Report of the Legislative Committee to the Assembly
December 1, 2009
The Legislative Committee has met four times during this bar year, most recently for purposes of reviewing legislative proposals of the sections and developing recommendations for the Assembly. The committee’s September meeting was devoted to orienting new members of the committee, discussing the timeline for the committee’s work, and reviewing the website enhancements developed by the chair, vice-chair, legislative counsel and staff to improve members’ access to information about the committee’s vetting process for legislative proposals. The October meeting was devoted to discussion of the upcoming legislative session and potential legislative proposals the committee may receive from MSBA sections for review and recommendation to the Assembly. Representatives from several sections attended the October meeting, including Business Law, Probate and Trust Law, Real Property Law, Tax Law, ADR, and Family Law. In addition, the Revisor of Statutes and three Minnesota Uniform Laws Commissioners also attended the October meeting. The commissioners discussed the uniform laws that they are working on and their priorities for the upcoming legislative session/biennium.
The Legislative Committee met at the MSBA offices on November 30 and December 1, 2009, and considered 14 separate proposals concerning legislation from various MSBA sections. The Legislative Committee makes the following recommendations.
A. Resolved that the Assembly approve the following recommendations of the Legislative Committee:
1. That the MSBA endorse the following proposals of the Business Law Section:
a. Substantive and technical amendments to Chapter 302A
b. Amendments to Chapter 317A, incorporating changes made to Chapter 302A
c. Amendment to Chapter 322B related to non-business limited liability companies, effective date
2. That the MSBA endorse the following proposal of the Family Law Section:
a. Amendment to Minnesota’s Uniform Parentage Act, Minn. Stat. §257.54, relating to children born as a result of Assisted Reproductive Technology
3. That the MSBA adopt the following position relative to the Uniform Collaborative Law Act:
Resolved that the MSBA recommends the Legislature defer action on the Uniform Collaborative Law Act to allow adequate time for further study by the MSBA and its interested sections and affiliates.
4. That the MSBA endorse the following proposals of the Real Property Law Section:
a. Changes to common interest community certificates of title
b. Amendments to §287.03, mortgage registry tax, in light of the case of Business Bank v. Hanson, 2009 WL 2253250 (Minn.).
5 That the MSBA endorse the following proposals of the Probate and Trust Law Section:
a. Revision of Minn. Stat. §501B.64 Subd. 3 defining short-term and long-term capital gains distributions from regulated investment companies and real estate investment trusts as distributions of principal (and not income) for trust accounting purposes
b. New Minn. Stat. 524.5-409A to allow appointment of a conservator on a temporary or emergency basis
c. Amendments to Minn. Stat. 524 proposed by the Uniform Law Commissioners to the Uniform Probate Code provisions defining the parent-child relationship for intestate succession purposes
6. That the MSBA endorse the following proposal of the Tax Law Section:
a. Addition of Minn.Stat. §270C.407 to establish a state “interest netting” provision
7. That the MSBA endorse the following proposal of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section:
a. Revised Uniform Arbitration Act, as amended by the MSBA’s RUAA Subcommittee and approved by the ADR Section, the MN Uniform Laws Commissioners, MNAJ and MDLA.
8. That the MSBA approve renewal of expiring legislative position number 5, which reads:
Resolved, that the MSBA oppose any legislation seeking reinstatement of the death penalty in Minnesota
B. Resolved, that the Assembly adopt the following legislative housekeeping resolutions:
1. That the attached document reflects the current MSBA legislative positions;
2. That the MSBA approve a general allocation of the legislative counsel’s time as follows: 75% to the profession-wide concerns of judicial election/selection reform, adequate court funding, and sales tax on legal services; and 25% to specific agenda items approved by the Assembly; with no allocation for reserve this session; with the understanding that the lobbyist’s time can be redistributed by the President and his designee(s) as the need arises during the legislative session.
Lobbyist time allocations for each proposal have been reviewed by the Legislative Committee Chair, Susan Holden, and Legislative Counsel, Lloyd Grooms, and revised to more accurately estimate the lobbyist hours that will likely be needed to advance each proposal. These estimates of time allocations are intended as budgeting guides and do not reflect the actual number of hours that will be spent during the upcoming legislative session.
C. Other reports of the Legislative Committee not requiring Assembly action:
1. The Legislative Committee agreed to refer the proposal of the Real Property Law Section to modify and improve existing cartway provisions back to the Section for further study and consultation with interested parties including the Public Law Section and the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section;
2. The Legislative Committee agreed to refer the proposal of the Real Property Section regarding amendments to Chapter 515B related to the Common Interest Ownership Act, back to the section for further study and consultation with interested parties including the Construction Law and Business Law Sections;
3. The Legislative Committee agreed to refer the proposal of the Family Law Section regarding the Uniform Collaborative Law Act back to the section for further study and consultation with all interested MSBA Sections and other interested parties including but not limited to the Minnesota County Attorneys Association, Legal Aid, the Department of Human Services, Minnesota Association for Justice and the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association;
4. The Legislative Committee will contact interested committees and sections about upcoming positions which will be expiring this bar year. Any further renewals of positions will come before the Assembly at its April 2010 meeting.