The IRRRB, a State agency, has a Douglas J. Johnson Economic Development Fund (DJJ Fund) valued at $148 million that was established for economic development and diversification in the agency’s service area. Unlike other State agencies, the IRRRB only serves seven counties in northeastern Minnesota (see map below for more details).

The DJJ Fund is made up of local taconite production taxes but is considered an asset of the State, which makes it vulnerable to spending or reallocation based on legislative action.

The IRRRB Commissioner is appointed by the Governor, and the IRRRB Board is comprised of local legislators and one legislative appointee. The Commissioner reports to the Governor. The Board has fiscal responsibility over the agency budget and DJJ Fund spending.

Many systems and procedures that govern how the agency does business are controlled by other State agencies in St. Paul, which affects cost, efficiency and decision-making authority at the local level. The questions in this survey are based on the IRRRB’s DJJ Fund and its current governance and structure as a State agency.