Legislative Session Off to a Fast-Paced Start

January 17, 2023

As the third week of the legislative session begins, the fast-paced nature of major legislation moving forward continues. This has been without question, the fastest start to a budget year in modern history. Additional hearings are scheduled this week for social security tax reform and paid medical and family leave, which received hearings last week as well.

Last week, just ten days into session, tax conformity was signed into law by the Governor after passing off the Senate and House floors with strong bipartisan support. This legislation will align the state’s tax code with changes made at the federal level over the past couple of years. The changes should simplify tax filings for businesses and help those with student loan debt more directly qualify for federal loan forgiveness programs.

Both the House and Senate have taken up a bill to extend unemployment benefits for iron ore mine workers on the Range. There have been hearings in the House on a bill that would enshrine abortion rights into state law, legalize the adult use of cannabis, and match state funding to unlock federal funds for transportation and energy projects. Additionally, the Senate Tax Committee held a hearing on last year’s omnibus tax bill to set those provisions up for possible inclusion in this year’s bill – including the Historic Tax Credit extension – something EDAM members have been supportive of in the past. We will continue to track this provision.

Both the House and Senate Economic Development and Jobs Committees held their first committee hearings last week. The topics that were covered include overviews from DEED on their core programs and initiatives as well as the Senate hearing testimony regarding paid family and medical leave.
On the horizon, the Governor’s budget recommendations are scheduled to be released on January 24th, that will unofficially kick the budget process into higher gear in the House and Senate.

We also look forward to welcoming Commissioner Grove as part of the legislative update session at our Winter Conference next week. Learn more & register here