Legislative Update 2016-05-19

The following information was shared via email with the library community by Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates, in her role as the MLA-ITEM lobbyist.

End of Session Negotiations: There is still no agreement between legislative leaders and Governor Dayton on targets for the supplemental budget, taxes and transportation. It remains to be seen whether they will reach an agreement in time to get the bills passed before the end of the session. Session must end by midnight on Monday, but the Legislature cannot pass bills on the day of adjournment. This means that bills must be passed by midnight on Sunday night.

Bonding Bill: Today the House bonding bill failed on the House floor. A 3/5 super-majority is required to pass a bonding bill, which means 81 votes are required to pass the House. The bill only received 69 votes. All but two DFLers voted against the bill, while all but 5 Republicans voted for the bill. DFLers complained that the bill was too small and that projects in DFL districts had been passed over in favor of projects in Republican districts.

However, a conference committee has been appointed for HF 748, a bill from last year that will be used as a vehicle for a bonding bill. This is a highly unusual twist in the legislative process.

The Senate conferees are Senator LeRoy Stumpf (DFL – Plummer), Senator Katie Sieben (DFL – Cottage Grove), Senator Jeff Hayden (DFL – Minneapolis), Senator David Tomassoni (DFL – Chisholm) and Senator Carla Nelson (R – Rochester).

The House conferees are Rep. Paul Torkelson (R – Hanska), Rep. Tony Albright (R – Prior Lake), Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R – Ghent), Rep. Bob Vogel (R- Elko New Market) and Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL – St. Paul).

According to a press release issued by the Senate DFL Caucus this afternoon, the conference committee will consider portions of the House, Senate and Governor’s bonding proposals. No meetings have been scheduled for the conference committee as of this writing.

Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates