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Legislative Update: May 1, 2017

Posted By Administration, Monday, May 1, 2017

Jobs Conference Committee Releases Key Funding Numbers

With their self-imposed deadline of having a bill complete by Monday night looming, members of the joint House/Senate Conference Committee on Jobs met on Monday afternoon at the Minnesota Senate Building to release their spreadsheet which contains the numbers related to their plan going forward. It was a mixed bag of good and bad news, with most key numbers reflecting a true compromise between the less favorable House position and the more favorable Senate position.

View the full spreadsheet for more details.

Perhaps the most unfavorable news we learned on Monday is that the House and Senate have no funding included for the Redevelopment Grant Program. Some key positive funding numbers in the bill include:

  • On Line 71 the Minnesota Investment Fund receives $24 million for the biennium.
  • On Line 74 the Job Creation Fund receives $15 million for the biennium.
  • On Line 156 the Border to Border Broadband Grant Program receives $15 million for the biennium.
  • On Line 157 the Broadband Development Office receives $500,000 for the biennium.

In passing the spreadsheet on Monday, conferees announced they will meet again later in the week to consider amendments to the bill before sending a final version back to the House and Senate floors for a vote. EDAM members are strongly encouraged to reach out to their elected in these last few weeks to support funding for these important initiatives.

The first of two conference committee meetings last week featured testimony from several state agency heads, while the second meeting was brief and involved adopting of technical amendments. EDAM and representatives are continuing to talk with conferees about differences between the House and Senate positions on MIF, JCF, Redevelopment Funding and Broadband. 

Budget Targets Announced

House and Senate Republican leaders met with the press on Friday morning to announce their budget targets. With the constitutionally-mandated deadline for adjournment barely three weeks away now, we are rapidly approaching “crunch time” when a budget must be developed and passed into law to avoid a government shutdown.

Among the highlights of the plan revealed by Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) were a total state budget of $44.8 billion, which does not including tax relief and $300 million in transportation funding which will come from the general fund. They noted that transportation, education, and tax relief are their top priorities.

They have also set internal deadlines and expect to have final conference committee reports by Monday, May 1, which means that differences may be worked out over the weekend, and possibly behind closed doors. They hope to have overall targets to begin negotiations with Governor Dayton by Thursday, May 4.

TIF Provisions Adopted

Omnibus Taxes Conference Committee met this week and adopted General Law TIF provisions. The House and Senate Tax bills contained identical language which has been adopted and includes:

  • Definition of increment under five-year and pooling rules with an effective date that affects new certifications.
  • Modifies reference to increments in percentage pooling rule to be consistent with the new changes. Includes an effective date that affects new certifications.
  • Modifies interfund loan provisions to make it easier for cities and development authorities to make and document interfund loans. The changes include:
    • Allowing loans to be made up to 60 days after the money has already been transferred or spent.
    • Authorizing the passage of the interfund loan resolution before the TIF plan is approved.
    • Authorizes rewriting loan terms after the loan has been made if it is done before the TIF district is decertified.
    • Requires an annual report of the amount of interfund loans made and any amendments of loan terms made in prior years.

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