May 3, 2022
With the end of the legislative session just three weeks away, lawmakers have a renewed sense of urgency. Late last week Speaker Hortman, Majority Leader Miller, and Governor Walz reached a long-overdue deal to refill the unemployment insurance trust fund and provide frontline worker payments. A more expansive list of eligible workers than previously agreed to will receive one-time bonus checks of up to $750, with $500 million now set aside for bonus checks, a DFL House priority. In return, the unemployment insurance trust fund will be replenished to pre-pandemic levels of $2.7 billion, a Senate Republican priority.
It’s unclear whether this bipartisan goodwill will continue as leaders determine what to do with the remaining budget surplus of approximately $7 billion. Until joint budget targets are agreed to by House and Senate leadership, conference committees do not have much work they can accomplish. Speaker Hortman cited May 13th as the unofficial date leaders will need to have an agreement in place in order to be able to process bills and finish on time, so the coming week will be telling as omnibus bills move from their respective chamber’s floor into conference committees.
The House is scheduled to hear the Jobs omnibus supplemental budget bill on the Floor on Wednesday. After the bill passes a conference committee will be named and we will be in contact with outreach opportunities to conferees.