May 16, 2023
We’re nearing the end of session, with the constitutional deadline for adjournment on Monday, May 22. There had been talk of session ending early, with a stated goal of Thursday, but that is looking more and more unlikely as major bills are still left to be finalized. The capital investment bill, the tax bill, and the health and human service bill all remain to be finalized and others still need to pass once again off each chamber’s floor. These debates on conference committee reports can last many hours and provide the minority the opportunity to weigh in on changes that have been made during conference committee.
Although there is single party control, a traditional capital investment bill requires a two-thirds majority vote, meaning Republicans in both chambers are needed in order to pass a bill. Senate Republicans did not vote for the capital investment bill put forth earlier this session, with all members voting no with a demand to see more tax relief. Offers were made back and forth that did not come to fruition. As of now, the DFL is moving forward with a cash only capital investment bill that is much smaller and does not require a two-thirds majority vote.
There is still some hope the previous capital investment bill utilizing general obligation bonds will be revived, but time is starting to run out.
The Jobs and Labor omnibus bill includes EDAM’s top priority, increasing funding for the Redevelopment Grant Program. The Senate’s language of increasing the amount from approximately $2 million to $4.26 million in FY24 and FY25 is in the conference committee report.
The report also maintains the increased flexibility for the Commissioner to be able to transfer funds from the Job Creation Fund to the Redevelopment Program, in addition to the Minnesota Investment Fund transfer authority that already exists. Look for these committee reports to move off of the House and Senate floors today and tomorrow and onto the Governor's desk to be signed into law.
The Tax Committee continues to work, and was perhaps the farthest apart in Senate and House versions of their omnibus bills. Making matters more complicated, many of the DFL offers to the Republicans to garner votes for the capital investment bonding bill involve provisions in the tax bill. One provision of interest to EDAM members that has been part of the negotiations is the Historic Structures Tax Credit.
The Senate proposes to reinstate the credit on an ongoing basis while the House has proposed a one-year extension. We will continue to monitor the other tax provisions of interest to EDAM members such as the Angel Investor credit, which has been in several of the Senate offers, and the New Market Tax Credits, which seems to be a long shot to be included in the eventual tax bill.