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Dayton signs bill designed to ease permitting hurdles for businesses

Paul Demko//April 2, 2012

Dayton signs bill designed to ease permitting hurdles for businesses

Paul Demko//April 2, 2012

Gov. Mark Dayton (Staff photo: Peter Bartz-Gallagher)

Gov. Mark Dayton signed legislation on Monday that seeks to reduce red tape for businesses applying for permits. It’s the second straight session in which Dayton and Republican legislative leaders have reached agreement on proposals to improve the state’s regulatory climate.

The governor praised the bipartisan work on the bill. “This takes us several steps farther forward so that we can assure Minnesota businesses, and those who are looking at Minnesota, that we’re going to have the most expeditious review process available anywhere in the country, while at the same time assuring our citizens that they are going to be protected and that their natural environment’s going to be protected,” he said.

The Senate passed the conference report on the legislation 50-16. It passed 92-36 in the House. Dayton was joined by GOP Sens. Bill Ingebrigtsen and John Carlson and GOP Rep. Dan Fabian. Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Paul Aasen were also on hand for the bill signing.

The legislation tweaks numerous state environmental regulations. Animal feedlot permits, for instance, will now need to be renewed every 10 years, rather than every 5 years as under current law.

Last year Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature agreed on a proposal that requires the Department of Natural Resources and the Pollution Control Agency to act on permit applications within 150 days or explain why they didn’t meet the deadline. Under the new proposal, the clock will start ticking when an application is first submitted, rather than after when it is deemed substantially complete, as is the current practice.

“None of these things get cooked up by one person,” Aasen said. “It’s always a team effort.”

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