May 23, 2023
While the session did not end days early, which was the original stated goal, they did manage to adjourned with about 2 hours to spare, an exceedingly rare feat in recent history during a budget year. In the 11th hour, an agreement was reached between the DFL and Republicans regarding a traditional bonding bill. A customary bonding bill relies on borrowing through general obligation bonds, which requires a two-thirds majority vote. The DFL was prepared to move forward with a much smaller all-cash bill, but an agreement with Republicans paved the way for a more robust borrowing and cash bill. The overall package is the largest bonding bill in state history at roughly $2.6 billion and includes funding for roads, bridges, housing, clean water upgrades, funding for local projects, along with agency-specific funding. The bonding bill included funding to Department of Employment and Economic Development for:
- Business Development Public Infrastructure Grant Program $10,000,00
- Innovative Business Development Public Infrastructure Grants $1,500,000
- Transportation Economic Development Infrastructure $1,500,000
- Greater Minnesota Child Care Facilities $900,000
The Jobs and Labor Conference Committee report was passed off of the Senate and House Floors and sent to the Governor to be signed into law. It includes EDAM’s top priority, increased funding for the Redevelopment Grant Program. The Senate’s language increasing the base appropriation from $2.26 million to $4.26 million in FY24 and FY25 was adopted 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.
The Tax conference committee report, traditionally one of the last bills to be finalized along with the bonding bill, was voted off of the Senate and House floors over the weekend. The report includes the historic structures rehabilitation credit (reinstated until 2029) as well as angel investor tax credit ($5 million for two years), but did not include the new markets tax credit.
Stay tuned for a lengthier rundown next week on workforce housing, childcare, and other economic development provisions of interest. Thank you to all EDAM members who helped advocate for our priorities during this extremely consequential budget session, your voices were a huge help in shaping the final product!