With 10 days left till adjournment, legislators are scrambling to complete their work on a tax conformity bill, a supplemental budget bill and a bonding bill. These bills need to be conferenced and repassed by May 20. Minnesota’s constitution prohibits bills from being passed on the last day of session. Leadership in the House and Senate continue to negotiate joint budget targets — essential for the conference committees to complete their work — and anticipate an agreement early next week.
Tax Conference Committee Begins Meeting
Conferees to the omnibus tax bill began meeting Wednesday. The House, Senate and Governor Dayton have significant differences that need to be worked out by May 20. For example, the House bill lowers the second-tier individual income tax rate from 7.05 percent to 6.75 percent and corporate rate from 9.8 percent to 9.06 percent. The Senate bill lowers the first-tier income tax rate from 5.35 percent to 5.1 percent and includes an automatic rate cut mechanism when the state budget has a surplus. The conference committee began adopting no cost provisions that are same or similar language in both bills.
Membership is comprised of:
HF4385 conference committee documents can be found here:
Supplemental Budget Conference Committee
The conference committee on the Supplemental Budget Bill, SF3656, started meeting on Tuesday to walk through the House and Senate versions of the bill. They finished going through almost 50 side-by-side comparisons of the major differences in each article of the bill on Thursday evening. This budget bill contains a significant amount of policy language, including provisions the Governor would veto were they stand alone bills. A supplemental budget is not essential for the Legislature to conclude its work, and the Governor has indicated that he will veto this bill unless all policy provisions are removed.
The next step will be for committee members to adopt provisions that are the same or similar, and then begin tackling the language that is different.
The committee is not meeting today (Friday, May 11), but may meet on Saturday, May 12.
Members of the Conference Committee include:
Senate Releases Bonding Bill
On Wednesday, the Senate released their $825 million bonding bill, SF4013, with most of the dollars going towards transportation projects, building projects at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State campuses, and water infrastructure projects. The House released their $825 million proposal last week. Although the bills spend the same amount, the dollars go to significantly different projects across the state, and both bills fall far short of the $1.5 billion requested by the Governor. This bill has yet to pass off the Senate floor.
Next week, the House and Senate will have to work out a compromise prior to the last day of session. While this compromise is normally done through a conference committee, recent capital investment bills have been worked out privately, released, and voted on in the final hours of session.
This side-by-side spreadsheet compares the bonding proposals from the House, Senate and Governor.
To date, 11 members have announced they will not be running for re-election, including:
- Susan Allen (DFL, Minneapolis)
- Jon Applebaum (DFL, Minnetonka)
- David Bly (DFL, Northfield)
- Karen Clark (DFL, Minneapolis)
- Matt Dean (R, Dellwood)
- Clark Johnson (DFL, North Mankato)
- Sheldon Johnson (DFL, St. Paul)
- Linda Slocum (DFL, Richfield)
- Mark Uglem (R, Champlin)
- JoAnn Ward (DFL, Woodbury)
- Abigail Whelan (R, Anoka)
- May 20, 2018 – Last day for any legislation to pass
- May 21, 2018 – Last day of session
- June 1-3, 2018 – DFL State Convention in Rochester
- June 1-2, 2018 – GOP State Convention in Duluth
- June 5, 2018 – Last day to file to run for elected office