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Cities and townships were instructed to work over the interim to find possible compromise solutions.
(Published May 6, 2013)
HF 1425 (Rep. Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock) was heard in the House Government Operations Committee on May 2. The chair of that committee, Rep. Mike Nelson, (DFL-Brooklyn Park) ended the hearing by stating that the bill needed significant additional discussion and compromise and was “not ready for prime time.” The bill was laid over by the chair at that point, meaning it was not allowed to come to a vote, which was one of the results being requested by cities.
Testimony from township representatives and the bill author focused on individual issues involving the city of Proctor and Ortonville. Despite the weather and distance, both cities were able to have a representative testify on their behalf. Mayor Steve Berkner of Ortonville and Councilmember Jake Benson of Proctor both provided testimony.
The League and the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities also testified about the statewide impacts of the proposed legislation and the need for communication and negotiation between cities and townships. Unlike all other annexation bills discussed by the Legislature over the last six years, this bill was not discussed or agreed to between cities and townships prior to being introduced and heard.
Section 1 of the bill creates a prohibition on annexation of any type occurring of a property that is subject to an orderly annexation agreement with any other city. Section 2 prohibits the use of annexation by ordinance if a parcel has been subdivided from a parcel larger than 120 acres within the previous five years.
While the bill itself cannot progress at this point, the author stated that he may seek other bills onto which he could amend this language, despite it not passing the Government Operations Committee. The League will continue to watch for amendments intended to remove city options and authority related to annexation and will be discussing these issues with township representatives over the interim to see if mutually workable compromise solutions can be found.
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Contact Craig Johnson
(651) 281-1259 or (800) 925-1122
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