Happenings at the Capitol
The 2019 Legislative Session adjourned just before the midnight deadline on Monday, May 20, without approving a state budget. After budget negotiations between the Governor, Senate, and House were completed, a one day special session occurred on Friday, May 24 to pass all of the compromise funding bills.
Both bodies worked in marathon fashion overnight to finish passing the state’s two-year, $48.3 billion budget. The governor is expected to sign all of the bills.
Here is a recap of the budget bills of concern to NMMA with NMMA Legislative Action Plan items highlighted in yellow:
The Tax bill includes many tax policy changes, such as increasing the standard deduction to $24,400 for married couples filing joint returns, $12,000 for singles and changing the starting point for calculating individual income taxes for individuals from federal taxable income (FTI) to federal adjusted gross income (FAGI). There is also an increase to the Social Security subtraction.
- Second-tier income tax bracket rate decrease from 7.05% to 6.8% beginning in tax year 2022;
- Provider tax made permanent at 1.8%;
- Increases Local Government Aid and County Program Aid by $24M in 2020 and $30M in 2021;
- Maintains numerous itemized deductions;
- Reduces the state general levy amounts for both commercial-industrial property and seasonal-recreational property;
- Includes TIF provisions for the Cities of Anoka and Champlin;
- Allow a city or town to fund its own historical society from its property tax levy.
Although the odd numbered year of the legislative session is not traditionally a year that the legislature passes a capital investment bill, the House Capital Investment Committee met numerous times throughout the legislative session. While the committee assembled a $1.5B bill which included numerous NMMA supported projects, the bill was not brought to the House floor for a vote. It is likely that many of the provisions in the bill will be considered for the 2020 Capital Investment bill.
Items of interest in the $1.5 billion bonding bill that did not become law include:
- $5M for the Mississippi Park Project in Champlin;
- $10M for the Trunk Highway 47 Railroad Grade Separation project in Anoka;
- $18M to upgrade local connections in Maple Grove;
- $6.5 M for Maple Grove Training Facility;
- $1.5M in Coon Rapids for the East River Road and Hwy 610 Interchange;
- $5M in “Mighty Ducks” funding for R-22 elimination and cooling system grants;
- $8M for the Inflow and Infiltration Grant Program; and
- $102M for trunk highway bonding.
NMMA provided letters of support and/or direct lobbying efforts provisions having an impact on NMMA member cities.
The final transportation bill appropriates $6.7 billion for transportation, with an increase of $97.3 million. The bill does not include gas tax increases and is considered by legislators to be a “status quo” bill. Items of interest to NMMA members include:
- $13 million in deputy registrar reimbursement;
- $55 million to replace the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS);
- $50 million for the Corridors of Commerce program;
- $23 million additional funding to Metro Mobility;
- Re-establishes a $2.25 surcharge on vehicle registrations to fund driver and motor vehicle technology systems;
- Increases various license plate fees;
- $2.4 billion in CSAH funding;
- Increases the motor vehicle filing fees by $1 for renewals and other transactions;
- Requires the Department of Public Safety consults with stakeholders during implementation of the new motor vehicle registration system;
- Allows cities and towns to adopt a speed limit of 25 mph on residential roadways without a traffic engineering study and approval my MnDOT;
- Requires slower moving vehicles to stay out of the left lane; and
- Provides and exemption of hours of service requirements for intrastate transportation of utility construction materials within a 50-mile radius of the project site.
- Authorizes the Secretary of State to access $6.6 million in Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funding for election security;
- Increases the caps on grants for R-22 replacement and cooling systems for the Mighty Ducks program;
- Provides privacy to Presidential Nominating Primary voters; and
- Provides expanded local government reimbursements for Presidential Nominating Primary expenses.
Metropolitan Council Governance
The following bills were approved during the special session:
- Omnibus agriculture, rural development, and housing bill (SF 1)
- E-12 education bill (HF 1)
- Omnibus environment and natural resources bill (SF 7)
- Omnibus health and human services bill (SF 12)
- Jobs, economic development, energy, and commerce bill (HF 2)
- Omnibus judiciary and public safety bill (SF 8)
- Omnibus legacy finance bill (SF 3)
- Pension and retirement bill (HF 10)
- Omnibus state government and veterans bill (SF 10)
- Tax bill (HF 5)
- Transportation finance bill (HF 6)
- Housing bill (HF 12)
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
Jill Brown, Executive Director