Minnesota Legislature Adjourns the 2024 Legislative Session Sine Die

May 21, 2024

The session came down to the wire and ended with passage of a massive omnibus policy, budget, and tax bill but no capital investment package.

The Minnesota House and Senate wrapped up the 2024 legislative session on May 19 in a procedurally chaotic finish. Frustrated with Republican filibusters, in the final hour before the constitutional deadline for passing bills, the Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) majorities in both bodies advanced a 1,430 page omnibus bill (pdf) containing supplemental budget, policy, and tax measures, including provisions aimed at keeping transportation network companies Uber and Lyft from leaving the state.

Despite a last-minute attempt to pass a $71 million cash-only capital investment bill, the Senate ran out of time to complete a vote on the bill, which had been passed 70-0 by the House shortly before the midnight deadline.

The Senate adjourned sine die, which marks the end of the legislative biennium, just after 12 a.m. on May 20. The House finished its work just before midnight on May 19, and reconvened the next morning for legislator retirement speeches before adjourning sine die.

The League’s Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) team is waiting for Gov. Tim Walz to receive the chapters that passed in the final days and will provide more in-depth analysis of the  outcomes of the new laws when they are made available. The governor has two weeks from the date of presentment of chapters to sign, veto, or pocket veto bills. Many bills won’t reach his desk for several days as nonpartisan legislative staff work to prepare them for his signature.

Some of the known outcomes include the following:

  • Housing: No limitations on local zoning and land use authority for residential development were passed this session. While legislators on both sides of the aisle committed to discussing zoning and land use preemption during the interim and redoubling efforts next session, none of the language included in the Missing Middle Housing bill, People Over Parking bill, or multifamily by right in commercial districts bill was passed.
  • Bonding: The Legislature did not bring a bonding bill up for a floor vote in either body this session. A last-minute attempt to pass a cash-only infrastructure bill was unable to be completed before the midnight deadline. That bill would have provided around $71 million from the general fund to state agencies and new financial management requirements for future city projects requesting or receiving state funding as direct appropriations.
  • Taxes: While some tax provisions were included in the final omnibus bill, most substantive provisions being considered were removed from the final agreement. The local sales tax general authority proposals that were in the House and Senate bills were not included in the bill that passed, and the local sales tax moratorium remains in place for another year.
  • Cannabis: The Legislature passed a bill that makes changes to the cannabis regulatory structure. The bill provides that a city or county seeking to establish a municipal cannabis store must be granted a license, but the municipal establishment would not count against the cap on the number of licensed cannabis retailers in the jurisdiction.
  • Emergency medical services (EMS): The House and Senate passed a bill that replaces the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board with a new agency called the Office of Emergency Medical Services, establishes an alternative emergency medical services response model pilot program, and provides $24 million in emergency aid for rural ambulance services.
  • Small Cities Assistance Program: The Legislature passed a provision that allocates $11.35 million in general funds for one-time funding of the Small Cities Assistance Program, which will be distributed to cities with populations below 5,000 for street maintenance and reconstruction. This is intended to provide short-term financial assistance to small cities until next year when other dedicated revenue sources including the retail delivery fee will be implemented.
  • Open Meeting Law: Though several bills were heard during the legislative session that would make changes to the Open Meeting Law, none were passed by the Legislature.
  • Elections: An omnibus elections bill was passed and signed into law that allocates more funds to the Voting Operations, Technology, and Election Resources (VOTER) Account, and establishes a Minnesota Voting Rights Act. A standalone bill to authorize local governments to implement ranked choice voting failed in the House and was not taken up by the Senate.
  • Metro area comprehensive plans: Language supported by the League to clarify that comprehensive plans approved by the Metropolitan Council do not require environmental review on plan provisions was included in the final large omnibus bill.
  • Earned sick and safe time (ESST) modifications: Several modifications to the 2023 ESST law will go to the governor, including an exemption for volunteer and paid on-call firefighters, and restrictions on use for employees with duties related to public safety during weather events and for essential employees under certain circumstances.

The IGR team will be presenting a free  2024 Legislative Recap webinar on June 3. They will also provide a legislative update at the  2024 LMC Annual Conference in Rochester on June 27. The 2024 Law Summaries will be published in late June.

Read more news articles.