Special Session Update from Minneminds

Things are moving quickly at the Capitol. There will be additional updates as things progress, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop. Below, we provide…

  • An Update from the Capitol
  • Some Recent News: “Legislature gets budget deal — but will need an overtime special session” (Excerpt) via Pioneer Press
  • A Review of Regular Session: What has — and hasn’t — been been passed
    • Bills that have passed and await signing
    • Issues not yet resolved
    • Other key issues
    • Upcoming Advisory Committee Meetings

Update from the Capitol: Special Session Announced

At 11:18 p.m. on May 22, Speaker Daudt announced a special session to start at 12:01 a.m. on May 23 that will go until 7 a.m. on May 24. Speaker Daudt announced the new tax target is $660 million. The transportation target is $300 million, which includes $70 million for transit. The education target is $477 million, which includes $50 million for a “school readiness plus” program. The bonding bill target is approximately $990 million. The legislature will send the Governor a preemption bill, but not as part of an omnibus budget bill. The Governor said he will not sign the preemption bill.

The MinneMinds coalition is currently working to gain insight on proposed allocations for Early Childhood Educations, and will update our membership as soon as information becomes available.

In The News: Legislature gets budget deal — but will need an overtime special session
Updated 05/23/2017, 7:47 a.m. By David Montgomery, via Pioneer Press

“Minnesota legislators blasted past their midnight deadline Monday to get their work done — but will come back immediately to finish the job.

Forty-five minutes before their constitutionally mandated end of this year’s five-month legislative session, Republican legislative leaders joined with Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton to announce they had reached a deal on how much money to spend on tax cuts, transportation, health and human services and public schools.

“I’m grateful that we have a deal,” said a smiling but weary Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka.”

View on Pioneer Press

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Review of Regular Session: What has — and hasn’t — been passed

This year of the biennium is focused on crafting the State’s $46 billion budget. Currently, Minnesota has a budget surplus of $1.5 billion. Below is summary of where things stand at the end of the regular 2017 legislative session and an update on the recently announced special session.

The following budget bills have passed both the House and the Senate and await action by Governor Dayton:

  • Agriculture omnibus – HF 1545
  • Environment and Natural Resources omnibus – SF 844
  • Higher Education omnibus – SF 943
  • Jobs and Economic Growth omnibus – SF 1456
  • Judiciary and Public Safety omnibus – HF 470
  • LCCMR omnibus – SF 550
  • Legacy omnibus – HF 707
  • Pensions omnibus – SF 545

The following issues are yet to be resolved:

Education

  • Early childhood education was a major sticking point in negotiations. The Governor wanted to expand the voluntary prekindergarten program while legislators wanted to increase early learning scholarships.
    The Governor wanted a general education funding formula of 2%. The Legislature funding a formula increase of 1.5%.
  • Additionally, the Governor vetoed a separate teacher licensure reform bill.

Health and Human Services

  • The future of the healthcare access fund was a major point of contention between the Governor and the Legislature.
    Legislators focused on regulating opioid prescriptions and addiction treatment.
    Bonding
  • During the 2016 legislative session, a bonding bill failed in the Senate in the final minutes of the session.
  • Last week, the House failed to pass an $800 million bonding bill with the required two-thirds majority.

State Government

  • DFL legislators objected to the ten percent administrative cuts to state agencies.
    Taxes
  • The GOP Legislature’s top priority for this session was tax relief.
  • Last session, the Governor did not sign the tax bill due to a one-word error.

Transportation

  • The Legislature has not passed a transportation bill since 2013.
  • The Legislature and the Governor remained divided on funding streams and the priorities of modes of transportation.

Other Key Issues This Session:

Internet Privacy

  • Language to prevent internet service providers from selling information on customers’ browser history was not included in any budget bills despite receiving a yes vote from 200 of the 201 legislators.

Private School Tax Credits/Vouchers

  • A provision included in the tax bill vetoed by the Governor would have allowed families to use tax credits for private school tuition.
  • This provision was removed during budget negotiations after the veto at the request of the Governor.

Real ID

  • Minnesota passed a REAL ID bill which will bring Minnesota in compliance with federal security standards.
  • This bill contains no provisions on driver’s licenses for undocumented Minnesotans. This provision had prevented the bill from passing in past legislative sessions.

Reinsurance

  • Earlier in the session, the Governor signed a bill to allocate $542 million to insurance companies to stabilize the health care market in Minnesota.

Sunday Sales

  • Earlier this session, the Legislature passed a bill to allow alcohol to be purchased from liquor stores on Sunday. This was signed by the Governor. This law will go into effect on July 1, 2017.

Uniform Labor Standards or Preemption

  • This would have prevented municipalities from enacting separate labor standards like a local minimum wage or earned sick/safe time ordinances. It was not included in any final bills.