Minn. Stat. 117.189 Legislative History

Filed under:Laws & Rules — posted by admin on August 6, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

This is one of those things that’s been bugging me for a long time, and I’m finally getting around to looking it up.  There are a few twists and turns, and this is a long post, with a lot of links and a lot of audio listening for you to dig in if you’re interested.  If you’re a landowner, you sure better be!  If you’re a landowner affected by utility infrastructure, this is required reading and listening!

Here we go!

History of Minn. Stat. 117.189

Here’s the statute (the specific statutory cites below are linked):

117.189 PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION EXCEPTIONS.

Sections 117.031; 117.036; 117.055, subdivision 2, paragraph (b); 117.186; 117.187; 117.188; and 117.52, subdivisions 1a and 4, do not apply to public service corporations. For purposes of an award of appraisal fees under section 117.085, the fees awarded may not exceed $500 for all types of property.
History:

2006 c 214 s 14

Short version – this bill was a bipartisan sell-out that exempted CapX 2020 and any other public service corporation project from eminent domain that every other entity must comply with.  Why on earth would they do this… or rather, what innocent explaination is there for this 117.189 section of the bill?

So far that I’ve heard (only ~6 hours thus far), Sen. Scott Dibble is
the only one asking “Why exempt public service corporations?”

The only Senators who voted against this were:

Anderson, Cohen, Dibble, Hottinger, Marko, Moua, Pappas, Ranum, Skoglund

The only Reps who voted against this were:

Davnie, Ellison, Goodwin, Hausman, Hornstein, Huntley, Johnson, S., Kahn, Lanning, Lenczewski, Mahoney, Mariani, Mullery, Paymar, Thao, Wagenius, Walker

Please take a few minutes and send them a thank you note!  Here’s a link to their emails:

House Members

Senate Members


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First, some more history, going back to my all time favorite bill:

2005 TRANSMISSION OMNIBUS BILL FROM HELL

Remember, this was the bill that grew from the deal the enviros did in 2003, incorporating the material terms of that deal into the 2005 Omnibus bill.

ME3, MCEA, Waltons, NAWO -TRANSLink deal

And… why… look, there’s language in the 2005 Transmission Omnibus Bill from Hell mandating an “Eminent Domain Landowner Compensation — Landowner Payments Working Group!”

55.35                             ARTICLE 11
55.36               EMINENT DOMAIN LANDOWNER COMPENSATION
56.1      Section. 1.  [LANDOWNER PAYMENTS WORKING GROUP.]
56.2      Subdivision 1.  [MEMBERSHIP.] By June 15, 2005, the
56.3   Legislative Electric Energy Task Force shall convene a landowner
56.4   payments working group consisting of up to 12 members, including
56.5   representatives from each of the following groups:
56.6   transmission-owning investor-owned utilities, electric
56.7   cooperatives, municipal power agencies, Farm Bureau, Farmers
56.8   Union, county commissioners, real estate appraisers and others
56.9   with an interest and expertise in landowner rights and the
56.10  market value of rural property.
56.11     Subd. 2.  [APPOINTMENT.] The chairs of the Legislative
56.12  Electric Energy Task Force and the chairs of the senate and
56.13  house committees with primary jurisdiction over energy policy
56.14  shall jointly appoint the working group members.
56.15     Subd. 3.  [CHARGE.] (a) The landowner payments working
56.16  group shall research alternative methods of remunerating
56.17  landowners on whose land high voltage transmission lines have
56.18  been constructed.
56.19     (b) In developing its recommendations, the working group
56.20  shall:
56.21     (1) examine different methods of landowner payments that
56.22  operate in other states and countries;
56.23     (2) consider innovative alternatives to lump-sum payments
56.24  that extend payments over the life of the transmission line and
56.25  that run with the land if the land is conveyed to another owner;
56.26     (3) consider alternative ways of structuring payments that
56.27  are equitable to landowners and utilities.
56.28     Subd. 4.  [EXPENSES.] Members of the working group shall be
56.29  reimbursed for expenses as provided in Minnesota Statutes,
56.30  section 15.059, subdivision 6.  Expenses of the landowner
56.31  payments working group shall not exceed $10,000 without the
56.32  approval of the chairs of the Legislative Electric Energy Task
56.33  Force.
56.34     Subd. 5.  [REPORT.] The landowner payments working group
56.35  shall present its findings and recommendations, including
56.36  legislative recommendations and model legislation, if any, in a
57.1   report to the Legislative Electric Energy Task Force by January
57.2   15, 2006.

Now, let’s take a look at who was on that Committee:

REPRESENTATIVE MEMBERS

1. Jim Musso (Xcel Energy) representing transmission owning investor-owned utilities
2. Bob Ambrose (Great River Energy) representing electric cooperatives
3. Mrg Simon (Missouri River Energy) representing municipal power agencies
4. Chris Radatz-representing the Minnesota Farm Bureau
5. Tim Henning (farmer) representing the Minnesota Farmers Union
6. Jack Keers (Pipestone County Commissioner) representing county commissioners
7. Robin Nesburg (Rural Appraisal Services) representing real estate appraisers

AT LARGE MEMBERS

8. Beth Soholt (Wind on the Wires)
9. John Nauerth III (farmer)
10. George Crocker (North American Water Office)
11. Bob Cupit (Public Utilities Commission)
12. Bill Blazar (Minnesota Chamber of Commerce)


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Let’s look at the Senate bill, SF 2750 and the House bill, HF 2846.

SF 2750

Senate Authors, none added after introduction:    Bakk ; Kiscaden ; Bachmann ; Chaudhary ; Kubly

Bill as introduced, had the Public Service Corporation exemption AND the appraisal fee limitation:

12.8        Sec. 14. [117.189] PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION EXCEPTIONS.
12.9    Sections 117.031; 117.036; 117.055, subdivision 2, paragraph (b); 117.186; 117.187;
12.10   117.188; and 117.52, subdivisions 1a and 4, do not apply to public service corporations.
12.11   For purposes of an award of appraisal fees under section 117.085, the fees awarded may
12.12   not exceed $500 for all types of property.

On the Senate side, there are some interesting statements in the first Committee hearing, Judiciary, discussion about limiting who can speak at county meetings about eminent domain (!!!), limitations of attorneys’ fees… and there’s a discussion that I’m trying to transcribe … will post soon…

Senate Judiciary – March 9, 2006 – PART I

Senate Judiciary – March 9, 2006 – PART II

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HF 2846

Introduced with these authors: House Authors    Johnson, J. ; Thissen ; Smith ; Davids ; Dill ; Paulsen
By the end, here is who signed on to this:
House Authors        Johnson, J. ; Thissen ; Smith ; Davids ; Dill ; Paulsen ; Penas ; Moe ; Garofalo ; Nelson, P. ; Wardlow ; Magnus ; Cybart ; Olson ; Westrom ; Erickson ; Klinzing ; Charron

As introduced it had the Public Service Corporation exemption:

5.25         Sec. 9. [117.189] PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION EXCEPTION.
5.26     Sections 117.031, 117.186, 117.187, and 117.188 do not apply to public service
5.27     corporations.

*** The sentence about appraisals did not appear in it as introduced or in the 5 engrossments online.

Here’s the House Research explanation of that paragraph:

12      Public service corporation exception. Provides that the provisions for attorneys’ fees (section 4 ), compensation for loss of going concern (section 8 ), minimum compensation (section 10 ), and limitations (section 11 ), do not apply to public service corporations.

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Conference Committee

04/12/2006      Senate conferees       Bakk, Murphy, Betzold, Higgins, Ortman
04/12/2006      House conferees       Johnson, J.; Abrams; Davids; Anderson, B.; Thissen

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Here are the reports of House and Senate adoption of Conference Committee Report, including votes:

Senate Adopted Conference Committee Report, bill repassed

House Adopted Conference Committee Report, bill repassed

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