MN Legislative Update 2015-05-25

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

Additional Vetoes: On Saturday Governor Dayton finished signing and vetoing bills passed in the regular legislative session. In addition to the omnibus education bill, he also vetoed the omnibus jobs bill and the agriculture and environment bill. Among the reasons the governor cited for vetoing the jobs bill was the meager level of funding for broadband grants. As expected, the governor signed the agriculture policy bill, which includes the exemption for seed libraries from agricultural regulations.

Special Session: This afternoon Governor Dayton is holding separate meetings with Speaker Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Bakk to begin special session negotiations. The bills that are expected to be part of the special session are the three budget bills that were vetoed – education, jobs and agriculture/environment – plus the Legacy bill and a small bonding bill. Governor Dayton has also mentioned the possibility of agreeing to a temporary income tax cut in exchange for more education funding. He also wants legislators to reverse a provision that was in the omnibus state government bill allowing Greater Minnesota counties to hire private sector auditors rather than having to be audited by the State Auditor. Given that the list of issues to be resolved has grown, many observers are skeptical that the special session can be completed in early June. Governor Dayton has said he wants the special session wrapped up by June 15.

Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates