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Legislative Update: March 18, 2019

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 18, 2019
The Legislative session has shifted gears after last week’s committee deadline requiring policy bills be heard in their committee of origin. The focus will now change from moving bills through committee to setting budget targets. The majority of bills that made deadline have been laid over for possible inclusion in omnibus bills. Once budget targets are set and agreed to by leadership, committee chairs will begin to assemble their omnibus bills.

One of EDAM’s legislative priorities for 2019, the Angel Investment Tax Credit, had a hearing in the House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division on Tuesday, March 12th. House File 1268  is authored by Representative Kotyza-Witthuhn and would reinstate the Angel Investment Tax Credit for up to $20 million per year. The bill faced some tough questioning from Chair Mahoney, who chief authored the authorization of the program when it originated.

Chair Mahoney is unhappy with the lack of geographic diversity with respect to the Angel Investment Tax Credit. He would like to see the program benefit more than the western Twin Cities suburbs, where much of the tech and health care businesses in the state are located. He has indicated he would support an amendment that would cap the amount of money that can be invested in the metro area and require investors to look to other areas of the state. The hearing was long and often heated, with Chair Mahoney expressing frustration with committee members and DEED staff for not addressing this issue to date.

The bill was laid over for possible inclusion, but there is clearly still work to be done before the chair is satisfied with the legislation.

Hearings are scheduled Tuesday, March 19th for House Files 1184 (Redevelopment), 1185 (JCF), and 1186 (MIF). EDAM will testify to the importance of these vital programs and hopes to have funding for all three included in the committee’s eventual omnibus bill. 

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