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Legislative Update: February 7, 2017

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Updated: Monday, February 6, 2017

Committee Hearings and Important Dates

The 2017 legislative session is now one month old. While only two bills have been signed into law, much work has been done at the capitol. This week committees continued to hear testimony from Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration regarding his budget recommendations, which will likely continue for the next couple weeks. The February budget forecast will be released on Tuesday, February 28, which will provide legislators with the last evaluation of the state’s fiscal picture before deciding on a two-year state budget. Once the February forecast is released, committees will receive their budget targets (meaning how much money that jurisdiction has to spend) before beginning to compile their major finance (omnibus) bills.

The House and Senate have agreed to committee deadlines, as follows:

  • Friday, March 10 – committees must act favorably on bills in their body of origin
  • Friday, March 17 – committees must act favorably on bills, or companion bills, that met the first deadline in the other body
  • Friday, March 31 – committees must act favorably on major appropriation finance bills

For a bill to be eligible to be passed into law, it must pass through either the House or Senate committee process by March 10. The bill would then have one week to be passed through the other chamber’s committee process to be eligible for a floor vote at any time before adjournment on Monday, May 22.

House Property Tax and Local Gov Finance Divisions Hears HF 414

Last week the House Property Tax and Local Government Finance Division heard HF 414 which reauthorizes and makes permanent the “this old house” program of valuation exclusion for improvements to homes more than 30 years old, and creates a parallel program for improvements to commercial-industrial property.

Under the two programs, value attributable to an improvement is fully excluded in determining the property’s taxable valuation for 10 years, and then phased in after that.

The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in the Property Tax Report.

Legislative Toolbox – Prepare for Economic Day at the Capitol!

As session moves on, more and more people come to the capitol to discuss issues important to them with their elected officials. When a bill is heard in committee, there is usually an opportunity for public testimony to oppose or favor the proposal. Ewald Consulting has developed a guide for how to testify in committee.

More frequently, people will have a brief 10-15 minute meeting with a legislator. This tight time frame can make it difficult to articulate a nuanced position you have on an important issue. Ewald Consulting has developed a guide on how to effectively communicate with lawmakers.

Finally, while at the capitol there are dozens of things to do — but it can be difficult to know where to go to find out what is happening around the capitol complex that day. Ewald Consulting has developed a guide on how to find information at the capitol.

Bills of EDAM Interest Introduced Last Week

SF 477— Tax increment financing (TIF) technical and policy modifications

HF 631— Youth skills training program established, reports required, and money appropriated.

HF 752 — New markets grant program created, rulemaking authorized, and money appropriated.

Upcoming Hearings of Interest

Tuesday, February 07, 2017 10:15 AM

House Taxes

Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Greg Davids



Bill: HF299
Author: Swedzinski
Construction material exemption provisions modified, and refund provision added.

Bill: HF456
Author: Freiberg
Construction material exemption provisions modified.

Bill: HF757
Author: Nornes
Building material and supply purchase exemption provided.

Bill: HF605
Author: McDonald
Annual city celebration exemption provided, and threshold for duration of premises leases for nonprofit fund-raising events modified.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017 1:00 PM

Senate Committee on Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy

Room 1150 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Chair: Sen. Jeremy R. Miller


Informational Hearing on Broadband. Testimony from:

  • Danna MacKenzie, Office of Broadband Development
  • Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Broadband Task Force
  • Brent Christensen, Minnesota Telecom Alliance
  • Marc Johnson, ECMECC
  • Tom Johnson, Nobles County Administration Office
  • Kristi Westbrock, Consolidated Telephone Company
  • Bill Coleman, Community Technology Advisors
  • Vince Robinson, Development Services, Inc.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017 3:00 PM

House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance

Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Pat Garofalo



Bill: HF89
Author: Anderson
Small business investment credit modified, definitions added, applicant business additional information required, priority businesses provided, allocation of credits modified, and credit made permanent.

Bill: HF649
Author: Backer
Morris; water treatment facility funding provided, bonds issued, and money appropriated.

Bill: HF797
Author: Moran
Business training courses target at women of color funding provided, and money appropriated.

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