Action on the supplemental omnibus tax bill, supplemental budget bill, and bonding bill remain.
(Published May 15, 2014)
Note: Information in this story is continuously developing at the Capitol. Follow #lmcleg on Twitter and watch the Legislature live for the latest information.
The activity on the remaining major bills, the supplemental omnibus tax bill (HF 3167) including the supplemental budget bill (HF 3172), and the capital projects bills (HF 2490 and HF 1068) slowed to a crawl earlier this week as the House, Senate, governor and the two caucuses try to negotiate agreements to close the session. No bills may be passed on the last day of session, therefore lawmaking for the 2014 regular legislative session must occur before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 18.
Supplemental omnibus tax bill
The conference committee on the omnibus tax bill reached an agreement on all provisions late last Thursday evening, but the conferees have been waiting to officially close the bill and send it to the House and Senate floors until agreements are reached on the supplemental budget bill and the two capital projects bills. The conference committee reconvened briefly this morning and subsequently recessed. The conference committee is working on state and local financing options for the Lewis and Clark water project in southwest Minnesota. The conference committee chairs originally announced that they expect to finalize the bill by noon on May 15; that has been delayed. For more information on the contents of the agreement from last week:
Supplemental budget bill
The supplemental budget conference committee, which has been meeting irregularly for several weeks, has been making significant progress over the past several days and is expected to complete its work on the $263 million bill sometime on Thursday. On Wednesday evening, the conference committee adopted an economic development article that included $20 million for a broadband grant program. Unfortunately, the bill no longer includes any one-time funding to assist cities with road-related challenges created by the severe winter conditions.
The House and Senate majority leadership on Wednesday unveiled an initial agreement for a capital projects bill financed with bonds and a second bill that would finance additional capital projects with a portion of the state's projected surplus. However, the "agreement" was not immediately embraced by the House and Senate Republicans. Due to the constitutional requirement for a three-fifths majority on bills that include bonding, the House and Senate need Republican votes, and the initial agreement is being modified in an attempt to secure sufficient support to pass the bill.
Based on late Wednesday night activity at the Capitol, it appears that today and Friday will be very busy as the House and Senate attempt to process these remaining bills prior to Monday's constitutional deadline. We will update you on events via Capitol Updates and the Cities Bulletin on Monday. You can also follow #lmcleg and IGR staff on Twitter.
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