Local Laws May Need Local Approval

If your city secured special legislation, you may have to take action to make the law effective.
(Published Jul 28, 2014)

During the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions, a number of bills were enacted into law that included local provisions that require approval by the local unit of government. If your city sought and secured special legislation, remember that your city—and in some cases, your county and school district—may have to take official action to make the law effective.

Earlier this month, the Office of the Revisor of Statutes of the Minnesota Legislature posted documents that summarize these 2013 and 2014 local laws. According to the Revisor’s Office, if a local approval certificate has already been filed with the Office of Secretary of State in compliance with Minnesota Statutes, section 645.021 by June 16, 2014, the approval and filing dates are indicated on the tables. Where a local approval certificate has not yet been filed, the table includes a blank.

View the 2013 table (pdf)

View the 2014 table (pdf)

The League has found that in several situations, cities have filed the required documentation with the Office of the Secretary of State but the Revisor’s tables have not been updated to reflect the filing. If your city has filed the documentation and you want to check with the secretary of state, contact Gary Carlson or Patrick Hynes (see contact information at right).

View the filing form (pdf)

For any special law enacted during the 2013 or the 2014 sessions that requires local approval, state law requires that the certificate of approval must be filed with the secretary of state before the first day of the legislative session in 2015, which will be Jan. 6, 2015. If the filing has not occurred by that date, the special law is deemed to be disapproved by the local government unit unless otherwise provided in the special law.

In some instances—especially for tax increment financing (TIF) district special laws that extend the duration of a TIF district, Minnesota Statutes, section 469.1782 may require the county and school district to provide local approval. Given that these laws were likely initiated by the city, the county and school district may not be aware of the law, and the city may need to inform the county and the school district of this local approval requirement.

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