February 7, 2023
Several major pieces of legislation worked their way through both chambers and on to the Governor last week, including the Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act enshrining abortion rights into law, which was signed by the Governor this week. The Senate also took action on a landmark energy bill that requires utilities generate 100% of their power from carbon neutral sources by 2040, moving up the required time frame by 10 years. The pace and scope of the early action has drawn criticism from Republicans calling it extreme and out of touch with the mainstream of political thought. The DFL has responded that Minnesotans do not want all of the legislation to be rushed at the end of the session and that moving quickly on priority bills is a good way to avoid a log jam at the end of Session.
Expect more major legislation to make its way to the Governor’s desk in the coming weeks including paid family and medical leave, adult cannabis use, and potentially an early-session bonding bill. The House and Senate have both introduced record numbers of bills for this point in Session, the House has introduced 1,396 bills and the Senate has introduced 1,353, which has bogged down how quickly staff are able to turn around bill requests which has the potential to complicate the budget setting process.
In the Jobs and Economic Development Committees, smaller bills on community wealth building and nonprofit programming have been heard along with the more attention-grabbing issues such as paid family leave, unemployment for hourly school workers, and adult cannabis use. The Governor’s budget recommendations for DEED have been released but have not yet been introduced in House or Senate, we will continue to monitor that process and seek opportunities for EDAM testimony in support of key DEED programs.
If you haven’t yet, please register for EDAM’s Day at the Capitol, February 22nd. No prior experience needed. This is an opportunity to educate the record number of new legislators and connect with seasoned lawmakers who have championed EDAM’s priorities in the past. Creating connections with your elected officials early in the Session is helpful as we can then lean on those relationships when budget and policy decisions get made at the end of Session.