An Update from the Minnesota State Capitol - Lawmakers Head Into Overtime
On the last day of the regular 2021 legislative session, Governor Tim Walz, Speaker Melissa Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka announced a high-level $52 billion budget target agreement. Highlights of the May 17 agreement include no new taxes, $75 million for summer learning programs, $10 million for agriculture, $70 million for broadband funding, $30 million for environment, $10 million for housing, and $200 million for transportation. They also agreed on federal conformity that will forgive state taxes on federal Paycheck Protection Program loans and unemployment benefits. In regards to American Rescue Plan funding, Gov. Walz will have $500 million to use as he deems appropriate, while $550 million will be allocated for the House and Senate to spend in each of the next two budget cycles. The Legislature will decide how to use the remaining $1.2 billion next year.
And while caucus leaders and the governor agreed in principle to an overall spending target, they indicated policy provisions included in the omnibus bills would be negotiated by working groups in specific issue areas. It's worth noting that many significant policies are still not agreed-upon including police reform and clean cars rulemaking. The caveat of the May 17 agreement is that any policy and finance provisions in the final omnibus bills must be agreed upon by all three leaders which could cause complications with a split Legislature and DFL Governor.
This outlined deal sets the expectations for a special session on June 14. Working groups have until this Friday, May 28 to adopt spreadsheets detailing how funding agreed to by legislative leaders will be spent in their respective jurisdiction areas. They will then have an additional week with a deadline of Friday, June 4 to agree on what policy provisions will be included in their omnibus bills.
AgriGrowth's government affairs team will continue to monitor omnibus bills and special session negotiations, advocating for our members and industry. If you have questions, please contact Patrick Murray at(651) 238-0089 or firstname.lastname@example.org.