January 31, 2023
The end of last week marked another week of major draft legislation from the DFL’s platform being debated and moving forward. Legislation that would codify the right to abortion and other reproductive services was debated on the House floor and then on the Senate floor Friday, with discussion going on for over 12 hours. It passed on a party-line vote around 3:30 am and has been sent to the Governor to sign, which is expected to happen today.
The House also debated the “carbon-free electricity by 2040” bill which requires the state’s electric utilities to get all of their electricity from carbon-free sources by 2040, moving up the existing deadline by a decade. Republicans and some electric cooperatives expressed concern about their ability to meet the deadline and the impact on prices, but significant changes were not made. The bill drew a slew of amendments and heated discussion in both House and Senate Energy Committees as well as on the House floor. It passed off the House floor and is scheduled to be heard in the Senate on Thursday.
In addition to these big-ticket bills, the Governor released his full budget and bonding recommendations. Some notable items from the budget include:
- $8 billion in tax cuts for seniors and working families and direct checks of up to $2,600
- $1.5 billion in new education funding over the next two years
- $514 million for public safety, including $300 million in aid for local governments
- $668 million to create a new paid family leave program
- $956 million for increased housing funding
There have been a lot of questions about the paid family leave legislation. The $668 million would be a state contribution to jump start the program and it would impose an employer and employee tax to support the program in the long term. This draft legislation is making its way through several committees in the House and Senate and will be eventually be heard on the floor of each body.
Other budget items of potential interest to EDAM members include:
EDAM will host its Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, February 22.
- Job Creation Fund requirement changes (lowering of job creation requirements and capital investment requirements)
- Angel Investor Tax Credit funding
- Reinstatement of Historic Structure Tax Credit
- Main Street Economic Revitalization Fund
- Small Business Navigation Program, Small Business Development Centers, and the Small Business Partnerships Program
- Commercialization funding to help startups take that next step towards viability<
- Expanding Opportunity Fund for small businesses
This is a change from our original plan, so please make note of the changed date. Please join us if you can! Legislators want to hear firsthand from economic development professionals and experts, so please join us and help advocate for the programs, policies and corresponding funding to ensure our local communities thrive.