June 15, 2021
After failing to pass the state’s two-year budget during the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers are back in St. Paul for a special session aimed at accomplishing that task and avoiding a government shutdown. While legislative leaders were able to strike a deal on overall budget numbers at the close of the regular session last month, they have needed extra time to work through some of the details and actually assemble bill language.
Working groups – formerly known as conference committees – have been meeting out of the public eye to assemble their bills with the spending targets they were given from Speaker Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka. As the special session gets underway working groups that have completed their bills have started posting them for the public to review. The Jobs working group has not yet publicly posted their final product, but it is EDAM’s understanding that they are extremely close to a deal that will be acted on during special session. We are pleased with the work that has been taking place and believe the final product will help promote economic development in Minnesota. We hope to provide insight on the provisions in the agreement in next week's update.
The budget area that appears to be the most difficult for lawmakers to agree to is public safety. Democrats in the House have been pushing for a slate of police reform measures in the wake of some high-profile police killings in Minnesota, while Republicans in the Senate prefer to wait and see how the changes made in 2020 impact policing and public safety. Both Speaker Hortman and Majority Leader Gazelka have stated their confidence that agreement will be reached in advance of June 30th, the final date for legislative action to avert a government shutdown.