S.F. 585 Heard in Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Committee, Budget Targets on the Horizon

S.F. 585 was heard in the Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Committee on Monday and laid over for possible inclusion in the Committee’s omnibus bill. The bill continues base funding levels for the Minnesota Investment Fund ($12.37 million per year) and the Job Creation Fund ($8 million per year) and establishes new base funding for the Redevelopment Grant and Demolition Loan Program ($8 million per year). EDAM again worked with our partners at Metro Cities to arrange testimony in support of the bill from economic development professionals from Fridley and Worthington to highlight the role these key DEED programs have played in redevelopment projects across the state. In addition to our municipal testifiers we also heard from Bill King from Cirrus Aircraft about the vital role these DEED programs played both in bringing Cirrus to Minnesota initially as well as in helping it expand and grow to its current industry leading position.

We expect to see Governor Walz’s supplemental budget recommendations sometime this week. The Governor released his initial budget recommendations in January when the state faced a large deficit and will be updating his recommendations to reflect the improved budget forecast that now projects a surplus of over $1.5 billion in the upcoming biennium. The Governor’s initial recommendations called for a one-time haircut to both MIF and JCF, we are hopeful that the improved financial picture for the state will allow for the continuation of base funding for those programs as well as new base funding for Redevelopment, a point we drove home when meeting with the Governor’s Policy Advisor Charles Sutton last week.

This Friday (March 19th) is the second committee deadline at the Legislature. Bills have to have received a committee hearing in both the House and Senate by Friday to remain in play for the 2021 Session. After our hearing on S.F. 585, we have officially cleared all deadlines with our funding bill and now shift our focus to ensuring our funding levels are included in each Committee’s omnibus bill. We expect budget targets to be provided to Committee Chairs in the Senate this week and in the House next week. These targets will dictate how ambitious the economic development Chairs can be with the size of their omnibus bills.