarily agreeing to submit their 
        visitation dispute to a neutral third party or from otherwise 
        resolving visitation disputes on a voluntary basis. 
           Subd. 4a.  [CONFIDENTIALITY.] (a) Statements made and 
        documents produced as part of the visitation expeditor process 
        which are not otherwise discoverable are not subject to 
        discovery or other disclosure and are not admissible into 
        evidence for any purpose at trial or in any other proceeding, 
        including impeachment. 
           (b) Sworn testimony may be used in subsequent proceedings 
        for any purpose for which it is admissible under the rules of 
        evidence.  Visitation expeditors, and lawyers for the parties to 
        the extent of their participation in the visitation expeditor 
        process, must not be subpoenaed or called as witnesses in court 
        proceedings. 
           (c) Notes, records, and recollections of visitation 
        expeditors are confidential and must not be disclosed to the 
        parties, the public, or anyone other than the visitation 
        expeditor unless:  
           (1) all parties and the visitation expeditor agree in 
        writing to the disclosure; or 
           (2) disclosure is required by law or other applicable 
        professional codes. 
           Notes and records of visitation expeditors must not be 
        disclosed to the court unless after a hearing the court 
        determines that the notes or records should be reviewed in 
        camera.  Those notes or records must not be released by the 
        court unless it determines that they disclose information 
        showing illegal violation of the criminal law of the state. 
           Subd. 5.  [IMMUNITY.] A visitation expeditor is immune from 
        civil liability for actions taken or not taken when acting under 
        this section. 
           Subd. 5a.  [REMOVAL.] If a visitation expeditor has been 
        appointed on a long-term basis, a party or the visitation 
        expeditor may file a motion seeking to have the expeditor 
        removed for good cause shown. 
           Subd. 6.  [MANDATORY VISITATION DISPUTE RESOLUTION.] (a) 
        Subject to subdivision 7 1a, a judicial district may establish a 
        mandatory visitation dispute resolution program as provided in 
        this subdivision.  In a district where a program has been 
        established, parties may be required to submit visitation 
        disputes to a visitation expeditor as a prerequisite to a motion 
        on the dispute being heard by the court, or either party may 
        submit the dispute to a visitation expeditor.  A party may file 
        a motion with the court for purposes of obtaining a court date, 
        if necessary, but a hearing may not be held until resolution of 
        the dispute with the visitation expeditor.  The appointment of a 
        visitation expeditor must be in accordance with subdivision 2.  
        Visitation expeditor fees must be paid in accordance with 
        subdivision 2a. 
           (b) If a visitation expeditor has not been previously 
        appointed for the parties under subdivision 1 and the parties 
        cannot agree on a visitation expeditor, the court or court 
        administrator shall appoint a visitation expeditor from a list 
        of candidates established by the judicial district, giving 
        preference to candidates who agree to volunteer their services 
        or charge a variable fee based on the ability of the parties to 
        pay. 
           (c) Notwithstanding subdivision 1, an agreement of the 
        parties or decision of the visitation expeditor under this 
        subdivision is binding on the parties unless vacated or modified 
        by the court.  The expeditor shall put the agreement or decision 
        in writing, provide a copy to the parties, and file a copy with 
        the court.  The court may consider the agreement of the parties 
        or the decision of the expeditor, but neither is binding on the 
        court.  
           Subd. 7.  [EXCEPTIONS.] A party may not be required to 
        refer a visitation dispute to a visitation expeditor under this 
        section if: 
           (1) the party has obtained an order for protection under 
        chapter 518B against the other party; or 
           (2) the party is unable to pay the costs of the expeditor, 
        as provided under subdivision 2. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.179, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [SEEKING CUSTODY OR VISITATION.] 
        Notwithstanding any contrary provision in section 518.17 or 
        518.175, if a person seeking child custody or visitation has 
        been convicted of a crime described in subdivision 2, the person 
        seeking custody or visitation has the burden to prove that 
        custody or visitation by that person is in the best interests of 
        the child if: 
           (1) the conviction occurred within the preceding five 
        years; 
           (2) the person is currently incarcerated, on probation, or 
        under supervised release for the offense; or 
           (3) the victim of the crime was a family or household 
        member as defined in section 518B.01, subdivision 2.  
           If this section applies, the court may not grant custody or 
        visitation to the person unless it finds that the custody or 
        visitation is in the best interests of the child.  If the victim 
        of the crime was a family or household member, the standard of 
        proof is clear and convincing evidence.  A guardian ad litem 
        must be appointed in any case where this section applies. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.195, is 
        amended to read: 
           518.195 [PILOT PROJECT SUMMARY DISSOLUTION PROCESS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [CRITERIA.] In the counties selected under 
        subdivision 4, A couple desirous of dissolving their marriage 
        may use the streamlined procedure in this section if: 
           (1) no living minor children have been born to or adopted 
        by the parties before or during the marriage, unless someone 
        other than the husband has been adjudicated the father; 
           (2) the wife is not pregnant; 
           (3) they have been married fewer than five eight years as 
        of the date they file their joint declaration; 
           (4) neither party owns any real estate; 
           (5) there are no unpaid debts in excess of $5,000 $8,000 
        incurred by either or both of the parties during the marriage, 
        excluding encumbrances on automobiles; 
           (6) the total fair market value of the marital assets does 
        not exceed $25,000, including net equity on automobiles; 
           (7) neither party has nonmarital assets in excess of 
        $25,000; and 
           (8) neither party has been a victim of domestic abuse by 
        the other. 
           Subd. 2.  [PROCEDURE.] A couple qualifying under all of the 
        criteria in subdivision 1, may obtain a judgment and decree by: 
           (1) filing a sworn joint declaration, on which both of 
        their signatures must be notarized, containing or appending the 
        following information: 
           (i) the demographic data required in section 518.10; 
           (ii) verifying the qualifications set forth in subdivision 
        1; 
           (iii) listing each party's nonmarital property; 
           (iv) setting forth how the marital assets and debts will be 
        apportioned; 
           (v) verifying both parties' income and preserving their 
        rights to spousal maintenance; and 
           (vi) certifying that there has been no domestic abuse of 
        one party by the other; and 
           (2) viewing any introductory and summary process 
        educational videotapes, if then available from the court, and 
        certifying that they watched any such tapes within the 30 days 
        preceding the filing of the joint declaration. 
           The district court administrator shall enter a decree of 
        dissolution 30 days after the filing of the joint declaration if 
        the parties meet the statutory qualifications and have complied 
        with the procedural requirements of this subdivision. 
           Subd. 3.  [FORMS.] The state court administrator shall 
        develop simplified forms and instructions for the summary 
        process within 120 days of July 1, 1991.  District court 
        administrators shall make the forms for the summary process 
        available upon request and shall accept joint declarations for 
        filing 180 days after July 1, 1991 on and after July 1, 1997. 
           Subd. 4.  [PILOT PROGRAM.] The state court administrator 
        shall designate no more than five counties in at least three 
        different judicial districts as pilot jurisdictions for testing 
        the streamlined process.  District court administrators shall 
        make the forms for the summary process available upon request to 
        appropriate residents of the pilot jurisdictions. 
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.68, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [CONTENTS.] The required notices must be 
        substantially as follows: 
                                IMPORTANT NOTICE 
        1.  PAYMENTS TO PUBLIC AGENCY 
           Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 518.551, 
           subdivision 1, payments ordered for maintenance and support 
           must be paid to the public agency responsible for child 
           support enforcement as long as the person entitled to 
           receive the payments is receiving or has applied for public 
           assistance or has applied for support and maintenance 
           collection services.  MAIL PAYMENTS TO: 
        2.  DEPRIVING ANOTHER OF CUSTODIAL OR PARENTAL RIGHTS -- A 
        FELONY 
           A person may be charged with a felony who conceals a minor 
           child or takes, obtains, retains, or fails to return a 
           minor child from or to the child's parent (or person with 
           custodial or visitation rights), pursuant to Minnesota 
           Statutes, section 609.26.  A copy of that section is 
           available from any district court clerk. 
        3.  RULES OF SUPPORT, MAINTENANCE, VISITATION 
           (a) Payment of support or spousal maintenance is to be as 
           ordered, and the giving of gifts or making purchases of 
           food, clothing, and the like will not fulfill the 
           obligation. 
           (b) Payment of support must be made as it becomes due, and 
           failure to secure or denial of rights of visitation is NOT 
           an excuse for nonpayment, but the aggrieved party must seek 
           relief through a proper motion filed with the court. 
           (c) Nonpayment of support is not grounds to deny 
           visitation.  The party entitled to receive support may 
           apply for support and collection services, file a contempt 
           motion, or obtain a judgment as provided in Minnesota 
           Statutes, section 548.091.  
           (d) The payment of support or spousal maintenance takes 
           priority over payment of debts and other obligations. 
           (e) A party who accepts additional obligations of support 
           does so with the full knowledge of the party's prior 
           obligation under this proceeding. 
           (f) Child support or maintenance is based on annual income, 
           and it is the responsibility of a person with seasonal 
           employment to budget income so that payments are made 
           throughout the year as ordered. 
           (g) If there is a layoff or a pay reduction, support may be 
           reduced as of the time of the layoff or pay reduction if a 
           motion to reduce the support is served and filed with the 
           court at that time, but any such reduction must be ordered 
           by the court.  The court is not permitted to reduce support 
           retroactively, except as provided in Minnesota Statutes, 
           section 518.64, subdivision 2, paragraph (c).  
           (h) Reasonable visitation guidelines are contained in 
           Appendix B, which is available from the court administrator.
        4.  PARENTAL RIGHTS FROM MINNESOTA STATUTES, SECTION 518.17, 
        SUBDIVISION 3 
           Unless otherwise provided by the Court: 
           (a) Each party has the right of access to, and to receive 
           copies of, school, medical, dental, religious training, and 
           other important records and information about the minor 
           children.  Each party has the right of access to 
           information regarding health or dental insurance available 
           to the minor children.  Presentation of a copy of this 
           order to the custodian of a record or other information 
           about the minor children constitutes sufficient 
           authorization for the release of the record or information 
           to the requesting party. 
           (b) Each party shall keep the other informed as to the name 
           and address of the school of attendance of the minor 
           children.  Each party has the right to be informed by 
           school officials about the children's welfare, educational 
           progress and status, and to attend school and parent 
           teacher conferences.  The school is not required to hold a 
           separate conference for each party. 
           (c) In case of an accident or serious illness of a minor 
           child, each party shall notify the other party of the 
           accident or illness, and the name of the health care 
           provider and the place of treatment. 
           (d) Each party has the right of reasonable access and 
           telephone contact with the minor children. 
        5.  WAGE AND INCOME DEDUCTION OF SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE 
           Child support and/or spousal maintenance may be withheld 
           from income, with or without notice to the person obligated 
           to pay, when the conditions of Minnesota Statutes, sections 
           518.611 and 518.613, have been met.  A copy of those 
           sections is available from any district court clerk. 
        6.  CHANGE OF ADDRESS OR RESIDENCE 
           Unless otherwise ordered, the person responsible to make 
           support or maintenance payments shall notify the person 
           entitled to receive the payment and the public authority 
           responsible for collection, if applicable, of a change of 
           address or residence within 60 days of the address or 
           residence change. 
        7.  COST OF LIVING INCREASE OF SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE 
           Child support and/or spousal maintenance may be adjusted 
           every two years based upon a change in the cost of living 
           (using Department of Labor Consumer Price Index .........., 
           unless otherwise specified in this order) when the 
           conditions of Minnesota Statutes, section 518.641, are met. 
           Cost of living increases are compounded.  A copy of 
           Minnesota Statutes, section 518.641, and forms necessary to 
           request or contest a cost of living increase are available 
           from any district court clerk. 
        8.  JUDGMENTS FOR UNPAID SUPPORT 
           If a person fails to make a child support payment, the 
           payment owed becomes a judgment against the person 
           responsible to make the payment by operation of law on or 
           after the date the payment is due, and the person entitled 
           to receive the payment or the public agency may obtain 
           entry and docketing of the judgment WITHOUT NOTICE to the 
           person responsible to make the payment under Minnesota 
           Statutes, section 548.091.  Interest begins to accrue on a 
           payment or installment of child support whenever the unpaid 
           amount due is greater than the current support due, 
           pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 548.091, 
           subdivision 1a.  
        9.  JUDGMENTS FOR UNPAID MAINTENANCE 
           A judgment for unpaid spousal maintenance may be entered 
           when the conditions of Minnesota Statutes, section 548.091, 
           are met.  A copy of that section is available from any 
           district court clerk. 
        10.  ATTORNEY FEES AND COLLECTION COSTS FOR ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD 
        SUPPORT 
           A judgment for attorney fees and other collection costs 
           incurred in enforcing a child support order will be entered 
           against the person responsible to pay support when the 
           conditions of section 518.14, subdivision 2, are met.  A 
           copy of section 518.14 and forms necessary to request or 
           contest these attorney fees and collection costs are 
           available from any district court clerk. 
        11.  VISITATION EXPEDITOR PROCESS 
           On request of either party or on its own motion, the court 
           may appoint a visitation expeditor to resolve visitation 
           disputes under Minnesota Statutes, section 518.1751.  A 
           copy of that section and a description of the expeditor 
           process is available from any district court clerk. 
        12.  VISITATION REMEDIES AND PENALTIES 
           Remedies and penalties for the wrongful denial of 
           visitation rights are available under Minnesota Statutes, 
           section 518.175, subdivision 6.  These include compensatory 
           visitation; civil penalties; bond requirements; contempt; 
           and reversal of custody.  A copy of that subdivision and 
           forms for requesting relief are available from any district 
           court clerk. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 519.05, is 
        amended to read: 
           519.05 [LIABILITY OF HUSBAND AND WIFE.] 
           (a) A spouse is not liable to a creditor for any debts of 
        the other spouse, except for necessaries furnished to the other 
        after marriage, where the spouse would be liable at common law. 
        Where husband and wife are living together, they shall be 
        jointly and severally liable for all necessary household 
        articles and supplies furnished to and used by the family.  
        Notwithstanding this paragraph, in a proceeding under chapter 
        518 the court may apportion such debt between the spouses. 
           (b) Either spouse may close a credit card account or other 
        unsecured consumer line of credit on which both spouses are 
        contractually liable, by giving written notice to the creditor. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 626.556, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [DEFINITIONS.] As used in this section, the 
        following terms have the meanings given them unless the specific 
        content indicates otherwise: 
           (a) "Sexual abuse" means the subjection of a child by a 
        person responsible for the child's care, by a person who has a 
        significant relationship to the child, as defined in section 
        609.341, or by a person in a position of authority, as defined 
        in section 609.341, subdivision 10, to any act which constitutes 
        a violation of section 609.342, 609.343, 609.344, or 609.345.  
        Sexual abuse also includes any act which involves a minor which 
        constitutes a violation of sections 609.321 to 609.324 or 
        617.246.  Sexual abuse includes threatened sexual abuse.  
           (b) "Person responsible for the child's care" means (1) an 
        individual functioning within the family unit and having 
        responsibilities for the care of the child such as a parent, 
        guardian, or other person having similar care responsibilities, 
        or (2) an individual functioning outside the family unit and 
        having responsibilities for the care of the child such as a 
        teacher, school administrator, or other lawful custodian of a 
        child having either full-time or short-term care 
        responsibilities including, but not limited to, day care, 
        babysitting whether paid or unpaid, counseling, teaching, and 
        coaching.  
           (c) "Neglect" means failure by a person responsible for a 
        child's care to supply a child with necessary food, clothing, 
        shelter or medical care when reasonably able to do so, failure 
        to protect a child from conditions or actions which imminently 
        and seriously endanger the child's physical or mental health 
        when reasonably able to do so, or failure to take steps to 
        ensure that a child is educated in accordance with state law. 
        Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that a child 
        is neglected solely because the child's parent, guardian, or 
        other person responsible for the child's care in good faith 
        selects and depends upon spiritual means or prayer for treatment 
        or care of disease or remedial care of the child in lieu of 
        medical care; except that a parent, guardian, or caretaker, or a 
        person mandated to report pursuant to subdivision 3, has a duty 
        to report if a lack of medical care may cause serious danger to 
        the child's health.  This section does not impose upon persons, 
        not otherwise legally responsible for providing a child with 
        necessary food, clothing, shelter, education, or medical care, a 
        duty to provide that care. Neglect includes prenatal exposure to 
        a controlled substance, as defined in section 253B.02, 
        subdivision 2, used by the mother for a nonmedical purpose, as 
        evidenced by withdrawal symptoms in the child at birth, results 
        of a toxicology test performed on the mother at delivery or the 
        child at birth, or medical effects or developmental delays 
        during the child's first year of life that medically indicate 
        prenatal exposure to a controlled substance.  Neglect also means 
        "medical neglect" as defined in section 260.015, subdivision 2a, 
        clause (5). 
           (d) "Physical abuse" means any physical or mental injury, 
        or threatened injury, inflicted by a person responsible for the 
        child's care on a child other than by accidental means, or any 
        physical or mental injury that cannot reasonably be explained by 
        the child's history of injuries, or any aversive and deprivation 
        procedures that have not been authorized under section 245.825.  
           (e) "Report" means any report received by the local welfare 
        agency, police department, or county sheriff pursuant to this 
        section. 
           (f) "Facility" means a day care facility, residential 
        facility, agency, hospital, sanitarium, or other facility or 
        institution required to be licensed pursuant to sections 144.50 
        to 144.58, 241.021, or 245A.01 to 245A.16.  
           (g) "Operator" means an operator or agency as defined in 
        section 245A.02.  
           (h) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of human services.
           (i) "Assessment" includes authority to interview the child, 
        the person or persons responsible for the child's care, the 
        alleged perpetrator, and any other person with knowledge of the 
        abuse or neglect for the purpose of gathering the facts, 
        assessing the risk to the child, and formulating a plan.  
           (j) "Practice of social services," for the purposes of 
        subdivision 3, includes but is not limited to employee 
        assistance counseling and the provision of guardian ad litem and 
        visitation expeditor services.  
           (k) "Mental injury" means an injury to the psychological 
        capacity or emotional stability of a child as evidenced by an 
        observable or substantial impairment in the child's ability to 
        function within a normal range of performance and behavior with 
        due regard to the child's culture.  
           (l) "Threatened injury" means a statement, overt act, 
        condition, or status that represents a substantial risk of 
        physical or sexual abuse or mental injury. 
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 631.52, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [SUSPENSION OF VISITATION RIGHTS; TRANSFER 
        OF CUSTODY.] (a) If a person who has court-ordered custody of a 
        child or visitation rights is convicted of a crime listed in 
        subdivision 2 and if no action is pending regarding custody or 
        visitation, the sentencing court shall refer the matter to the 
        appropriate family court for action under this section.  The 
        family court shall: 
           (1) grant temporary custody to the noncustodial parent, 
        unless it finds that another custody arrangement is in the best 
        interests of the child; or 
           (2) suspend visitation rights, unless it finds that 
        visitation with the convicted person is in the best interests of 
        the child. 
           The family court shall expedite proceedings under this 
        section.  The defendant has the burden of proving that continued 
        custody or visitation with the defendant is in the best 
        interests of the child.  If the victim of the crime was a family 
        or household member as defined in section 518B.01, subdivision 
        2, the standard of proof is clear and convincing evidence.  A 
        guardian ad litem must be appointed in any case to which this 
        section applies.  
           (b) If a person who has child custody or visitation rights 
        was convicted of a crime listed in subdivision 2 before July 1, 
        1990, then any interested party may petition the sentencing 
        court for relief under paragraph (a) if: 
           (1) the defendant is currently incarcerated, on probation, 
        or under supervised release for the offense; or 
           (2) the victim of the crime was a family or household 
        member as defined in section 518B.01, subdivision 2.  
           Sec. 10.  [COOPERATION FOR THE CHILDREN PROGRAM.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [ESTABLISHMENT; PILOT PROJECT.] Within the 
        limits of funding provided, by January 1, 1998, the state court 
        administrator shall develop and implement a cooperation for the 
        children program as a 24-month pilot project in at least two 
        counties as an effort to promote parental relationships with 
        children.  The state court administrator may allow additional 
        counties to participate in the pilot project if those counties 
        provide their own funding or if other funding becomes 
        available.  The provisions of Minnesota Statutes, section 
        518.1751, subdivision 6, pertaining to mandatory visitation 
        dispute resolution programs, do not apply to counties 
        participating in the cooperation for the children program pilot 
        project. 
           Subd. 2.  [PARTICIPATION.] (a) Except as provided in this 
        subdivision, in cases where visitation is the sole issue in 
        conflict, the person seeking relief in regard to a visitation 
        dispute must first seek assistance from the cooperation for the 
        children program before filing with the court or serving upon 
        the other party a motion requesting a court hearing. 
           (b) An individual who submits to the program proof that the 
        person has used, or in good faith has attempted to use, the 
        services of a visitation expeditor or mediator or other 
        alternative dispute resolution process to resolve the visitation 
        dispute may, upon request to the program, be exempted from 
        mandatory participation in the cooperation for the children 
        program and the person may seek assistance from the court by 
        filing a motion requesting a hearing. 
           (c) In cases where visitation is not the only issue in 
        conflict, the person seeking relief may either file with the 
        court a motion seeking resolution of all issues or may seek 
        resolution of the visitation issue with the cooperation for the 
        children program and resolution of the other issues with the 
        court.  In cases where the person seeking relief chooses to 
        proceed in court, the court may determine whether the 
        nonvisitation issues are or are not valid.  If the court 
        determines that the nonvisitation issues are not valid or that 
        the nonvisitation issues were raised for the purpose of avoiding 
        participation in the cooperation for the children program, the 
        court may order the parties to participate in the cooperation 
        for the children program or may resolve the dispute if both 
        parties are present. 
           Subd. 3.  [FEE.] Except as provided in this subdivision, a 
        person who participates in the cooperation for the children 
        program shall pay a fee to defray the cost of the program.  A 
        party who qualifies for waiver of filing fees under Minnesota 
        Statutes, section 563.01, is exempt from paying the program fee 
        and the court shall waive the fee or direct its payment under 
        Minnesota Statutes, section 563.01.  Program providers shall 
        implement a sliding fee scale. 
           Subd. 4.  [EVALUATION.] By December 15, 1999, the state 
        court administrator shall submit to the legislature a report 
        evaluating the cooperation for the children program pilot 
        project based on at least 12 months of data from the project. 
           Sec. 11.  [FEDERAL FUNDS FOR VISITATION AND ACCESS.] 
           The commissioner of human services may accept on behalf of 
        the state any federal funding received under Public Law Number 
        104-193 for access and visitation programs, and shall transfer 
        these funds to the state court administrator for the cooperation 
        for the children pilot project and the parent education program 
        under Minnesota Statutes, section 518.571. 
           Sec. 12.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256.996, is repealed. 
           Sec. 13.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Section 11 is effective the day following final enactment. 
                                   ARTICLE 3 
                      TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING AMENDMENTS  
           Section 1.  1997 S.F. No. 1908, article 6, section 3, 
        subdivision 1, if enacted, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] The definitions in this 
        subdivision apply to this section. 
           (a) "Account" means a demand deposit account, checking or 
        negotiable withdraw order account, savings account, time deposit 
        account, or money market mutual fund. 
           (b) "Account information" means the type of account, the 
        account number, whether the account is singly or jointly owned, 
        and in the case of jointly owned accounts the name and address 
        of the nonobligor account owner if available. 
           (c) "Financial institution" means any of the following that 
        do business within the state: 
           (1) federal or state commercial banks and federal or state 
        savings banks, including savings and loan associations and 
        cooperative banks; 
           (2) federal and state chartered credit unions; 
           (3) benefit associations; 
           (4) life insurance companies; 
           (5) safe deposit companies; and 
           (6) money market mutual funds. 
           (d) "Obligor" means an individual who is in arrears in 
        court-ordered child support or maintenance payments, or both, in 
        an amount equal to or greater than three times the obligor's 
        total monthly support and maintenance payments, and is not in 
        compliance with a written payment agreement regarding both 
        current support and arrearages approved by the court, an 
        administrative law judge, or the public authority.  
           (e) "Public authority" means the public authority 
        responsible for child support enforcement. 
           Sec. 2.  1997 S.F. No. 1908, article 6, section 3, 
        subdivision 4, if enacted, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [METHOD TO PROVIDE DATA.] To comply with the 
        requirements of this section, a financial institution may either:
           (1) provide to the public authority a list containing only 
        the names and other necessary personal identifying information 
        of all account holders for the public authority to compare 
        against its list of child support obligors for the purpose of 
        identifying which obligors maintain an account at the financial 
        institution; the names of the obligors who maintain an account 
        at the institution shall then be transmitted to the financial 
        institution which shall provide the public authority with 
        account information on those obligors; or 
           (2) obtain a list of child support obligors from the public 
        authority and compare that data to the data maintained at the 
        financial institution to identify which of the identified 
        obligors maintains an account at the financial institution. 
           A financial institution shall elect either method in 
        writing upon written request of the public authority, and the 
        election remains in effect unless the public authority agrees in 
        writing to a change. 
           The commissioner shall keep track of the number of 
        financial institutions that elect to report under clauses (1) 
        and (2) respectively and shall report this information to the 
        legislature by December 1, 1999. 
           Sec. 3.  1997 S.F. No. 1908, article 6, section 3, 
        subdivision 6, if enacted, is amended to read:  
           Subd. 6.  [ACCESS TO DATA.] (a) With regard to account 
        information on all account holders provided by a financial 
        institution under subdivision 4, clause (1), the commissioner of 
        human services shall retain the reported information only until 
        the account information is compared against the public 
        authority's obligor database.  Notwithstanding section 138.17, 
        all account information that does not pertain to an obligor 
        listed in the public authority's database must be immediately 
        discarded, and no retention or publication may be made of that 
        data by the public authority.  All account information that does 
        pertain to an obligor listed in the public authority's database 
        must be incorporated into the public authority's database.  
        Access to that data is governed by chapter 13.  Notwithstanding 
        section 16D.06, data collected pursuant to this chapter is 
        available for the collection of child support debt only and is 
        not available for other debt collection activities undertaken by 
        the state under chapter 16D. 
           (b) With regard to data on obligors provided by the public 
        authority to a financial institution under subdivision 4, clause 
        (2), the financial institution shall retain the reported 
        information only until the financial institution's database is 
        compared against the public authority's database.  Data that do 
        not pertain to an account holder at the financial institution 
        must be immediately discarded, and no retention or publication 
        may be made of that data by the financial institution. 
           Sec. 4.  1997 S.F. No. 1908, article 6, section 3, 
        subdivision 10, if enacted, is amended to read:  
           Subd. 10.  [CIVIL ACTION FOR UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE BY 
        FINANCIAL INSTITUTION.] (a) An account holder may bring a civil 
        action in district court against a financial institution for 
        unauthorized disclosure of data received from the public 
        authority under subdivision 4, clause (2).  A financial 
        institution found to have violated this subdivision shall be 
        liable as provided in paragraph (b) or (c). 
           (b) Any financial institution that willfully and 
        maliciously discloses data received from the public authority 
        under subdivision 4 is liable to that account holder in an 
        amount equal to the sum of: 
           (1) any actual damages sustained by the consumer account 
        holder as a result of the disclosure; and 
           (2) in the case of any successful action to enforce any 
        liability under this section, the costs of the action taken plus 
        reasonable attorney's fees as determined by the court. 
           (c) Any financial institution that negligently discloses 
        data received from the public authority under subdivision 4 is 
        liable to that account holder in an amount equal to any actual 
        damages sustained by the account holder as a result of the 
        disclosure. 
           (d) A financial institution may not be held liable in any 
        action brought under this subdivision if the financial 
        institution shows, by a preponderance of evidence, that the 
        disclosure was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide 
        error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably 
        adapted adopted to avoid any error. 
           Sec. 5.  1997 S.F. No. 1908, article 6, section 5, 
        subdivision 4, if enacted, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [EFFECT OF ASSIGNMENT.] Assignments in this 
        section take effect upon a determination that the applicant is 
        eligible for public assistance.  The amount of support assigned 
        under this subdivision may not exceed the total amount of public 
        assistance issued or the total support obligation, whichever is 
        less.  Child care support collections made pursuant to an 
        assignment under subdivision 2, paragraph (c), must be 
        transferred, subject to any limitations of federal law, from the 
        commissioner of human services to the commissioner of children, 
        families, and learning and dedicated to the child care fund 
        under chapter 119B.  These collections are in addition to state 
        and federal funds appropriated to the child care fund.  
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256.978, 
        subdivision 2, as amended by 1997 S.F. No. 1908, article 6, 
        section 12, if enacted, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [ACCESS TO INFORMATION.] (a) A request for 
        information by the public authority responsible for child 
        support of this state or any other state may be made to: 
           (1) employers when there is reasonable cause to believe 
        that the subject of the inquiry is or was an employee or 
        independent contractor of the employer.  Information to be 
        released by employers of employees is limited to place of 
        residence, employment status, wage or payment information, 
        benefit information, and social security number.  Information to 
        be released by employers of independent contractors is limited 
        to place of residence or address, contract status, payment 
        information, benefit information, and social security number or 
        identification number; 
           (2) utility companies when there is reasonable cause to 
        believe that the subject of the inquiry is or was a retail 
        customer of the utility company.  Customer information to be 
        released by utility companies is limited to place of residence, 
        home telephone, work telephone, source of income, employer and 
        place of employment, and social security number; 
           (3) insurance companies when there is reasonable cause to 
        believe that the subject of the inquiry is or was receiving 
        funds either in the form of a lump sum or periodic payments.  
        Information to be released by insurance companies is limited to 
        place of residence, home telephone, work telephone, employer, 
        social security number, and amounts and type of payments made to 
        the subject of the inquiry; 
           (4) labor organizations when there is reasonable cause to 
        believe that the subject of the inquiry is or was a member of 
        the labor association.  Information to be released by labor 
        associations is limited to place of residence, home telephone, 
        work telephone, social security number, and current and past 
        employment information; and 
           (5) financial institutions when there is reasonable cause 
        to believe that the subject of the inquiry has or has had 
        accounts, stocks, loans, certificates of deposits, treasury 
        bills, life insurance policies, or other forms of financial 
        dealings with the institution.  Information to be released by 
        the financial institution is limited to place of residence, home 
        telephone, work telephone, identifying information on the type 
        of financial relationships, social security number, current 
        value of financial relationships, and current indebtedness of 
        the subject with the financial institution. 
           (b) For purposes of this subdivision, utility companies 
        include telephone companies, radio common carriers, and 
        telecommunications carriers as defined in section 237.01, and 
        companies that provide electrical, telephone, natural gas, 
        propane gas, oil, coal, or cable television services to retail 
        customers.  The term financial institution includes banks, 
        savings and loans, credit unions, brokerage firms, mortgage 
        companies, insurance companies, benefit associations, safe 
        deposit companies, money market mutual funds, or similar 
        entities authorized to do business in the state. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 256.998, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [DUTY TO REPORT.] Employers doing business in 
        this state shall report to the commissioner of human services 
        the hiring of any employee who resides or works in this state to 
        whom the employer anticipates paying earnings.  Employers shall 
        submit reports required under this subdivision within 15 20 
        calendar days of the date of hiring of the employee. 
           Employers are not required to report the hiring of any 
        person who will be employed for less than two months' duration; 
        and will have gross earnings less than $250 per month.  
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 257.75, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [ACTION TO VACATE RECOGNITION.] An action to 
        vacate a recognition of paternity may be brought by the mother, 
        father, husband or former husband who executed a joinder, or the 
        child.  An action to vacate a recognition of parentage may be 
        brought by the public authority.  A mother, father, or husband 
        or former husband who executed a joinder must bring the action 
        within one year of the execution of the recognition or within 
        six months after the person bringing the action obtains the 
        results of blood or genetic tests that indicate that the man who 
        executed the recognition is not the father of the child.  A 
        child must bring an action to vacate within six months after the 
        child obtains the result of blood or genetic tests that indicate 
        that the man who executed the recognition is not the father of 
        the child, or within one year of reaching the age of majority, 
        whichever is later.  If the court finds a prima facie basis for 
        vacating the recognition, the court shall order the child, 
        mother, father, and husband or former husband who executed a 
        joinder to submit to blood tests.  If the court issues an order 
        for the taking of blood tests, the court shall require the party 
        seeking to vacate the recognition to make advance payment for 
        the costs of the blood tests.  If the party fails to pay for the 
        costs of the blood tests, the court shall dismiss the action to 
        vacate with prejudice.  The court may also order the party 
        seeking to vacate the recognition to pay the other party's 
        reasonable attorney fees, costs, and disbursements.  If the 
        results of the blood tests establish that the man who executed 
        the recognition is not the father, the court shall vacate the 
        recognition.  If a recognition is vacated, any joinder in the 
        recognition under subdivision 1a is also vacated.  The court 
        shall terminate the obligation of a party to pay ongoing child 
        support based on the recognition.  A modification of child 
        support based on a recognition may be made retroactive with 
        respect to any period during which the moving party has pending 
        a motion to vacate the recognition but only from the date of 
        service of notice of the motion on the responding party.  
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.54, 
        subdivision 6, as amended by 1997 S.F. No. 1908, article 6, 
        section 41, if enacted, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [INCOME.] (a) "Income" means any form of periodic 
        payment to an individual including, but not limited to, wages, 
        salaries, payments to an independent contractor, workers' 
        compensation, reemployment insurance, annuity, military and 
        naval retirement, pension and disability payments.  Benefits 
        received under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act are not 
        income under this section. 
           (b) Income also includes nonperiodic distributions of 
        workers' compensation claims, reemployment claims, personal 
        injury recoveries for lost wages or salary, proceeds from a 
        lawsuit for lost wages or salary, severance pay, and bonuses. 
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.551, 
        subdivision 12, as amended by 1997 S.F. No. 1908, article 6, 
        section 42, if enacted, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 12.  [OCCUPATIONAL LICENSE SUSPENSION.] (a) Upon 
        motion of an obligee, if the court finds that the obligor is or 
        may be licensed by a licensing board listed in section 214.01 or 
        other state, county, or municipal agency or board that issues an 
        occupational license and the obligor is in arrears in 
        court-ordered child support or maintenance payments or both in 
        an amount equal to or greater than three times the obligor's 
        total monthly support and maintenance payments and is not in 
        compliance with a written payment agreement regarding both 
        current support and arrearages approved by the court, an 
        administrative law judge, or the public authority, the 
        administrative law judge, or the court shall direct the 
        licensing board or other licensing agency to suspend the license 
        under section 214.101.  The court's order must be stayed for 90 
        days in order to allow the obligor to execute a written payment 
        agreement regarding both current support and arrearages.  The 
        payment agreement must be approved by either the court or the 
        public authority responsible for child support enforcement.  If 
        the obligor has not executed or is not in compliance with a 
        written payment agreement regarding both current support and 
        arrearages after the 90 days expires, the court's order becomes 
        effective.  If the obligor is a licensed attorney, the court 
        shall report the matter to the lawyers professional 
        responsibility board for appropriate action in accordance with 
        the rules of professional conduct.  The remedy under this 
        subdivision is in addition to any other enforcement remedy 
        available to the court. 
           (b) If a public authority responsible for child support 
        enforcement finds that the obligor is or may be licensed by a 
        licensing board listed in section 214.01 or other state, county, 
        or municipal agency or board that issues an occupational license 
        and the obligor is in arrears in court-ordered child support or 
        maintenance payments or both in an amount equal to or greater 
        than three times the obligor's total monthly support and 
        maintenance payments and is not in compliance with a written 
        payment agreement regarding both current support and arrearages 
        approved by the court, an administrative law judge, or the 
        public authority, the court, an administrative law judge, or the 
        public authority shall direct the licensing board or other 
        licensing agency to suspend the license under section 214.101.  
        If the obligor is a licensed attorney, the public authority may 
        report the matter to the lawyers professional responsibility 
        board for appropriate action in accordance with the rules of 
        professional conduct.  The remedy under this subdivision is in 
        addition to any other enforcement remedy available to the public 
        authority. 
           (c) At least 90 days before notifying a licensing authority 
        or the lawyers professional responsibility board under paragraph 
        (b), the public authority shall mail a written notice to the 
        license holder addressed to the license holder's last known 
        address that the public authority intends to seek license 
        suspension under this subdivision and that the license holder 
        must request a hearing within 30 days in order to contest the 
        suspension.  If the license holder makes a written request for a 
        hearing within 30 days of the date of the notice, either a court 
        hearing or a contested administrative proceeding must be held 
        under section 518.5511, subdivision 4.  Notwithstanding any law 
        to the contrary, the license holder must be served with 14 days' 
        notice in writing specifying the time and place of the hearing 
        and the allegations against the license holder.  The notice may 
        be served personally or by mail.  If the public authority does 
        not receive a request for a hearing within 30 days of the date 
        of the notice, and the obligor does not execute a written 
        payment agreement regarding both current support and arrearages 
        approved by the public authority within 90 days of the date of 
        the notice, the public authority shall direct the licensing 
        board or other licensing agency to suspend the obligor's license 
        under paragraph (b), or shall report the matter to the lawyers 
        professional responsibility board. 
           (d) The administrative law judge, on behalf of the public 
        authority, or the court shall notify the lawyers professional 
        responsibility board for appropriate action in accordance with 
        the rules of professional responsibility conduct or order the 
        licensing board or licensing agency to suspend the license if 
        the judge finds that: 
           (1) the person is licensed by a licensing board or other 
        state agency that issues an occupational license; 
           (2) the person has not made full payment of arrearages 
        found to be due by the public authority; and 
           (3) the person has not executed or is not in compliance 
        with a payment plan approved by the court, an administrative law 
        judge, or the public authority. 
           (e) Within 15 days of the date on which the obligor either 
        makes full payment of arrearages found to be due by the court or 
        public authority or executes and initiates good faith compliance 
        with a written payment plan approved by the court, an 
        administrative law judge, or the public authority, the court, an 
        administrative law judge, or the public authority responsible 
        for child support enforcement shall notify the licensing board 
        or licensing agency or the lawyers professional responsibility 
        board that the obligor is no longer ineligible for license 
        issuance, reinstatement, or renewal under this subdivision. 
           (f) In addition to the criteria established under this 
        section for the suspension of an obligor's occupational license, 
        a court, an administrative law judge, or the public authority 
        may direct the licensing board or other licensing agency to 
        suspend the license of a party who has failed, after receiving 
        notice, to comply with a subpoena relating to a paternity or 
        child support proceeding.  Notice to an obligor of intent to 
        suspend must be served by first class mail at the obligor's last 
        known address.  The notice must inform the obligor of the right 
        to request a hearing.  If the obligor makes a written request 
        within ten days of the date of the hearing, a contested 
        administrative proceeding must be held under section 518.5511, 
        subdivision 4.  At the hearing, the only issues to be considered 
        are mistake of fact and whether the obligor received the 
        subpoena. 
           (g) The license of an obligor who fails to remain in 
        compliance with an approved payment agreement may be suspended.  
        Notice to the obligor of an intent to suspend under this 
        paragraph must be served by first class mail at the obligor's 
        last known address and must include a notice of hearing.  The 
        notice must be served upon the obligor not less than ten days 
        before the date of the hearing.  If the obligor appears at the 
        hearing and the judge determines that the obligor has failed to 
        comply with an approved payment agreement, the judge shall 
        notify the occupational licensing board or agency to suspend the 
        obligor's license under paragraph (c).  If the obligor fails to 
        appear at the hearing, the public authority may notify the 
        occupational or licensing board to suspend the obligor's license 
        under paragraph (c). 
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.5512, 
        subdivision 2, as amended by 1997 S.F. No. 1908, article 6, 
        section 44, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [PATERNITY.] (a) After service of the notice and 
        proposed order, a nonattorney employee of the public authority 
        may order the child, mother, or alleged father to submit to 
        blood or genetic tests.  In a case with multiple alleged 
        fathers, a nonattorney employee of the public authority may 
        order the child, mother, and alleged fathers to submit to blood 
        or genetic tests after service of the notice of the parentage 
        proceeding.  The order for genetic tests must be served by 
        personal service.  The order of the public authority shall be 
        effective unless, within 20 days of the date of the order, the 
        child, mother, or an alleged father requests a contested 
        administrative proceeding under section 518.5511, subdivision 
        3a.  If a contested administrative proceeding is requested and 
        held, any order issued by an administrative law judge supersedes 
        the order issued by the public authority.  In all other cases, 
        the order of the public authority is controlling.  Failure to 
        comply with the order for blood or genetic tests may result in a 
        default determination of parentage.  
           (b) If parentage is contested at the administrative 
        hearing, the administrative law judge may order temporary child 
        support under section 257.62, subdivision 5, and shall refer the 
        case to the district court. 
           (c) The district court may appoint counsel for an indigent 
        alleged father only after the return of the blood or genetic 
        test results from the testing laboratory. 
           Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518C.305, is 
        amended to read: 
           518C.305 [DUTIES AND POWERS OF RESPONDING TRIBUNAL.] 
           (a) When a responding tribunal of this state receives a 
        petition or comparable pleading from an initiating tribunal or 
        directly pursuant to section 518C.301, paragraph (c), it shall 
        cause the petition or pleading to be filed and notify the 
        petitioner by first class mail where and when it was filed. 
           (b) A responding tribunal of this state, to the extent 
        otherwise authorized by law, may do one or more of the following:
           (1) issue or enforce a support order, modify a child 
        support order, or render a judgment to determine parentage; 
           (2) order an obligor to comply with a support order, 
        specifying the amount and the manner of compliance; 
           (3) order income withholding; 
           (4) determine the amount of any arrearages, and specify a 
        method of payment; 
           (5) enforce orders by civil or criminal contempt, or both; 
           (6) set aside property for satisfaction of the support 
        order; 
           (7) place liens and order execution on the obligor's 
        property; 
           (8) order an obligor to keep the tribunal informed of the 
        obligor's current residential address, telephone number, 
        employer, address of employment, and telephone number at the 
        place of employment; 
           (9) issue a bench warrant for an obligor who has failed 
        after proper notice to appear at a hearing ordered by the 
        tribunal and enter the bench warrant in any local and state 
        computer systems for criminal warrants; 
           (10) order the obligor to seek appropriate employment by 
        specified methods; 
           (11) award reasonable attorney's fees and other fees and 
        costs; and 
           (12) grant any other available remedy. 
           (c) A responding tribunal of this state shall include in a 
        support order issued under this chapter, or in the documents 
        accompanying the order, the calculations on which the support 
        order is based. 
           (d) A responding tribunal of this state may not condition 
        the payment of a support order issued under this chapter upon 
        compliance by a party with provisions for visitation. 
           (e) If a responding tribunal of this state issues an order 
        under this chapter, the tribunal shall send a copy of the order 
        by first class mail to the petitioner and the respondent and to 
        the initiating tribunal, if any.  
           Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518C.306, is 
        amended to read: 
           518C.306 [INAPPROPRIATE TRIBUNAL.] 
           If a petition or comparable pleading is received by an 
        inappropriate tribunal of this state, it shall forward the 
        pleading and accompanying documents to an appropriate tribunal 
        in this state or another state and notify the petitioner by 
        first class mail where and when the pleading was sent.  
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518C.307, is 
        amended to read: 
           518C.307 [DUTIES OF SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.] 
           (a) A support enforcement agency of this state, upon 
        request, shall provide services to a petitioner in a proceeding 
        under this chapter. 
           (b) A support enforcement agency that is providing services 
        to the petitioner as appropriate shall: 
           (1) take all steps necessary to enable an appropriate 
        tribunal in this state or another state to obtain jurisdiction 
        over the respondent; 
           (2) request an appropriate tribunal to set a date, time, 
        and place for a hearing; 
           (3) make a reasonable effort to obtain all relevant 
        information, including information as to income and property of 
        the parties; 
           (4) within two days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and 
        legal holidays, after receipt of a written notice from an 
        initiating, responding, or registering tribunal, send a copy of 
        the notice by first class mail to the petitioner; 
           (5) within two days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and 
        legal holidays, after receipt of a written communication from 
        the respondent or the respondent's attorney, send a copy of the 
        communication by first class mail to the petitioner; and 
           (6) notify the petitioner if jurisdiction over the 
        respondent cannot be obtained. 
           (c) This chapter does not create or negate a relationship 
        of attorney and client or other fiduciary relationship between a 
        support enforcement agency or the attorney for the agency and 
        the individual being assisted by the agency. 
           Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518C.605, is 
        amended to read: 
           518C.605 [NOTICE OF REGISTRATION OF ORDER.] 
           (a) When a support order or income-withholding order issued 
        in another state is registered, the registering tribunal shall 
        notify the nonregistering party.  Notice must be given by 
        certified or registered mail or by any means of personal service 
        authorized by the law of this state.  The notice must be 
        accompanied by a copy of the registered order and the documents 
        and relevant information accompanying the order. 
           (b) The notice must inform the nonregistering party: 
           (1) that a registered order is enforceable as of the date 
        of registration in the same manner as an order issued by a 
        tribunal of this state; 
           (2) that a hearing to contest the validity or enforcement 
        of the registered order must be requested within 20 days after 
        the date of mailing or personal service of the notice; 
           (3) that failure to contest the validity or enforcement of 
        the registered order in a timely manner will result in 
        confirmation of the order and enforcement of the order and the 
        alleged arrearages and precludes further contest of that order 
        with respect to any matter that could have been asserted; and 
           (4) of the amount of any alleged arrearages. 
           (c) Upon registration of an income-withholding order for 
        enforcement, the registering tribunal shall notify the obligor's 
        employer pursuant to section 518.611 or 518.613.  
           Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518C.606, is 
        amended to read: 
           518C.606 [PROCEDURE TO CONTEST VALIDITY OR ENFORCEMENT OF 
        REGISTERED ORDER.] 
           (a) A nonregistering party seeking to contest the validity 
        or enforcement of a registered order in this state shall request 
        a hearing within 20 days after the date of mailing or personal 
        service of notice of the registration.  The nonregistering party 
        may seek to vacate the registration, to assert any defense to an 
        allegation of noncompliance with the registered order, or to 
        contest the remedies being sought or the amount of any alleged 
        arrearages pursuant to section 518C.607. 
           (b) If the nonregistering party fails to contest the 
        validity or enforcement of the registered order in a timely 
        manner, the order is confirmed by operation of law. 
           (c) If a nonregistering party requests a hearing to contest 
        the validity or enforcement of the registered order, the 
        registering tribunal shall schedule the matter for hearing and 
        give notice to the parties by first class mail of the date, 
        time, and place of the hearing.  
           Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 548.091, 
        subdivision 9, as added by 1997 S.F. No. 1908, article 6, 
        section 79, if enacted, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [PAYOFF STATEMENT.] The public authority shall 
        issue to the obligor, attorneys, lenders, and closers, or their 
        agents, a payoff statement setting forth conclusively the amount 
        necessary to satisfy the lien.  Payoff statements must be issued 
        within three business days after receipt of a request by mail, 
        personal delivery, telefacsimile, or e-mail electronic mail 
        transmission, and must be delivered to the requester by 
        telefacsimile or e-mail electronic mail transmission if 
        requested and if appropriate technology is available to the 
        public authority. 
           Sec. 18.  [EFFECTIVE DATES.] 
           1997 S.F. No. 1908, article 6, sections 44 to 46, if 
        enacted, are effective August 1, 1997.  An amendment in this 
        article to 1997 S.F. No. 1908 takes effect at the same time that 
        the section of law that it amends takes effect. 
                                   ARTICLE 4 
                      TECHNICAL WELFARE REFORM AMENDMENTS
           Section 1.  Laws 1997, chapter 85, article 1, section 16, 
        subdivision 1, as amended by 1997 S.F. No. 1908, article 12, 
        section 10, if enacted, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [PERSON CONVICTED OF DRUG OFFENSES.] (a) 
        Applicants or recipients who have been convicted of a drug 
        offense after July 1, 1997, may, if otherwise eligible, receive 
        AFDC or MFIP-S benefits subject to the following conditions: 
           (1) benefits for the entire assistance unit must be paid in 
        vendor form for shelter and utilities during any time the 
        applicant is part of the assistance unit; 
           (2) the convicted applicant or recipient shall be subject 
        to random drug testing as a condition of continued eligibility 
        and is subject to sanctions under section 256J.46 following any 
        positive test for an illegal controlled substance, except that 
        the grant must continue to be vendor paid under clause (1).  For 
        purposes of this subdivision, section 256J.46 is effective July 
        1, 1997. 
           This subdivision also applies to persons who receive food 
        stamps under section 115 of the Personal Responsibility and Work 
        Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.  
           (b) For the purposes of this subdivision, "drug offense" 
        means a conviction that occurred after July 1, 1997, of sections 
        152.021 to 152.025, 152.0261, or 152.096.  Drug offense also 
        means a conviction in another jurisdiction of the possession, 
        use, or distribution of a controlled substance, or conspiracy to 
        commit any of these offenses, if the offense occurred after July 
        1, 1997, and the conviction is a felony offense in that 
        jurisdiction, or in the case of New Jersey, a high misdemeanor. 
           Sec. 2.  Laws 1997, chapter 85, article 1, section 36, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [SANCTIONS FOR REFUSAL TO COOPERATE WITH SUPPORT 
        REQUIREMENTS.] The grant of an MFIP-S caregiver who refuses to 
        cooperate, as determined by the child support enforcement 
        agency, with support requirements under section 256.741, if 
        enacted, shall be subject to sanction as specified in this 
        subdivision.  The assistance unit's grant must be reduced by 25 
        percent of the applicable transitional standard.  The residual 
        amount of the grant, if any, must be paid to the caregiver.  A 
        sanction under this subdivision becomes effective ten days after 
        the required notice is given.  The sanction must be in effect 
        for a minimum of one month, and shall be removed only when the 
        caregiver cooperates with the support requirements.  Each month 
        that an MFIP-S caregiver fails to comply with the requirements 
        of section 256.741 must be considered a separate occurrence of 
        noncompliance.  An MFIP-S caregiver who has had one or more 
        sanctions imposed must remain in compliance with the 
        requirements of section 256.741 for six months in order for a 
        subsequent sanction to be considered a first occurrence. 
           Sec. 3.  Laws 1997, chapter 85, article 1, section 43, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [SECONDARY ASSESSMENT.] (a) The job counselor 
        must conduct a secondary assessment for those participants who: 
           (1) in the judgment of the job counselor, have barriers to 
        obtaining employment that will not be overcome with a job search 
        support plan under subdivision 3; 
           (2) have completed eight weeks of job search under 
        subdivision 3 without obtaining suitable employment; or 
           (3) have not received a secondary assessment, are working 
        at least 20 hours per week, and the participant, job counselor, 
        or county agency requests a secondary assessment. 
           (b) In the secondary assessment the job counselor must 
        evaluate the participant's skills and prior work experience, 
        family circumstances, interests and abilities, need for 
        preemployment activities, supportive, or educational services, 
        and the extent of any barriers to employment.  The job counselor 
        must use the information gathered through the secondary 
        assessment to develop an employment plan under subdivision 5. 
           (c) The provider shall make available to participants 
        information regarding additional vendors or resources which 
        provide employment and training services that may be available 
        to the participant under a plan developed under this section.  
        The information must include a brief summary of services 
        provided and related performance indicators.  Performance 
        indicators must include, but are not limited to, the average 
        time to complete program offerings, placement rates, entry and 
        average wages, and retention rates.  To be included in the 
        information given to participants, a vendor or resource must 
        provide counties with relevant information in the format 
        required by the county. 
           Sec. 4.  Laws 1997, chapter 85, article 1, section 43, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [EMPLOYMENT PLAN; CONTENTS.] Based on the 
        secondary assessment under subdivision 4, the job counselor and 
        the participant must develop an employment plan for the 
        participant that includes specific activities that are tied to 
        an employment goal and a plan for long-term self-sufficiency, 
        and that is designed to move the participant along the most 
        direct path to unsubsidized employment.  The employment plan 
        must list the specific steps that will be taken to obtain 
        employment and a timetable for completion of each of the steps.  
        As part of the development of the participant's employment plan, 
        the participant shall have the option of selecting from among 
        the vendors or resources that the job counselor determines will 
        be effective in supplying one or more of the services necessary 
        to meet the employment goals specified in the participant's plan.
        In compiling the list of vendors and resources that the job 
        counselor determines would be effective in meeting the 
        participant's employment goals, the job counselor must determine 
        that adequate financial resources are available for the vendors 
        or resources ultimately selected by the participant.  The job 
        counselor and the participant must sign the developed plan to 
        indicate agreement between the job counselor and the participant 
        on the contents of the plan.  
           Sec. 5.  Laws 1997, chapter 85, article 1, section 66, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE.] The plan referred to 
        in subdivision 1 and any resulting proposal for legislation must 
        be presented to the legislature by December 15, 1997 February 
        15, 1998. 
           Sec. 6.  Laws 1997, chapter 85, article 3, is amended by 
        adding a section to read: 
           Sec. 58.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 268.0122, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [RULEMAKING.] (a) The commissioner may make 
        emergency and permanent rules to carry out this chapter. 
           (b) Effective July 1, 1997, the commissioner may make rules 
        to carry out section 256J.51. 
           Sec. 7.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           An amendment in this article takes effect at the same time 
        that the section of law that it amends takes effect. 
           Presented to the governor May 30, 1997 
           Signed by the governor June 3, 1997, 2:54 p.m.

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