Legislative Session Off to a Fast-Paced Start

February 20, 2024

The 2024 Legislative Session has officially commenced. Some committees hit the ground running, taking up key issues on the first day that have been percolating over the summer and fall. These included bipartisan corrections to the tax bill that passed last year as well as legislation to address a school resource officer ban on prone restraints. Other committees, including the Workforce and Economic Development committees have convened and started with the typical agency overviews and summaries of what was passed during the 2023 Session.

The second year of the biennium means that the same legislators are back, in contrast to the previous year, which saw over 30 percent new legislators following the November 2022 elections. The DFL continues to control both chambers of the Legislature along with the Governor’s office. While the same legislators are returning, upcoming November elections for House members are top of mind and will play a central role during Session.

While the two-year budget is already set, there will likely be work on a modest supplemental budget because the November state forecast includes a surplus. The forecast was $800 million higher than recent estimates for a surplus of $2.4 billion for the current biennium. While the immediate forecast was optimistic, it revealed structural deficits that could emerge starting in the 2026-27 biennium. These projected shortfalls would be in the education and health and human services areas of the budget, which comprise a significant portion of the overall state budget. DFL leadership responded by cautioning that the supplemental budgeting will be modest and new taxes aimed at raising additional revenue are off the table this year.

The second year of the biennium traditionally is a bonding (capital improvement projects) and policy year, and DFL leadership has said they will pursue a bonding bill. The Governor released his recommendations and they include very little funding for local projects, but do recommend an overall bill of $982 million. Some of the DEED specific recommendations include $3 million for the Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) fund and $2 million for Transportation and Economic Development Infrastructure (TEDI). House and Senate bonding committees will work through this Session to assemble their own proposals and attempt to come up with a final product that can garner the necessary 60% supermajority to pass.

EDAM’s Day at the Capitol will be March 20, right before the first and second deadline for bills to be heard. This is a great opportunity for members to show up and advocate for EDAM’s priorities and local economic development concerns. You don’t need experience at the Capitol, we’ll have people to help prepare you and set meetings with your elected officials. Details & Registration