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Legislative Update: May 20

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 21, 2019
There was a late agreement over the weekend on a two-year state budget announced by the Governor, Speaker, and Majority Leader. They didn’t reach the deal with enough time to spare us from a special session, but they did get there before the clock completely ran out. The overall budget numbers are just a wrinkle, and now it is back to a scramble to determine what will be in and what will get cut out of these budget bills.

Speaker Hortman said that the details would be worked out in a transparent and public process via the conference committees, but none of the major committees have had any public hearings since the agreement was reached. There have been closed door meetings and backroom offers going back and forth, but the path to the end remains unclear at this point.

The budget agreement includes $10 million in new spending for the Jobs and Economic Development Conference Committee, but those resources only go so far for a jurisdiction as broad as this. Out of the Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing jurisdiction there is $40 million in one-time funding for broadband in FY 20/21 only. Another key component of the budget announcement is that leadership has agreed to a $500 million bonding bill, split with $440 million for general obligation bonds and $60 million for housing infrastructure bonds. This part of the agreement will be interesting to track, as a bonding bill requires a supermajority to pass off either Chamber, meaning minority party votes will be needed in both bodies. House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt has stated that he was not included in the final negotiations and as such has not been asked to put up any votes to help pass a bonding bill.

We will keep track of it all and let you know how things shake out.

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