Legislative Update – March 26, 2018

Push to second deadline

This Thursday, March 29, is the second legislative deadline upon which committees much act favorably on bills, or companion bills, that met first deadline in the other body. Similar to last week, committees will meet, recess, and reconvene in the evening to complete their agendas. Starting Friday, the legislature will be on break in observance of the Easter and Passover holidays and will return on Monday, April 9.

State Contracts

This morning, the Senate too up a bill and passed that would ratify the state contracts for public employees, which includes IFO and the Minnesota State Administrator Plan. This action follows a months-long debate over the merits and viability of the contracts, which were rejected by a legislative panel on a party-line vote last October. Specifically, Rep. Marion O’Neill (R-Maple Lake), who chairs the panel, said she has not received sufficient financial data to support the proposed pay increases of 2% and 2.25%. In one of the earliest floor sessions this year, DFL House members moved to ratify the contracts alongside approval of legislative funding, but the motion failed.

The House will review the same bill on Thursday afternoon in the State Government Finance Committee. Additionally, the committee will consider a bill, authored by Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa), that would limit public employee unions from requiring political contributions and further prohibits that any money received as dues be used for political expenditures. Lastly, the bill disallows public employers from having payroll deductions for employees’ political giving. Another bill, authored by Rep. O’Neill, would require the commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) to create a uniform performance appraisal system with three categories for employees that either exceed, meet, or do not meet expectations. This bill, which will be heard in the same committee on Thursday, further stipulates that no employee who did not meet expectations may receive a raise the following year.

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