Legislature divided as end of session nears

May 10, 2022

 

As noted last week, there was a positive shift toward bipartisanship. The Republican-controlled Senate and DFL-controlled House reached an agreement on replenishing the Unemployment Insurance Tax Fund and providing frontline workers with one-time bonuses. However, when it comes to the remaining supplemental spending (omnibus bills on housing, transportation, environment, education), the chambers remain worlds apart, both on policy and on supplemental spending levels. Leaders seem confident they will reach a deal on the critical pieces but there is a lot of work to be done before the end of the legislative session, May 23rd. Even more quickly approaching is the deadline Speaker Hortman mentioned for having an agreement on supplemental spending, May13th.

The Senate did release its second omnibus tax bill of the session this week, and of interest to EDAM members is the inclusion of a New Market Tax Credit provision. It would provide incentives for private-public investment in underserved communities and is modeled off of, and pairs with the Federal New Market Tax Credit Program. Currently, there is not matching language in the House tax omnibus bill but we will follow the issue during the conference committee process.

The House and Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Omnibus bill has been combined with the Commerce and Labor and Industry Omnibus bills and will be taken up in conference committee this week. EDAM’s main priority, funding for DEED’s Redevelopment Account for the fiscal year of 2023 ($5 million), is included in the House Workforce and Business Development Omnibus bill, H.F. 4355, but not the Senate’s bill.

EDAM strongly supports this funding because it’s a critical gap-filling measure as the Redevelopment Account has base funding beginning in 2024 but no funding for 2023. We are grateful to Senate and House Jobs Chairs Pratt and Noor for the base funding starting in 2024 and are hopeful a compromise for 2023 funding can be reached.

Conferees (selected legislators from the House and Senate) will meet in the coming days to reach a compromise on the many provisions that differ between the Senate and House, including the Redevelopment funding for 2023.

The Conferees have been named:
Representative Noor
Representative Ecklund
Representative Long
Representative Stephenson
Representative Swedzinski
Senator Pratt
Senator Rarick
Senator Dahms
Senator Senjem
Senator Frentz

If you are a constituent (either you reside or your business or municipality is located within the district) of any of these legislators, please be ready to reach out to them to emphasize the importance of funding the DEED Redevelopment Account for the fiscal year 2023. EDAM leadership will be reaching out to members to coordinate outreach.

EDAM’s Government Relations team can help you contact your Representatives with email or phone script language. If you would like assistance, please contact Sam Richie (srichie@fryberger.com / (218) 301-9758) or Shannon Mitchell (smitchell@fryberger.com / (218) 464-2449).