Happenings at the Capitol
The legislature adjourned sine die minutes before the midnight deadline on Sunday, May 20. Legislators introduced over 4,500 bills in the House and over 4,000 bills in the Senate — the most bills introduced in a single biennium in Minnesota history.
The last weekend of the legislative session produced a second tax bill, an omnibus supplemental budget bill and a capital investment bill that funds $1.5 billion in projects across the state.
On Wednesday, news broke that Gov. Dayton vetoed the Omnibus Tax/Education Bill as well as the Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill. Read the governor’s veto messages for the Tax/Education and Supplemental Budget.
Tax Bill Vetoed x2
In response to Gov. Dayton’s tax bill veto during the final weekend of the legislative session, the House and Senate passed a second bill to address conforming Minnesota’s tax code with the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. This bill included emergency education funding requested by the governor.
Some highlights of the bill (vetoed Wednesday) include:
- $50 million from the general fund for a onetime school aid payment of $57.73 per pupil for student and staff safely.
- Other provisions allowing schools additional flexibility on how to utilize existing funds.
- Dozens of provisions to conform to a federal tax code overhaul which was passed by Congress in December 2017
- 1st income tax bracket to drop from the current 5.35% to 5.3% this biennium and 5.25% beginning in FY2019
- 2nd income tax bracket to drop from the current 7.05% to 6.95% this biennium, and 6.85% beginning in FY2019
- Preserved a number of important deductions at the state level
- According to the House and Senate authors, the agreement protected 99.8% of Minnesotans from a tax increase, and prioritizes economic growth
- City of Champlin TIF provision
- Allow a city or town to fund its own historical society from its property tax levy
Capital Investment Bill
With minutes to spare before the constitutional adjournment deadline, legislators passed a Capital Investment bill which invests $825 million in general obligation bonds and authorizes investments from other funding sources to total $1.5 billion in construction projects. The bill provides funding for projects that range from money to design a new Stone Arch Bridge, build a new visitor center at historic Fort Snelling, fund clean and waste water projects as well as focus funding on numerous road and bridge construction projects all across Minnesota.
Some provisions of interest to NMMA members include:
- $542 million in transportation projects (primarily roads and bridges)
- $6.7 million for Local Road Wetland Replacement
- $78.8 million for Local Road Improvement Program
- $35M Undesignated Funds
- $15M to Anoka County for the Thurston Blvd interchange project in Anoka
- $13.5M for the Brockton Lane Interchange Project – Dayton
- $5 million for the Local Bridge Program
- $1 million to DEED for the Transportation Economic Development program (TED)
- $1 million for Safe Routes to School
- $4 million for the Highway 169/101st Ave Interchange Project in Brooklyn Park
- $2 million for rail grade separation at Ramsey Blvd and Highway 10 in Ramsey
- $400 million for Trunk Highway Bonds ($150M in FY2022 and FY2023 and $100M in FY2024) for the Corridors of Commerce Program
- This new funding will allow the Corridors of Commerce Program to fund the Highway 252 MNPASS/Freeway Conversion project in Brooklyn Center/Brooklyn Park!
- $1.55 million for the Minnesota Rail Improvement Program
- $1.55 million for the Rice Creek Bridge project
- $1 million for asset preservation at the National Sport Center – Blaine
- $569,000 to design renovation of the nursing building on the Coon Rapids campus of Anoka-Hennepin Community College
- $18 million for Second Harvest Food Bank – Brooklyn Park
- $10 million for Public Housing Rehabilitation
- $6 million for toxic waste removal in Andover
- $2 million for a regional 50 meter pool in New Hope
Funding for Highway 10 in Anoka and rail grade separation in Ramsey were added to the bill at the last moment before final passage.
Transportation Article of the House/Senate Supplemental Budget Bill
The legislature also passed numerous transportation related items in the 989 page omnibus supplemental budget bill that was vetoed today by Gov. Dayton including:
- $12.8 million for continued development of MNLARS
- $10.7 million for local bridge funds
- $10 million on the Corridors of Commerce program
- $8.5 million in supplemental funding for the Small Cities Assistance Fund to aid local road projects
- $5 million in additional funds to reimburse deputy registrars impacted by the state’s rollout of MNLARS
- $2.1 million for a suburb to suburb pilot project
- $13.7 million for staff and technical costs related to MNLARS
- $8 million to reimburse Deputy Registrars for damages incurred due to the rollout of MNLARS
- A policy provision prohibiting state funding for capital costs related to light rail projects
- Directs MnDOT to negotiate with BNSF Railway to extend the line to St. Cloud but does not contain funding
Transportation Constitutional Amendment
Legislation proposing a constitutional amendment be placed on the general election ballot in November to constitutionally dedicate all the sales tax collected on auto parts, as well as the sales tax on leased vehicles and rental vehicles to fund transportation construction projects stalled at the legislature this session and will not be on the November ballot.
While approved by the House 76-54, the provision could not gain enough support in the Senate to advance.
Metropolitan Council Governance
The conference report for SF2809(Pratt)/HF3273(Albright) which reforms the governance of the Metropolitan Council passed the Senate 36-30 with Senators Hoffman and Newton joining Republican Senators in voting yes. The conference report passed the House 72-48 and is awaiting signature or a veto from the governor.
Provisions in the bill include:
- The Council will comprise of 29 members:
- 1 board chair appointed by the Governor
- 16 elected officials being selected by local municipal committees
- 2 county commissioners from Hennepin County
- 6 county commissioners from Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Ramsey and Washington Counties – each county receives one member
- Commissioner of MnDOT or designee
- 1 transit representative appointed by the Commissioner of MnDOT
- 1 freight representative appointed by the Commissioner of MnDOT
- 1 nonmotorized transportation representative appointed by the Commissioner of MnDOT
- Eliminates the Transportation Advisory Board
- Establishes a Technical Advisory Committee
- Members of the Metropolitan Council will not receive a salary but will be reimbursed for their expenses
- Member terms are staggered
- Effective January 1, 2019
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.