The legislative session is quickly coming to a close, but legislative leaders and Governor Dayton are not finished with their work. They are continuing to negotiate the state’s $46 billion budget and will need to come to a resolution and pass a budget to the Governor by May 22.
Earlier in the week, Governor Dayton vetoed a first budget from the Legislature. The legislative budget proposals provided for $1.15 billion of tax relief; repealed the Governor’s Universal Pre-K program; provided funding for transportation from the state’s general fund; and made significant cuts to state government. The Governor vetoed every budget bill. He was very critical of the Republican priorities of cutting taxes and limited spending. He also disagreed with the inclusion of a large number of policy provisions in the budget bills.
After the Governor’s vetoes, the legislative leaders and Governor returned to the negotiating table and have since met several times, trading offers on the budget targets. They have not come to an agreement at this time. They continue to encounter a major sticking point in the size of the tax cut and the level of new spending.
They will continue to meet over the weekend. By Monday, they are required by the Constitution of Minnesota to adjourn the regular session of the 2017 Legislature. The Governor will then need to call a new Special Session of the Legislature to pass a budget before the fiscal year ends on June 30, 2017.
While negotiations on the budget took center stage, this week the Legislature passed and Governor Dayton signed the bill that would make Minnesota comply with the federal Real ID law – meaning Minnesotans will not have to use a passport to board domestic flights or gain entrance to federal and military buildings next year. On Wednesday, both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly passed the Conference Committee report on the bill. In the House, it passed by a vote of 120-11; the Senate 57-8. The bill was introduced during the first weeks of the legislative session by Senator Eric Pratt (R-Prior Lake) and Rep. Dennis Smith (R-Maple Grove).
- Adjournment. The legislative session has a constitutional adjournment date of May 22 this year.
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