Happenings at the Capitol
The 2018 legislative session has hit the final stretch, with only about one week remaining until the constitutional adjournment deadline of Monday, May 21. The House and Senate have had their busiest week of the year on the floor, each passing dozens of bills. Gov. Mark Dayton’s pen has also had its busiest week of the 2018 session, signing 14 bills into law and vetoing one bill related to sulfate standards for waters used to produce wild rice.
Aside from the increased action on the House and Senate floor, two conference committees have been working to accomplish two of the main objectives for this year’s legislative session: a supplemental budget and an omnibus tax bill. Conference committees will be the focal point at the capitol to craft and negotiate the major pieces of legislation left unpassed at this point.
Taxes Omnibus Conference Committee
On Friday, the Taxes Omnibus Conference Committee (TCC) basically wrapped up its work reconciling the House and Senate tax bills and will meet again late Monday to potentially finalize the committee’s report. The TCC chairs are giving the Department of Revenue and the Governor time to review the language.
Of course, the language contained in the attached conference report is the agreement between the House and the Senate … the Governor will likely have outstanding issues still to be resolved. So the process does not end here.
Some highlights of the bill include:
- Contains dozens of provisions to conform to a federal tax code overhaul which was passed by Congress in December 2017
- 1st income tax bracket will drop from the current 5.35% to 5.3% this biennium and 5.25% beginning in FY2019
- 2nd income tax bracket will drop from the current 7.05% to 6.95% this biennium, and 6.85% beginning in FY2019
- Preserves a number of important deductions at the state level
- According to the TCC chairs, the agreement protects 99.8% of Minnesotans from a tax increase, and prioritizes economic growth
- City of Champlin TIF provision
- Allows a city or town to fund its own historical society from its property tax levy
- Provisions affecting manufactured homes
- Most controversial property tax provisions are not included
Expect additional details to be outlined in future legislative updates.
Senate Capital Investment Bill
Following the announcement of House Republicans last week, Senate Republicans have offered their own bonding proposal this week. SF 4013 (Senjem), invests $825 million in infrastructure projects across the state. This number is identical to the amount proposed by the House, but contains a number of different projects.
The Senate bonding proposal includes:
- $342 million for transportation projects (including trunk highway bonds)
- $215 million for higher education asset preservation
- $120 million for water infrastructure
- $86.5 million for employment and economic development projects
- $80 million for mental health
- $62 million for natural resources
- $53.8 million for veterans and military Readiness Centers and Veterans Home Construction
- $35 million for Rural Finance Authority
- $35 million for housing
- $16.8 million for an interchange at Highway 169 and 101st Avenue in Brooklyn Park
- $18 million for a new Second Harvest Food Bank building in Brooklyn Park
- $6 million for toxic waste removal in Andover
- $2 million for a regional 50 meter pool in New Hope
Gov. Dayton proposed a bonding bill at the beginning of the session that would invest $1.5 billion into state-owned infrastructure, so there remains a wide divide between the legislature and the executive branches. SF4013 (Senjem) awaits further action in the Senate Finance Committee.
Looking Ahead to the Week of May 14
Here is an evolving list of House and Senate Committee hearings taking place this week that may involve bills of interest to NMMA members. Most of the legislative action will occur on the House and Senate floors or in conference committee this week:
- 8:30 – MNLARS Steering Committee
- 10:00 – Senate Meets in Session (Watch Live)
- 10:00 – House Meets in Session (Watch Live)
Tuesday – TBA:
Wednesday – TBA
Thursday – TBA
Friday – TBA
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.
Click here for live streaming options of House and Senate action.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.