DEED Funding Bill Introduced in the House, MMB Budget Update on the Horizon

House File 819 was introduced last week by Representative Erin Koegel (DFL—Spring Lake Park). It is the House version of Senate File 585 introduced by Senator Dornink (R – Austin). The bills appropriate the same funding levels for the Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF), the Job Creation Fund (JCF) and the redevelopment grants and demolition loans programs, but the House version includes new policy language. House File 819 includes a set aside of $50,000 each year from MIF and JCF to DEED to provide technical assistance for businesses where at least 51% is cumulatively owned by minorities, veterans, women, or persons with disability. EDAM will continue working with both Senator Dornink and Representative Koegel as well as the Committee Chairs in both House and Senate to arrange hearings for these key bills in advance of Committee deadlines. 

Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) will issue the February Budget and Economic Forecast on February 26th. This Forecast will provide the framework for lawmakers to assemble the state’s two-year budget. The last budget update in November projected a $1.273 billion deficit for the upcoming biennium, but Legislators have remained hopeful that the February Forecast might show a healthier financial picture. This hope may have some basis in fact as MMB announced net general fund revenues in January were over 14% higher than anticipated, driven primarily by the state collecting over $200 million more in individual income tax than expected.   

Committees in both House and Senate will take action on legislation this week as lawmakers continue moving bills ahead of next month’s deadlines. An improved financial projection from MMB could go a long way in helping close the gap between competing budget proposals from the House and Senate.