Public Law Newsletter | Summer 2015 | Volume XXV | Issue 2

by Jennifer Brask | Jul 24, 2015

2015 Public Law Section Awards

On May 15, 2015, the Public Law Section presented its annual awards of excellence.  The following articles are from presentation comments made at the awards ceremony or from nomination letters submitted on behalf of the recipient.

Rosalie E. Wahl Judicial Award of Excellence: Honorable Waldemar B. Senyk


The Honorable Waldemar B. Senyk

Comments from the nomination letter submitted by Heather Brandborg.

I nominate Judge Waldemar Senyk for the Rosalie E Wahl Judicial Award of Excellence.  I have known Judge Waldemar Senyk since I began my employment with the Otter Tail County Attorney’s Office in June of 2005.  Judge Senyk has been a judge in the Seventh Judicial District since 1997.  Judge Senyk is a dedicated public servant and judge and is committed and dedicated to upholding the laws of the State of Minnesota, maintaining public safety, allowing victims a voice, and balancing a defendant’s rights and ensuring those rights are protected.  Judge Senyk is highly regarded in the Otter Tail County community as a reasonable, dedicated, thoughtful judge. 

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Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Law at Age One

CLE – May 15, 2015


The 2015 Public Law Section Annual Meeting CLE held on May 15, 2015 was a presentation by Manny Munson-Regala, Minnesota Department of Health, Paul Beaumaster, Dakota County Attorney’s Office, and Jed Burkett and Patricia Beety from the Minnesota League of Cities on the topic of Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Law at Age One.  Manny and Paul started the CLE focusing on an overview of the law and an update on its implementation.  Jed then discussed the municipal regulation of medical cannabis facilities.  Pat ended by discussing the implications of the law in the workplace.

CLE Credits:
3.0 CLE credits.

Manny Munson-Regala


                      Patricia Beety                                         Jed Burkett


Public Law Section Executive Council Elections for 2015-16 

Set out below are the results of the Executive Council Elections held at the Public Law Section Annual Meeting on May 15, 2015.

Co-Chairs (1-year term):
Lisa Godon – Assistant Hennepin County Attorney
Inta Sellars – Co-Chief Human Services Judge, Minnesota Department of Human Services

Secretary: (1-year term):
Patricia Beety – Attorney, League of Minnesota Cities

Treasurer: (1-year term):
Lynn Belgea – Legal Counsel, Data Practices Coordinator, Minnesota Department of Health

Executive Council (1-year term):
Katie Engler – Senior Legal Analyst, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
Hon. Juan Hoyos – District Court Judge, Fourth Judicial District

Executive Council (2-year term):
Dan Abelson – Associate General Counsel, Metropolitan Council
Dave Goslee – Deputy Rochester City Attorney
Melissa Manderschied – Attorney, Kennedy & Graven
Kari Myrold – Assistant Dakota County Attorney
Nancy Norman – Assistant Anoka County Attorney

Returning Council Members (not on ballot, serving the 2nd year of 2-year term):
Margaret Westin – General Counsel, ISD 279, Osseo Area Schools

2015 Minnesota Laws of Interest to Public Lawyers

By Michele L. Timmons, Revisor of Statutes

In 2015, the regular session and first special session were largely devoted to passing a biennial budget for the state of Minnesota.  Here are quick links to the major budget bills:

Ch. 65 -  Public Safety/Courts  S.F. 878        1st Spec. Ch.1  -  Jobs/Econ. Dev.   H.F. 3    

Ch. 69 -  Higher Education       S.F. 5                        1st Spec. Ch. 2 -  Legacy                 S.F. 1

Ch. 71 -  Health/Human Serv.  S.F. 1458       1st Spec. Ch. 3 -  E-12 Education    H.F. 1

Ch. 75 -  Transportation           S.F. 1647       1st Spec. Ch. 4 -  Ag/Environment  S.F. 5

Ch. 77 -  State Government      S.F. 888        1st Spec. Ch. 5 -  Bonding               H.F. 2

In addition to the budget, here are selected policy provisions that may be of interest to public lawyers.    


Criminal Law/DWI – Chapter 65, S.F. 878, the omnibus judiciary and public safety finance bill, also contained a number of policy provisions:

            Adulteration by Bodily Fluid.  Art. 6, Secs. 14 and 17, create a new misdemeanor crime for a person who adulterates, with a bodily fluid, any substance that the person knows or should know is intended for human consumption.  Effective for crimes committed on or after August 1, 2015.

            DWI.  Art. 6, Secs. 5-9, lower the “aggravating factor” blood alcohol level from .20 to .16.  Effective for crimes committed on or after August 1, 2015.

            Firearm Permits.  Art. 3, Sec. 32, shortens the list of exclusions from reciprocity for other states’ permits to carry firearms by changing the standard from “not substantially similar” to “not similar”.  Effective July 1, 2015.

            Forfeiture.  Art. 6, Sec. 16, adds financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult to the felony-level forfeiture offenses.  Effective for crimes committed on or after August 1, 2015.

            Implied Consent.  Art. 6, Sec. 10, adds an affirmative defense of necessity in implied consent proceedings.  Effective July 1, 2015.

            Prostitution.  Art. 6, Sec. 11, adds as a 5-year felony when a person hires or agrees to hire an individual who the person reasonably believes to be under the age of 18 years for sex.  Effective for crimes committed on or after August 1, 2015.

            Reckless Driving.  Art. 6, Sec. 3, changes the definition of reckless driving to driving while “aware of and consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk” of harm to another or another’s property.  Effective for crimes committed on or after August 1, 2015.

            Suppressors.  Art. 3, Sec. 19, narrows the crime of possession of firearm suppressors from a total prohibition to a prohibition of possession only when the suppressor is not lawfully possessed under federal law.  Effective July 1, 2015. 

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MSBA Public Law Section

Annual Report

Section Membership
As of June 17, 2015, the Section has 420 members.
Financial Status
The Section had an account balance of $9,541.38 as of April 30, 2015.
CLEs & Events
The Section hosted 4 CLE programs in fiscal year 2014-15. 

Program Title


Event Code

CLE Credits

Number of Attendees

Understanding the New Safe & Supportive Schools Act



1.0 Standard


MNsure Appeals – Current Trends After One Year



1.0 Standard


Legal Considerations Surrounding Transgender Students 3/13/15 202197 1.5 Standard 12

Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Law At Age One



3.0 Standard


These CLEs are also made available through MSBA’s On Demand CLE Program.

Other Events


Number of Attendees

William Mitchell Public Law Practitioner Panel



University of Minnesota Public Law Practitioner Panel



Annual Meeting and Election Results
The Section’s Annual Meeting was held on May 15, 2015 and 55 people attended.

The following council members were elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017:
Dan Abelson
Katie Engler
Dave Goslee
Juan Hoyos
Melissa Manderschied
Kari Myrold
Nancy Norman
The following officers were elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016:
Co-Chairs:  Lisa Godon & Inta Sellars
Secretary: Patricia Beety
Treasurer: Lynn Belgea
Other Section Accomplishments
The PLS:

  • published two eNewsletters for members
  • amended the Bylaws to permit remote participation in Governing Council meetings and votes
  • updated the Section’s Model Pro Bono Policy for government lawyers
  • eliminated the local government committee due to duplication of efforts with other local government law organizations.
  • established a diversity committee to align with MSBA diversity efforts and adopted a diversity plan
  • supported the MSBA Mock Trial Program with a donation of $200
  • continued to support the Section’s Loaves and Fishes community service project with monetary and volunteer contributions
  • promoted participation of members in the annual holiday Sponsor A Family Program

Submitted By:
Lynn Belgea & Judge Juan Hoyos, Section Co-Chairs
Date 6/25/15

Administrative Law Section Celebrates and Plans for Coming Year

E-Version of Minnesota Administrative Procedure Unveiled

By Beverly Jones Heydinger

The Administrative Law Section held its Annual Meeting on June 3, 2015, at Town and Country Club, celebrated the past year of success and administrative law highlights, bid farewell to long-time section members Jocelyn Olson and Julie Brunner, conducted a little business, and introduced the 2015 E-Version of Minnesota Administrative Procedure.

Following publication of two print versions, George Beck, the principal author and editor of the prior print versions of Minnesota Administrative Procedure, joined with Mehmet Konar-Steenberg and Sean Felhofer, both of William Mitchell College of Law, to digitize the treatise and, with the assistance of several volunteer chapter editors, to update the content. The new version was unveiled at the Annual Meeting, with an explanation of its design, the displays that guide the user to relevant material, and a brief overview of some of the content by Patricia Winget, one of the chapter editors.

The digitized, updated version is now available: 

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 Public Law Section Public Service Projects           

Loaves and Fishes – April 1, 2015

The Public Law Section volunteers and friends cooked up the famous PLS Tator Tot Hot Dish for the folks at the Loaves and Fishes program at Holy Rosary Church in south Minneapolis.  Thank you to volunteers Ginny Hinzman, Nancy McLean, Greg Brooker, Nancy Gove and daughter Maureen, Jim Alexander, Cedrick Frazier, Margaret Westin, Margaret Olson, Steve Fouts and Kim Mesun.  Also thank you to people who made financial contributions to help pay for the food: Ginny Hinzman, Nancy Gove, Jim Alexander, Nancy Norman, Louis Thayer, Steve Fouts and Kim Mesun.  Finally, thank you to the UW Badger alums who come in with the fresh fruit for the meal and serve and clean up and to Tracy Nordby from Loaves and Fishes who assists us all!

Loaves and Fishes – June 3, 2015                            

Summer saw a change in menu for the PLS Loaves and Fishes meal.  Tator Tot Hot Dish and green beans gave way to beef tacos and corn.  Thank you to food prep workers Laura Booth, Nancy Norman, Nancy McLean, Beth Gloppen, Ginny Hinzman, Tom Kalitowski, Nancy Gove and friend Renee, and Kim Mesun.  Also thank you to food donations and financial donations from Tom Kalitowski, Al Harris, Nancy Norman and Kim Mesun.

The remaining PLS Loaves and Fishes meals for 2015 will be on August 5, October 7, and December 2.  If you would like to help out, please come to Holy Rosary Church at 2424 18th Ave. S., Minneapolis at 3:00.  If you would like more information you can contact Kim Mesun at

Department of Administration

Advisory Opinions Index 

This index uses the Department of Administration’s opinion numbers, dates of opinion, government entity involved and opinion requester.  We add a brief topic description.  Text of the 2015 opinions is available on line at .

No. of Opinion

Date of Opinion

Gov’t Entity Involved


Opinion Requester






MN Dept. of Health


Data Practices Act: Minn. Stat. sections 13.37, 13.591, 13.87, & 152.25


Classification of data in materials submitted during the application process by non-registered medical cannabis manufacturers, after a manufacturer is registered



MDH, Ehlinger






Edina City Council


Open Meeting Law: Minn. Stat. sections 13D.04 & 13D.05


Notice and conduct of closed meetings to review the Edina City Manager’s performance; summary of performance evaluation









Foth Infrastructure and Environment, LLC (City of Bloomington consultant)


Data Practices Act: Minn. Stat. sections 13.03 & 13.05


Obligation of a private business that is a contractor of a government entity to comply with the Data Practices Act and respond to a request for data





Prepared by Lynn Belgea


News from the Bench

Jon T. Huseby has been appointed as a part-time U. S. magistrate judge.  Huseby graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 2001, after earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and attending the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.  Huseby also served in the U. S. Army.  Huseby worked as an associate attorney at Hazelton and Rodgers from 2001-2006 and as a staff attorney for the Legal Services of Northwestern Minnesota from 2006 – 2008.  Since 2008, Huseby has worked at the firm of Fuller, Wallner, Cayko, Pederson & Huseby in Bemidji, where he is a partner, specializing in the areas of worker’s compensation, social security disability appeals, and personal injury.

Public Attorneys on the Move

The Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities appointed Gary Cunningham as general counsel. His appointment becomes effective July 1, 2015.  As general counsel, Cunningham will be a member of senior leadership and will work closely with other members of the cabinet, the presidents, and the Board of Trustees. The role is responsible for leading and coordinating the legal affairs of the system and providing proactive professional advice on critical strategic, legal, and public policy issues.  Cunningham has been serving as assistant general counsel at MnSCU since 2014. From 1986 to 2014, he served the Office of Minnesota Attorney General as an assistant attorney general in the Civil Litigation division and as an assistant attorney general in the Residential Utilities division. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois College of Law.

Super Simple Snicker Cookie Bar Recipe
By Kim Buechel Mesun             

An event is coming up tomorrow and you promised to bring treats.  You are dead tired.  What to do?  Here is a super simple recipe that only requires two ingredients and about ten minutes to put together, plus 25 minutes to bake.

Large roll of chocolate chip cookie dough
8 full size Snickers candy bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat 9” x 13” cake pan with cooking spray.  Press the cookie dough into the bottom of the pan.  Slice the Snickers bars lengthwise into thirds.  Lay the slices on the cookie dough to cover the dough.  There will be gaps.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cookie dough is golden brown.  Makes 24 cookie bars.

For variety you can also use Milky Way or Three Musketeers candy bars or combine all three.

If I have to bring something for a bake sale, I put a dozen of these bars in a black plastic Chinese food take-out container and add a ribbon.  They sell out every time!

PLS Announcements – for City Attorneys

2015 Annual Conference: Las Vegas, Nevada

IMLA's 80th Annual Conference
October 3-7, 2015

Welcome to Las Vegas!

Breaking Conference News

Sign Regulation in a Post Reed World - IMLA Las Vegas Programming

Following the successful webinar focusing on the Reed v. Town of Gilbert Supreme Court decision, it is clear to us that our members want more information on sign regulation in a post Reed world. That's why we are offering two separate presentations at our annual conference in Las Vegas that will discuss the Reed case and provide practical strategies for municipal lawyers on how to draft effective sign ordinances following Reed. Descriptions of those presentations are below.

These presentations are in addition to all of our other great programming on cutting edge topics like body cameras, drones, crisis management, qualified immunity, water rights, municipal bond issues and much more! For more information about our conference and to view the tentative schedule, please
click here. Take advantage of our early bird special on registration rates that expires July 31st! To register for our annual conference, please click here.

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Annual Report

MSBA Public Law Section
Annual Report


Section Membership

As of June 22, 2020 the Section has 450 members.

Financial Status

The Section had an account balance of $9,386.58 as of May 31, 2020.

CLEs & Events

The Section hosted 7 events in fiscal year 2019-20. 

Program Title


Event Code

CLE Credits

Number of Attendees

MSBA Public Law Data Practices Retreat




2.0 Standard

1.0 Elimination of Bias


Mindfulness – Living a Lower Maintenance Life



1.0 Standard


Anatomy of an Ethics Complaint



1.0 Ethics


Public Service Loan Forgiveness – Where We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We May Be Heading



1.0 Standard


Help for Attorneys in Crisis – Dealing with Lawyer Addiction and Impairment



1.0 Elimination of Bias


Contract Checkup – Diagnosing Problems in State and Municipal Contracts



1.0 Standard


Public Law Section Elections and Q&A





Annual Meeting and Election Results

The Section’s Annual Meeting was held on June 12 and 19 people attended. 

The following new council members were elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from 7/1/2020 to 6/30/2022:

• Sarah McGee, Minnesota State Colleges & Universities
• Kathryn Iverson Landrum, Minnesota Attorney General's Office
• Lisa Godon, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office

The following council member was re-elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from 7/1/2020 to 6/30/2022:

• Meg Jacot, Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities

The following council member will serve as an ex officio member of the judiciary on the Section’s Governing Council from 7/1/2020 to 6/30/2021:

• The Honorable Tracy Smith, Minnesota Court of Appeals 

The following council members will continue to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from 7/1/2020 to 6/30/2021:

• Andrew Wold, Minnesota Office of Higher Education 
• Amber Eisenschenk, League of Minnesota Cities 
• Craig Gustafson, Minnesota Department of Transportation 
• Nancy Norman Sommer, Anoka County Attorney's Office

The following officers were elected to serve on the Section’s Governing Council from 7/1/2020 to 6/30/2021:

• Co-Chair: Justin Kwong, Minnesota Department of Health 
• Co-Chair: Kate Swenson, Greene Espel, PLLP
• Treasurer: Cathy Miller, Rice County Attorney’s Office    
• Secretary: Ethan Landy, Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry

The following law students will serve on the Section's Governing Council from 7/1/2020 to 6/30/2020:
• Ivy Marsnik, University of Minnesota Law School 
• Cyle Cramer, Mitchell Hamline School of Law 

Diversity and Inclusion
What diversity and inclusion goals did the Section include in the 2019-2020 work plan, how did you approach these goals, and what was the result?

  • The Section completed a Diversity & Inclusion plan in the 2017-2018 year, and the Section referenced this plan as it conducted its 2019-20 business. The Section completed its goal of hosting a CLE in Greater Minnesota when it held its Data Practices Retreat in Baxter, MN. 
  • The Section continued to fill law student representative positions on the Council to ensure there is representation from all three law schools. 
  • The Section provided remote access to most CLEs to provide access to public law attorneys throughout Minnesota. 
  • The Section cultivated COVID-19 resources and made them easily accessible via the Section website. 

Other Section Accomplishments

  • The Section donated funds to the MSBA New Lawyers Leadership Conference ($100), Minnesota Justice Foundation ($250), and Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers ($50). 

Submitted By:
Amelia Jadoo and Justin Kwong, Section Co-Chairs
Date July 8th, 2020