February 21, 2023
The torrid pace has continued for another week at the Legislature as committees work to hear legislation ahead of the first deadline on March 10th. The House took action on bills to ban conversion therapy, increase penalties on catalytic converter theft, provide paid sick leave for all workers, as well as establishing an office to investigate murdered and missing black women and girls. Committees in both House and Senate also continued hearing numerous bills in an effort to keep legislation in play as deadlines loom. Bills must be heard in all committees they need to go through in at least one Chamber by March 10th. Bills then have until March 24th to meet the same deadline in the other Chamber. The last deadline, which is for committee chairs to assemble and pass their omnibus budget bills, is April 4th.
Lawmakers also unveiled a much-anticipated bonding bill that funds state and local capital projects across Minnesota, the spreadsheet can be found here. Lawmakers typically assemble a bonding bill during the second year of the biennium, but the last Legislature failed to pass a bill at all, so lawmakers are prioritizing a bill to catch up on that inaction. The bill has been negotiated behind the scenes during the early part of this session and was unveiled last week. The bill is roughly $1.9 billion overall, with about $1.5 billion in general obligation bonds. It’s moving through House and Senate Capital Investment Committees this week and will be ready for a full floor vote as early as next week. There remains some uncertainty on the buy-in from the minority party, particularly in the Senate. Bonding bills require a supermajority 60% vote on the floor, meaning the DFL needs 11 GOP votes in the House and 7 GOP votes in the Senate to actually pass the bill. Republicans have indicated a willingness to pass a bill this year, but they said they want to see further action on tax cuts before moving forward with this bonding proposal.
The proposed bill provides funding to several DEED programs, including:
Finally, EDAM’s top priority bill for the 2023, increased base funding for the Redevelopment Grant Program, has been introduced in the House, it is House File 1920.
- Business Development Public Infrastructure Grant Program - $10 million
- Innovative Business Development Public Infrastructure Grants - $1.5 million
- Transportation Economic Development Infrastructure - $1.5 million
- Greater MN Housing Program - $3 million
- Greater MN Child Care Facilities - $900,000
We will be securing Senate authors this week for introduction in the Senate and are working with the Jobs Chairs to secure hearings in time to meet deadlines. Keep an eye out for opportunities to advocate for this critical funding as outreach to key lawmakers is requested as the session continues.