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Legal Unit

The legal unit is responsible for writing the Commission’s orders and leading rulemaking projects. Parties or members of the public interested in dockets and Commission activities may wish to speak with Commissioners or PUC Staff about these matters. The legal team also explains when Ex Parte rules apply to these conversations.

Orders

The Commission speaks through its written orders, which set forth the Commission’s decisions and directives. In other words, formal actions the Commission takes as an agency are in the form of these written documents. Typically, these formal actions take place at weekly agenda meetings where the Commission makes decisions on disputed issues in individual cases. These decisions are developed into written orders by staff attorneys who are assigned to each case. 

The written orders, which are legally binding documents, provide an analysis and resolution of complex, legal, policy, and factual disputes. They also include ordering paragraphs that tell the parties in specific detail what they must do or what action they must take. At the time the order is issued by the Commission, it is filed in e-dockets in the individual docket according to the docket number, or case number. You can access the orders, which are public documents, by searching in e-dockets using the docket number.

Rulemaking

Rulemaking projects involve the development of new rules, or the amendment or repeal of existing rules, which have the force and effect of law. A rule is every agency statement of general applicability and future effect. This means that the rule applies generally on a going-forward basis. The legal unit manages the rulemaking process, works with internal and external stakeholders to develop rule language, and is responsible for developing the justification for rule changes. In other words, the attorney works with other Commission staff to identify issues and develop rule language, and then works with stakeholders to identify issues and to obtain input on the draft language. As part of the rulemaking process, the public is also given opportunities to comment. Finally, the attorney develops a document that explains and justifies the rules. Ultimately, it is up to the Commission to decide whether to adopt new rules or to amend or repeal existing ones. 

Resources

A link to the Commission’s rulemaking website page where you can find information about the status of ongoing rulemaking projects can be found here.

The Commission’s existing rules are organized by rule chapter and are available on the Revisor’s website here: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/agency/138 

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