Happenings at the Capitol
With more than 2200 bills having been introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives and over 2000 bills introduced in the Senate, there are a lot of bills to track and be aware of. Since Friday was the first committee deadline, House and Senate policy committees were very busy last week. The passing of the first committee deadline marks an important stage of the legislative process that helps the legislature focus its work and ensure that it is on-track to adjourn on or before the constitutional deadline of May 22.
For more information about committee deadlines at the legislature, view this video produced by the House Public Information Services office.
Maple Grove and Anoka received hearings on local TIF bills last week in the House Property Tax and Local Government Finance Division. Maple Grove Mayor Mark Stephenson and City Manager Heidi Nelson testified in support of HF732 (Smith, R-Maple Grove) while Anoka Assistant Finance Director Brenda Smith testified in support of HF999 (Whelan, R-Anoka). Both bills were laid over for possible inclusion in the House omnibus tax bill that will be assembled in the next few weeks. The Senate companions will likely be included in the Senate omnibus tax bill as the Senate Tax Chair has indicated he is inclined to include all the TIF bills from the vetoed 2015 omnibus tax bill in this year’s tax bill provided they do not require a language change.
Strong Beer at the New Hope Golf Course
SF678 (Rest, DFL-New Hope) received a hearing in the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance Committee last week. The bill authorizes New Hope to obtain an intoxicating liquor license at the New Hope Village Golf Course so they may serve strong beer. SF678 was laid over for possible inclusion in the Senate omnibus liquor bill. The bill’s House companion received a hearing earlier this session and has also been laid over for possible inclusion in the House omnibus liquor bill.
HF1496 (West, R-Blaine) requires an intersection improvement study for a segment of TH65 north of Anoka County 10 in Blaine through Ham Lake in order to examine traffic congestion, impacts to freight, congestion reduction options and improvements at 109th Avenue. The bill received a hearing in the House Transportation Finance Committee where it was laid over for possible inclusion in the House omnibus transportation bill. Anoka County Engineer, Doug Fischer testified on behalf of the bill which has bipartisan support in the House. The bill’s Senate companion SF1639 (Newton, DFL-Coon Rapids) has not yet received a committee hearing in the Senate Transportation Finance and Policy Committee.
Metropolitan Council Governance
One of the hottest topics at the Capitol this session has been various proposals on Metropolitan Council Governance. Last week was no exception with the following bills receiving hearings:
SF1490 (Osmek, R-Mound) proposes to remove the governor’s authority to appoint members to the Council and creates a municipal committee in each council district. SF1490 was approved by the Senate Local Government Committee and re-referred to the Senate Transportation Finance Committee. The House companion, HF1866 (Albright, R-Prior Lake) has made stops in the House Transportation and Regional Governance Policy and House Government Operations and Elections Policy Committees and is currently waiting for a hearing in the House Transportation Finance Committee.
HF828 (Albright, R-Prior Lake) restructures the Metropolitan Council from 16 members to 27 members consisting of 23 local elected officials and four members representing transportation modes. The chair would no longer be appointed by the governor but would be appointed by and from among the council members. After receiving the approval of two House committees, the bill is currently waiting for a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee.
Minnesota Department of Transportation Project Selection
Last week the House Transportation Finance Committee, heard and laid over for possible inclusion in the House omnibus transportation bill legislation making changes to how the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s highway project selection process including modifying aspects of the Corridors of Commerce program and legislative reporting. HF1434 (Whelan, R-Anoka) is an effort to shed light on a selection process that an Office of the Legislative Auditor’s report released last year heavily criticized. Anoka County Engineer Doug Fischer testified in support of the legislation stating that it will have a positive effect on the Corridors of Commerce program.
HF1155 (Bernardy, DFL-New Brighton) directs MnDOT to create and implement a performance, stewardship and sustainability plan for the state’s transportation system. The plan would be due to the legislature by December 15 annually beginning in 2018. The bill received a hearing in the House Transportation Finance Committee and was laid over for possible inclusion in the House omnibus transportation bill.
HF1241 (Petersburg, R-Waseca) directs MnDOT to develop best practices for highway project selection processes for both the standard highway program and specialty programs such as the Corridors of Commerce program. The legislation has been laid over by the House Transportation Finance Committee for possible inclusion in the House omnibus transportation bill.
Legislation directing MnDOT to report on expanding use of tolling for congestion management and increased revenue was heard in the House Transportation Finance Committee and laid over for possible inclusion in the House omnibus transportation bill. HF1467 (Torkelson, R-Hanska) requires the report to be due by January 2, 2018.
Bill Introductions of Interest From Last Week
- Senators Anderson, B. and Koran introduced:
S.F. No. 1755: A bill for an act relating to solid waste; modifying requirements for establishing organized collection
- Senator Osmek introduce:
S.F. No. 1769: A bill for an act relating to transportation; governing light rail transit operating costs
- Senator Isaacson introduced:
S.F. No. 1780: A bill for an act relating to taxation; sales and use; allowing an exemption for purchases of certain construction materials, supplies, and equipment
- Senator Frentz introduced:
S.F. No. 1799: A bill for an act relating to motor vehicles; increasing the motor fuels tax
- Whelan and Drazkowski introduced:
H. F. 2114, A bill for an act relating to taxation; property; establishing the Legislative Property Tax Reform Task Force; requiring a report
- Torkelson introduced:
H. F. 2148, A bill for an act relating to transportation; making changes to the project selection process for the corridors of commerce program
- Torkelson introduced:
H. F. 2149, A bill for an act relating to transportation; requiring the commissioner of transportation to develop a policy for evaluating, ranking, and selecting projects; requiring a report to the legislature
- Howe; Petersburg; Swedzinski; Johnson, C., and Poppe introduced:
H. F. 2191, A bill for an act relating to transportation; establishing a local cost-share assistance account; appropriating money for local roads and bridges; authorizing sale and issuance of general obligation bonds
- Lucero introduced:
H. F. 2213, A bill for an act relating to transportation; making changes to the project selection process for the corridors of commerce program
- Hornstein introduced:
H. F. 2280, A bill for an act relating to transportation; providing for railroad and pipeline transportation incident preparedness, information availability, training, coordination, and inspections; modifying assessments; providing for data practices; making technical changes; requiring a report
- Albright and Halverson introduced:
H. F. 2322, A bill for an act relating to elections; authorizing jurisdictions to adopt ranked-choice voting; establishing procedures for adoption, implementation, and use of ranked-choice voting
Here are some of the many meetings taking place that may be of interest. Note that schedules can quickly change. To view the complete legislative schedule, click here.
- 10:00 – House Property Tax and Local Government Finance Division (Bill Links)
- HF663 – (Hamilton): Aid penalty forgiveness for cities provided, and money appropriated.
- HF672 – (Anderson): City aid appropriation increased.
- HF718 – (Fabian): Oslo; penalty forgiveness provided, and money appropriated.
- HF725 – (Murphy): Base year formula aid provided to a newly incorporated city.
- HF754 – (Drazkowski): County, city, or town payments adjusted for those contributing to a world fair.
- HF760 – (Metsa): Local government aid related definitions modified, and city revenue need and certified aid adjustments adjusted.
- HF838 – (Hansen): West St. Paul; temporary payment increase provided.
- HF849 – (Gunther): Transition between city need formulas modified.
- HF1320 – (Lien): City annual appropriation increased.
- HF1512 – (Davids): City revenue need measure and final city aid calculation amended.
- HF2107 – (Drazkowski): Aid reductions for cities imposing labor regulations established.
- HF2187 – (Drazkowski): Post-certification adjustments for lobbying expenses established.
- HF609 – (Backer): County program aid modified, and money appropriated.
- HF1372 – (Layman): Iron Range fiscal disparities program distribution levies adjusted.
- HF1968 – (Ecklund): Previously distributed taconite tax proceeds classification provided.
- HF1146 – (Vogel): Notice and referendum provided on whether a municipality may use public utility license, permit, rights, or franchise fees to raise revenue.
- HF1504 – (Nash): Local governments prohibited from banning or taxing paper or plastic bags.
- HF586 – (Drazkowski): State-purchased land annual payment funds using dedicated revenues established, payment in lieu of taxes requirements modified, and money appropriated.
- HF2114 – (Whelan): Legislative Property Tax Reform Task Force established, and report required.
- HF1466 – (Torkelson): Water law authorities modified, riparian buffer requirements modified, aid to counties and watershed districts provided to assume jurisdiction of implementing and enforcing buffer law, and money appropriated.
- HF773 – (Murphy): 2017 city aid payment formula amended and adjustments provided.
- 11:00 – Senate Meets in Session (Watch Live)
- 3:30 – House Meets in Session (Watch Live)
- 8:30 – Senate Local Government Committee (Bill Links)
- S.F. 1399 (Abeler) County license bureaus business hours modification.
- S.F. 1224 (Mathews) Proposed ordinances affecting business licenses notice requirement.
- S.F. 1855 (Marty) Ramsey county supported work program for people with disabilities positions selection.
- S.F. 561 (Osmek) Small wireless facilities collocation authorization.
- 8:30 – Senate Taxes (Bill Links)
- S.F. 990 (Fischbach) Highway user tax distribution fund deposit of estimated sales tax revenue from sale of motor vehicle parts.
- S.F. 1623 (Benson) Health insurance premium payment income tax subtraction authorization.
- S.F. 888 (Housley) First-time home buyer savings account program establishment and account creation, income tax subtraction authorization and appropriation.
- S.F. 529 (Senjem) Internet service machinery and equipment sales and use tax exemption.
- S.F. 900 (Bakk) Super Bowl admissions sales tax exemption modification; Minnesota sports facilities commission operating and capital expenses sales tax reimbursement requirement.
- 1:00 – House Transportation Finance
- HF1244 – (Petersburg): Appeal process for denial or revocation of driveway permit provided.
- HF2191 – (Howe): Local cost-share assistance account established, local road and bridge funding provided, bonds issued, and money appropriated.
- HF204 – (Runbeck): Highway construction cost study and report required, and money appropriated.
- HF1750 – (Hausman): Supplemental metropolitan transit service funding provided, and money appropriated.
- HF1866 – (Albright): Metropolitan Council governance modified, farebox recovery objective for Twin Cities metropolitan area transit established, Metropolitan Council prohibited from undertaking a light rail project without explicit legislative authority, consideration of reasonableness of system plans in Metropolitan Land Planning Act allowed, light rail transit project development governing requirements established, and Metropolitan Council required to revise transportation policy plan.
- HF1922 – (Koznick): Electric vehicle registration tax increased by $125.
- HF1133 – (Garofalo): Electric vehicle registration tax and operation in managed lanes amended.
- HF1899 – (Johnson): Motor fuels tax increased.
- HF2082 – (Hornstein): Gross receipts motor fuels tax established, vehicle registration tax and metropolitan area transit sales tax amended, distribution of highway user fund and state-aid funding amended, fees and charges modified, fiscal policies modified, reports required, bonds issued, and money appropriated.
- 1:00 – Senate State Government Finance and Policy and Elections Committee
- S.F. 1264 (Housley) State primary election date change from August to June.
- North Metro Mayors Association Day at the Capitol!
- 5:30 – NMMA Board Meeting, 316 Capitol
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. NMMA encourages its members to visit the House and Senate websites and sign up for legislative updates from your legislators.