|Senate Counsel & Research||State of Minnesota|
|S.F. No. 81 - Elected Metropolitan Council|
|Author:||Senator Charles W. Wiger|
|Prepared by:||Peter S. Wattson, Senate Counsel (296-3812)|
|Date:||February 22, 2007|
S.F. No. 81, as amended by the Committee on State and Local Government Operations and
Oversight, requires the Metropolitan Council to be elected beginning in 2008.
The 16 members of the Council would run for four-year terms that would be staggered so that one-half were elected every two years. They would be subject to campaign reporting requirements similar to those for state candidates. Candidates for the Council would have contribution limits the same as those for legislators, and those who choose to accept public financing would be subject to an election-year spending limit of $47,000. Their public subsidy would be $20,000, paid for by the Council from the Council's existing tax levy. To be eligible to receive the subsidy, a candidate would have to sign a spending limit agreement, raise $2,500 in contributions from persons eligible to vote in this state, counting only the first $50 received from each contributor, be opposed in either the primary or the general election, and survive the primary election. Council members would be paid a salary set by the Council, except that the salary of members elected in 2008 could not exceed $40,000.
A similar bill in the 1997 session that would have provided for the Council to be elected beginning in 1998 (H.F. No. 423) was vetoed by Governor Carlson.
Section 1 defines a candidate for purposes of Minnesota Statutes, chapter 10A, to include an individual who seeks nomination or election to the Council.
Section 2 clarifies that a candidate for or member of the Council must file a statement of economic interest with the Board of Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure rather than with the Council.
Section 3 imposes a spending limit on Council candidates of $47,000 in an election year. As under current law for other candidates, first-time candidates for the Council would be eligible for an increase of ten percent in their spending limit and the spending limit for nonelection years would be 20 percent of the election year limit.
Section 4 imposes a limit on contributions to Council candidates of $500 in an election year and $100 in nonelection years.
Section 5 provides a public subsidy of $20,000 to Council candidates who survive the primary and who have filed a spending limit agreement and an affidavit of matching contributions. The public subsidy is paid for by a Council property tax levy. The subsidy would be paid to candidates no later than one week after the state canvassing board has certified the winners of the primary election.
Section 6 provides a public subsidy for special elections that is the same as the subsidy paid in the general election, except that the match required is one-quarter of that required in the general election and the candidate may count contributions received during the two months immediately preceding the special election for purposes of the match.
Section 7 sets the level of the required match at $2,500.
Section 8 requires a candidate to return the public subsidy to the extent the amount that the public subsidy received exceeds actual expenditures made by the candidate.
Section 9 strikes the Council from the list of agencies whose appointees must go through the open appointments process.
Section 10 requires the affidavit of candidacy for a Council member to include a statement that the candidate meets any other qualifications for the office prescribed by law.
Section 11 provides that candidates for the Council must file their affidavits of candidacy at the same time as other candidates for state and federal office.
Section 12 allows Council candidates to file their affidavit of candidacy before the filing period if they will be absent from the state during the filing period.
Section 13 sets the filing fee for Council candidates at $50 and sets the number of signatures for a petition in place of a filing fee at 500.
Section 14 adds Council districts to those local government election districts that must be redrawn within 80 days after the Legislature has been redistricted.
Section 15 authorizes the Secretary of State to allocate election expenses to the Council, just as they are now allocated to counties, cities, and school districts.
Section 16 provides that Council members will be elected at the state general election held in the year before their terms expire.
Section 17 puts Council offices on the state and county nonpartisan canary ballot.
Section 18 provides that a vacancy in the office of Council member must be filled at a special election scheduled by the Council on a date not less than 30 nor more than 60 days after the vacancy occurs. If a Council member is unable to serve or attend Council meetings for a 90-day period because of illness, absence, or refusal to attend, the Council may declare a vacancy and make a temporary appointment to fill the vacancy until the ill or absent member is again able to attend.
Section 19 imposes deadlines for the state canvassing board to complete the canvass of a special election and for the filing of election contests and issuance of a certificate of election following a special election.
Section 20 authorizes an election contest to be filed regarding an election to the Council.
Section 21 excludes candidates for the Council from regulation under chapter 211A, which imposes contribution limits and reporting requirements on candidates for local office that are less strict than those that apply to state candidates.
Section 22 makes Council candidates subject to the Fair Campaign Practices Act, chapter 211B.
Section 23 excludes candidates for the Metropolitan Council from participation in the political contribution refund program.
Section 24 makes members of the Council eligible to participate in the public employees defined contribution retirement plan administered by the Public Employees Retirement Association.
Section 25 strikes the provision setting the size of the Council at 17 members and says that the members will be elected as provided in section 473.124.
Section 26 requires the chair of the Council to be elected from among the members.
Section 27 creates a new subdivision on compensation of Council members to take the place of the language on compensation that is stricken from section 26.
Section 28 makes conforming amendments to the section relating to the Council's performance and budget analyst to reflect the fact that the chair of the Council will now be elected from among the members.
Section 29 provides for setting the size of the Council, redrawing Council districts after each federal decennial census, and electing the members of the Council.
Subdivision 1 sets the size of the Council at 16.
Subdivision 2, paragraph (a), requires the Council to draw the Council districts after each federal decennial census based on traditional districting principles.
Subdivision 2, paragraph (b), requires the Council to provide three weeks' published notice of its meeting to redistrict and to file a map of the new districts with the Secretary of State.
Subdivision 3 provides staggered four-year terms for Council members.
Section 30 limits the salary of members elected to the Metropolitan Council in 2008 to no more than $40,000.
Section 31 provides that the act applies in the seven metropolitan counties.
Section 32 contains the repealers.
Section 473.123, subdivision 2a, sets the terms of the Council. The members currently serve at the pleasure of the Governor for a term coterminous with the Governor.
Subdivision 3 provides for appointment of the Council by the Governor.
Subdivision 3a requires the Legislature to redraw the boundaries of Council districts after each federal census.
Subdivision 3d establishes the current boundaries of Metropolitan Council districts.
Laws 1994, chapter 628, article 1, section 8, sets the salary of the chair of the Metropolitan Council at $52,500 per year and the salary of a Metropolitan Council member at $20,000 per year until changed in law after recommendation of the Compensation Council under Minn. Stat. § 15A.082. (The chair's salary has been set at $58,489 since August 2000.)
Section 33 makes the act effective for the state primary in 2008, except that the section repealing the current Metropolitan Council districts is effective for the state primary in 2012.
cc: Bonnie Berezovsky
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