Deadline Week Approaches

March 12, 2024

The hectic pace of being a little over a week out from the combined first and second deadline, March 22, where bills must be acted upon favorably in both the House and Senate, can be felt. Today alone, the House is set to hear 50 bills in various committees. We expect full agendas and long committee hearings between now and March 22.

The tone is one of cautious optimism, after the budget forecast showed a slight increase in expected collected revenue. DFL leadership has still signaled supplemental spending will be minimal, given the future structural deficit Minnesota Management and Budget has predicted, and focused on priority areas, i.e. bonding and child care. Don’t expect budget committee chairs to get much by way of new spending when global budget targets get announced.

In the bonding world, a lot remains unknown, as a Capital Investment bill is the one bill that will require some Republican votes to reach the necessary two-thirds supermajority. The increase in the surplus for the current biennium could allow for some additional general fund cash to be included in an eventual bonding package, which always helps to smooth over issues and fund projects to help garner additional votes. The bonding bill is the last major pre-session priority that has not been acted on as a tax bill technical fix and updated language dealing with school resource officers have both moved off the House and Senate Floors.

Honing in on the Workforce and Economic Development Committees, last week and the coming week have covered numerous topics, from Public Facilities Authority grant increases for water projects, to youth sports events and nonprofit organizations’ projects. The Senate and House Workforce and Economic Development Committees are continuing to hear numerous bills as the deadlines approach. We don’t anticipate additional resources being allocated to the budget area, but will continue to track in case we are pleasantly surprised when budget targets are announced.

Finally, EDAM and MAPCED Day at the Capitol is quickly approaching, if you would like to join us and connect with lawmakers please register before March 18th so we can arrange meetings for you. For event details and registration click here.