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    Subdivision 1. Limit on penalties. An agency may not, under authority of rule, levy a total
fine or penalty of more than $700 for a single violation unless the agency has specific statutory
authority to levy a fine in excess of that amount.
    Subd. 2. Criminal penalty. An agency may not, by rule, establish a criminal penalty unless
the agency has specific statutory authority to do so.
    Subd. 3. Factors. (a) If a statute or rule gives an agency discretion over the amount of a fine,
the agency must take the following factors into account in determining the amount of the fine:
(1) the willfulness of the violation;
(2) the gravity of the violation, including damage to humans, animals, and the natural
resources of the state;
(3) the history of past violations;
(4) the number of violations;
(5) the economic benefit gained by the person by allowing or committing the violation; and
(6) other factors that justice may require.
(b) For a violation after an initial violation, the following factors must be considered in
addition to the factors in paragraph (a):
(1) similarity of previous violations to the current violation to be penalized;
(2) time elapsed since the last violation;
(3) number of previous violations; and
(4) response of the person to the most recent previous violation identified.
    Subd. 4. Effect on other law. This section does not affect the right of an agency to deny a
permit, revoke a license, or take similar action, other than the imposition of a fine, even if the cost
of the denial, revocation, or other action to the affected party exceeds $700.
    Subd. 5. Effective date. Subdivisions 1, 2, and 4 apply only to fines and penalties imposed
under rules for which notice of intent to adopt rules is published after July 1, 1996.
History: 1996 c 390 s 11