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    Subdivision 1. Expenditures. Money in the trust fund may be spent only for:
(1) the reinvest in Minnesota program as provided in section 84.95, subdivision 2;
(2) research that contributes to increasing the effectiveness of protecting or managing the
state's environment or natural resources;
(3) collection and analysis of information that assists in developing the state's environmental
and natural resources policies;
(4) enhancement of public education, awareness, and understanding necessary for the
protection, conservation, restoration, and enhancement of air, land, water, forests, fish, wildlife,
and other natural resources;
(5) capital projects for the preservation and protection of unique natural resources;
(6) activities that preserve or enhance fish, wildlife, land, air, water, and other natural
resources that otherwise may be substantially impaired or destroyed in any area of the state;
(7) administrative and investment expenses incurred by the State Board of Investment in
investing deposits to the trust fund; and
(8) administrative expenses subject to the limits in section 116P.09.
    Subd. 2. Exceptions. Money from the trust fund may not be spent for:
(1) purposes of environmental compensation and liability under chapter 115B and response
actions under chapter 115C;
(2) purposes of municipal water pollution control under the authority of chapters 115 and 116;
(3) costs associated with the decommissioning of nuclear power plants;
(4) hazardous waste disposal facilities;
(5) solid waste disposal facilities; or
(6) projects or purposes inconsistent with the strategic plan.
    Subd. 3. Strategic plan required. (a) The commission shall adopt a strategic plan for making
expenditures from the trust fund, including identifying the priority areas for funding for the next
six years. The strategic plan must be reviewed every two years. The strategic plan must have
clearly stated short- and long-term goals and strategies for trust fund expenditures, must provide
measurable outcomes for expenditures, and must determine areas of emphasis for funding.
(b) The commission shall consider the long-term strategic plans of agencies with
environment and natural resource programs and responsibilities and plans of conservation and
environmental organizations during the development and review of the strategic plan.
    Subd. 4. Legislative recommendations. (a) Funding may be provided only for those projects
that meet the categories established in subdivision 1.
(b) The commission must recommend an annual legislative bill to make appropriations
from the trust fund for the purposes provided in subdivision 1. The recommendations must be
submitted to the governor for inclusion in the biennial budget and supplemental budget submitted
to the legislature.
(c) The commission may recommend regional block grants for a portion of trust fund
expenditures to partner with existing regional organizations that have strong citizen involvement,
to address unique local needs and capacity, and to leverage all available funding sources for
(d) The commission may recommend the establishment of an annual emerging issues
account in its annual legislative bill for funding emerging issues, which come up unexpectedly,
but which still adhere to the commission's strategic plan, to be approved by the governor after
initiation and recommendation by the commission.
(e) Money in the trust fund may not be spent except under an appropriation by law.
    Subd. 5. Public meetings. (a) Meetings of the commission, committees or subcommittees
of the commission, technical advisory committees, and peer review panels must be open to the
public. The commission shall attempt to meet throughout various regions of the state during each
biennium. For purposes of this subdivision, a meeting occurs when a quorum is present and
action is taken regarding a matter within the jurisdiction of the commission, a committee or
subcommittee of the commission, a technical advisory committee, or a peer review panel.
(b) For legislative members of the commission, enforcement of this subdivision is governed
by section 3.055, subdivision 2. For nonlegislative members of the commission, enforcement of
this subdivision is governed by section 13D.06, subdivisions 1 and 2.
    Subd. 6. Peer review. (a) Research proposals must include a stated purpose directly
connected to the trust fund's constitutional mandate, this chapter, and the adopted strategic plan
under subdivision 3, a timeline, potential outcomes, and an explanation of the need for the
research. All research proposals must be reviewed by a peer review panel before receiving an
(b) In conducting research proposal reviews, the peer review panel shall:
(1) comment on the methodology proposed and whether it can be expected to yield
appropriate and useful information and data;
(2) comment on the need for the research and about similar existing information available,
if any; and
(3) report to the commission on clauses (1) and (2).
(c) The peer review panel also must review completed research proposals that have received
an appropriation and comment and report upon whether the project reached the intended goals.
    Subd. 7. Peer review panel membership. (a) The peer review panel must consist of at least
five members who are knowledgeable in general research methods in the areas of environment
and natural resources. Not more than two members of the panel may be employees of state
agencies in Minnesota.
(b) The commission shall select a chair every two years who shall be responsible for
convening meetings of the panel as often as is necessary to fulfill its duties as prescribed in this
section. Compensation of panel members is governed by section 15.059, subdivision 3.
History: 1988 c 690 art 1 s 12; 1989 c 335 art 1 s 178; 1991 c 254 art 2 s 42,43; 1991 c 343
s 5,6; 1994 c 580 s 2,3; 2001 c 7 s 31; 2004 c 284 art 2 s 14; 2006 c 243 s 7-10; 2007 c 30 s 3

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes