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Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions
Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library
Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board
Also known as:
Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Commission (1943 - 1975)
Function: The Board supports economic development and mine reclamation projects in northeastern Minnesota; projects are funded with taconite mining tax revenues. The Board is advisory to the commissioner of the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation. All expenditures and projects made by the commissioner of the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation shall first be submitted to the Board. The Board shall recommend approval, disapproval, or modification of the expenditures and projects.
Active dates:1943 -
The Office of the Commissioner of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation was created by the Minnesota Legislature in 1941. This office is unique because it is the only state agency in Minnesota to focus on a specific region, and because it receives no operating funds from the state general fund. Its purpose is to help strengthen and diversify the economy of northeastern Minnesota, specifically the Taconite Assistance Area as defined in Minn. Stat. 273.1341.
The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board was first created as the "Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Commission" in 1943, consisting of seven members: three state Senators appointed by the Committee on Committees, three members of the House appointed by the Speaker, and the Commissioner of Conservation. Members served two-year terms.
The commission was required to biennially report to the Governor and the Legislature before each regular session. They were also authorized and directed to study high labor costs for mining and the policy and plans for future development of ore, and to generally cooperate with and advise the Commissioner of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation. Their name was changed in to the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board in 1975 (see Laws of Minnesota 1975, Chap. 271).
Though the Iron Range Resources Board's mission to diversify the economy of northeastern Minnesota has remained constant since the agency's founding, the tactics used to help achieve diversification have varied. Largely, these efforts have reflected the times. In the 1940s for instance the agency focused on taconite development and mining research. In the 1960s, business development was an important tool employed by the agency. Today, the agency's efforts are more varied than ever. While business development and mining are still key, the agency is also focused on areas like workforce, community development, mineland reclamation, and tourism (some of this information was taken from the Agency's website in 2008).
In 1995, the legislature gave the board ultimate approval of projects and spending, shifting it away from its original, strictly advisory, role (see Laws of Minnesota, Chap. 224, Sec. 92).
Board membership requirements have changed over the years. By 2012, the Board consisted of five senators, five representatives, and three citizen members from the Iron Range. The legislature changed board membership composition in 2013, eliminating the citizen member positions (see Laws of Minnesota 2013, Chap. 3, Sec. 6).
Following a 2016 review of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board by the Office of the Legislative Auditor, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation State Agency was officially renamed the "Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation" by the legislature in 2017. This same legislation clarified that the board's role is advisory. The commissioner of the Department is required to consult with the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board before spending money or taking action on projects.
The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board consists of the state senators and representatives elected from state senatorial or legislative districts in which one-third or more of the residents reside within the IRRRB service area. One additional state senator is appointed by the senate Subcommittee on Committees of the Committee on Rules and Administration. The members are appointed in January of every odd-numbered year and serve until January of the next odd-numbered year.
The MN Secretary of State's Annual Compilation and Statistical Report for this group is filed under this record. For 2008 to 2013, the IRRRB filed under "Office of the Commissioner of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation".
Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
Record last updated:
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