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The proposal allows 2008-2009 rule writing to be continued, but removes contentious mandatory definitions.
(Published Apr 29, 2013)
HF 1183 (Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis), the omnibus legacy bill, includes language that would require the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to continue developing rules for the Mississippi River Critical Corridor Area, a job the department started in 2008 but was unable to finish.
Legislation was passed in 2008 to require the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to develop rules for the Mississippi River Critical Corridor Area, which covers 1,500 feet on either side of the river throughout the metropolitan area. That area is subject to an executive order first issued under Gov. Quie in 1979 that continues to be in effect related to allowable land uses along the river and based on development and land uses along the river at that time.
The bill that allocates funds from the Legacy accounts provided funding for those rules to be done at that time. The complexity and contentiousness of the rules, however, prevented them from being completed within 18 months, the statutory limit on rule writing authority from the Legislature.
The current proposal from the House for how Legacy funds should be allocated includes new language related to these rules. The DNR would be authorized to again work on those rules, this time without a mandated end date for the process. The statutory definitions that caused so much concern during the last process have been removed in this proposal. Also, recognition of the need to allow continued operation, development, and redevelopment of commercial, industrial, residential, and recreational uses of the river are highlighted in several new locations in the statute.
The changes to existing law can be found on pages 61-65 of HF 1183, which is Article 2, Sections 30-34.
The Senate has also included re-authorizing the rule development in a separate department policy bill. The Senate language does not include the new statutory language from the House bill, but does require the DNR to report back to the Legislature in two years if the rules are not yet completed to explain why they are not yet done.
The League has testified that if the rules are reauthorized, the policy changes in the House bill should be included, as should the Senate’s language requiring a legislative review of progress in 2015.
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Contact Craig Johnson
(651) 281-1259 or (800) 925-1122
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