Legislative Update – May 9, 2018

Bonding

The House Ways and Means committee took up the House’s $825 million bonding bill this morning, which includes $123 million for Minnesota State. Bill author Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, presented the bill to the committee. Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, said that if by chance more money becomes available for bonding, she would hope lawmakers would put that funding toward higher education asset preservation. After much discussion, the committee passed the bill and sent it to the House floor. The Senate has not yet released their bonding bill.

Supplemental budget conferees meet

A conference committee of House and Senate members appointed to work through the differences in the supplemental budget bills met for the first time yesterday, and staff walked conferees and the public through the funding in nine spreadsheets that summarize the bill’s (HF4099/ SF3656) financial impact. The higher education fiscal impact in both the Senate and House bills can be found at: Higher Education

As shared earlier, below are the conferees assigned to work through the differences in the bills.

Senate:

Senator Julie Rosen, R-Vernon City

Senator Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake

Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake

Senator Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove

Senator Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson

House:

Rep. Jim Knoblach, R-St. Cloud

Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie

Rep. Pat Garafalo, R-Farmington

Rep. Paul Torkelson, R-Hanska

Rep. Gene Pelowski, DFL-Winona

With just 12 days remaining, legislative leaders and Governor Mark Dayton will work to negotiate a successful end to the session. The major pieces of legislation left to negotiate include bonding, supplemental budget and taxes.

The supplemental budget conference committee will meet again today at 3:00 p.m. to review bill language.

Pension bill movement in House

The House Government Operations and Elections Policy committee unanimously passed the omnibus retirement bill Monday and referred it to the House State Government Finance committee where it will be heard Friday morning.

The bill takes steps to address the state’s unfunded pension liability and spends $27 million this year. Specifically, the bill includes a postponement and reduction in cost of living adjustment increases, a reduction in actuarial assumptions from 8% and 8.5% to 7.5%, increases in employer and employee contributions, and direct state aid funding – all of which would result in Minnesota’s public plans being 85-95% funded by the end of the amortization period in 30 years.

The legislation is a result of years of work by many. The Senate unanimously passed the bill off the floor by a vote of 66-0 back in March. Governor Dayton has also included a pension bill in his top priorities for this legislative session.

Read more…

Questions?

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