Prepping for the 2016 Legislative Session

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

Governor’s Capital Budget:   Today Governor Dayton released his capital budget request for 2016.  It includes $2 million for Library Construction Grants.  It also includes one academic library project — $820,000 to relocate the library at the Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Wadena and convert the space vacated by the library into a student services center.  The governor’s proposal does not include any funding for the East Central Regional Library headquarters and public library in Cambridge.

The governor is requesting $1.4 billion for general fund supported projects and $122 million in projects supported by other funds, for a grand total of $1.522 billion.  This is a very ambitious proposal.  Legislators typically authorize $1 billion in capital projects in a biennium.  House Republicans are saying they’d prefer to spend no more than $850 million in 2016.

Committee Deadlines:  House and Senate leaders have announced committee deadlines for the 2016 legislative session, which begins on Tuesday, March 8.  They are as follows:

  • First deadline – Friday April 1: Committees must act favorably on bills in the house of origin.
  • Second Deadline – Friday, April 8:  Committees must act favorably on bills that met the first deadline in the other house.
  • Third Deadline –  Thursday, April 21:  The House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee must act favorably on major appropriations and finance bills.
  • Session must adjourn no later than Monday, May 23.Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates