NMMA Legislative Update – May 1, 2017
Happenings at the Capitol
Over the past month, the House and Senate have passed their major finance bills and have appointed conference committees to negotiate the differences between the positions of the two chambers. The committees have been meeting over the past two weeks to become familiar with the various versions of the omnibus bills and have begun the work of reconciling the differences in their positions.
On Friday, April 28, the House and Senate Republicans announced that they had agreed to joint budget targets for the major areas of state government. The updated state budget would total $44.8 billion over the next two years (that figure does not include a $1.15 billion tax relief package and $372 million in “new” transportation funding). Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) also stated that this budget would allow for an $800 million bonding bill this year, and another $800 million bonding bill in 2018.
House and Senate leadership asked that Gov. Mark Dayton agree to this timeline next week: on Monday, May 1 the conference committee reports will be finished and on Thursday, May 4, budget targets will be released that are agreed upon by the House, Senate, and Governor. Next week, Gov. Dayton will enter into the discussions to support his position. Dayton previously released a revised two-year state budget proposal in March following the February budget forecast.
Just over three weeks remain for the three sides to reach an agreement on the state budget to avoid a special session to put a two-year state budget in place by July 1. If no agreement is met by July 1, there will be a government shutdown.
The conference committee charged with finding common ground between the House and Senate tax bills met for the first time last week (HF4 / SF2255). Since a budget target for the committee had not yet been determined, the committee only took action on items of no fiscal impact on the state.
NMMA Legislative Work Plan items that were adopted by the conference committee include local TIF provisions for Anoka, Coon Rapids and Maple Grove. Having been adopted by the conference committee, these provisions will be in whatever tax bill the legislature sends to Gov. Dayton.
The conference committee will also need to sort out LGA funding levels. Gov. Dayton recommends a $20 million increase for 2018, the Senate provides a one-time increase of $12 million for 2018 and the House does not provide for an increase. Click here for LGA comparison between the House, Senate and Gov. Dayton’s proposed LGA funding for 2018.
With budget targets agreed upon between the House and Senate, expect conference committees to work late into the evening on Monday and Tuesday.
For a more in-depth review of the House and Senate Omnibus Tax Bills, you can find the side-by-side summary here and a summary comparison of the House, Senate and Governor’s tax proposals here. A side-by-side comparison of the bill language is not yet available, but when it is it will be found here.
The Omnibus Tax Bill conference committee members include:
Co-Chair Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston)
Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa)
Rep. Joe McDonald (R-Lakeville)
Rep. Jerry Hertaus (R-Greenfield)
Rep. Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth)
Co-Chair Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes)
Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls)
Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona)
Sen. David Senjem (R-Rochester)
Sen. Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope)
Last week the House/Senate Omnibus Transportation Conference Committee continued work on reconciling the differences between the House and Senate Omnibus Transportation Funding Bills and adopted several minor policy items that had no fiscal impacts. Now that budget targets have been assigned to the conference committee, expect substantial items to be adopted early this week.
Both the House and Senate versions propose to shift auto-related sales tax revenues on transportation-related items from the General Fund to boost spending on the state’s roads and bridges. They would also rely on bonding to fund transportation projects across the state over the next two years.
The Omnibus Transportation Funding Conference Committee includes:
Co-Chair Rep. Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska)
Rep. Linda Runbeck (R-Circle Pines)
Rep. John Petersburg (R-Waseca)
Rep. Jon Koznick (R-Lakeville)
Rep. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville)
Co-Chair Sen. Sen. Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson)
Sen. John Jasinski (R-Faribault)
Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake)
Sen. David Osmek (R-Mound)
Sen. Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin)
On Friday, House Speaker Kurt Daudt announced that the House would likely unveil a capital investment bill this week. The Speaker said the House plans to provide $800 million in capital investment funding in 2017 and another $800 in 2018. Earlier this year, the Senate advanced their bonding proposal (SF210, Senjem) through the committee process and to the Senate floor but has yet to take a floor vote on the bill. SF210 is essentially the same bill that passed the House last session but failed to pass the Senate in the final moments of the legislative session due to controversy over funding for Southwest Light Rail Transit.
With the House and Senate agreeing on budget targets for each of the budget categories, expect conference committees to work to complete their work early this week. The number of meetings on the schedule considered “at the call of the chair” will likely increase. Be aware that House and Senate committee schedules are subject to change and additions with short notice. A full House/Senate schedule can be found here.
- 11:00 Senate Meets in Session (Watch Live)
- 1:00 House Meets in Session (Watch Live)
- TBD Omnibus Tax Bill Conference Committee (3:00 or call of the chair)
- TBD Omnibus Transportation Conference Committee (3:00 or call of the chair)
- TBD Numerous budget conference committees are scheduled to meet at 3:00 or the call of the chair depending upon how late the House session goes.
- 9:00 House/Senate Conference Committee on the Omnibus Legacy Bill
- TBD All other conference committees
- 8:30 Senate Finance Committee
- S.F. 603 (Kiffmeyer) Highly paid public employees severance pay limits clarification.
- S.F. 839 (Kiffmeyer) Campaign finance and public disclosure rules codification; campaign finance and public disclosure board rulemaking authority modification; special election cycle end date change; contributions affidavits electronic submissions; obsolete rules repeal
- 5:30 Legislative Pension Commission
- Final action on 2017 Omnibus Pension Bill
Thursday – TBD
Friday – TBD
Where to Find Legislative Information
Both the House and Senate websites contain useful information to help track legislation and stay in touch with your legislators. NMMA encourages its members to visit the House and Senate websites and sign up for legislative updates from your legislators.