January 10, 2023
The 2023 legislative session is off to a fast-paced start. For the first time since 2014, one party, in this case the DFL, controls both legislative bodies and the Governor’s office. DFL leadership has identified its key priorities and has begun to move on some of them. The most bipartisan of these priorities is tax conformity (aligning federal and state tax policy), with committees hearing legislation during the first week of the session. The House passed it off the floor to kick off the second week. More controversial issues getting early traction in the committees include codifying the right to abortions and legalizing marijuana.
Other key priorities that will be front and center include paid family and medical leave, and exempting taxes on social security, among others. Also, expect a bonding bill and significant investments into education, health and human services, and housing, given the record-breaking $17.6 billion surplus. Another issue that has been top of mind for EDAM members includes access to affordable childcare because of its impacts on the workforce. Expect to see several approaches including funding to bolster the providers as well as childcare tax credits and scholarships. We will track these policy approaches and provide updates.
Incoming legislators include almost a third who are newly elected. There are also new chairs of the committees that are most important to EDAM - namely, the Economic Development and Jobs Committees. In the Senate, this is one committee and in the House, this has now been divided into two committees. The Jobs and Economic Development Committees in the House and Senate will begin to meet, hearing overviews from the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
New leadership and committee rosters provide an excellent opportunity to educate chairs and members on some of the economic development issues that are front and center for EDAM’s members. Meetings have and will continue to take place with committee chairs, and we look forward to connecting EDAM members to their respective legislators on key committees throughout the legislative session.