May 08, 2015

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update: 05/08/2015

With the clock running out for the legislature in 2015, members are spending more time in each chamber. Majority leadership from each body has been working with the Governor to find middle ground between gaps in budget plans.

House Floor Sessions

The House passed the omnibus Agriculture Finance bill (HF1437 – Hamilton) on Monday, 110-18, which was the last of the primary omnibus finance bills to pass through the chamber. The rest of the week included passage of many smaller member bills, including the omnibus lands bill and the Department of Health & Human Services’ technical omnibus health care policy bill.

Senate Floor Sessions

In the Senate this week, members spent longer than usual in floor sessions most days to tackle the Omnibus Tax bill (HF848 – Skoe/Davids) which passed 42-25 after many failed amendment discussions. Other bills of note included a bill prohibiting the sale of microbeads, a bill regulating data retention and storage from license plate readers and body cameras, the Legacy bill, and several smaller member bills.

Conference Committees

Most omnibus committees have been announced and have been meeting regularly this week. While they wait for new budget targets, conference committees have been reviewing the side-by-side documents that contain the House and Senate versions of each bill. Negotiation on each is expected to begin next week, and smaller conference committees have been appointed for smaller member bills.

Upcoming Legislative Notes

Over the weekend, Senate Majority Leader Bakk, House Speaker Daudt, and Governor Dayton are expected to spend time working through budget negotiations. On Monday, they are expected to release budget targets for conference committees to use in negotiations. Next week is also the last full week of the legislative session before constitutionally mandated adjournment on May 18.

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