Legislative Update – May 16, 2018

Contract ratification bill moving through Legislature

Governor Dayton signed the first contract ratification bill, Chapter 102, on March 27, 2018. This bill ratifies labor contracts and compensation plans for state employees, including AFSCME, MAPE, IFO, Administrators Plan, Middle Management Association (MMA), Commissioner’s Plan and the Managerial Plan. The contracts and plans are for the FY2018-2019 biennium and are effective retroactively to July 1, 2017.

The remaining contracts needed to be ratified by the full Legislature are MSCF and MSUAASF. The House Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee passed HF 4888 yesterday morning, a bill that ratifies the MSCF and MSUAASF contracts. The bill will travel next to the State Government Finance Committee.

In other contract activity yesterday, the MSCF and MSUAASF contract ratification language was amended into SF 3062 on the Senate floor and passed by a vote of 55-0. The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

Five Days Remaining

With only five days remaining in the legislative session, the House addressed one of the biggest issues this session on the floor yesterday, the tax bill.  The House passed the tax conference committee report by a vote of 78-50. The conference committee report now heads to the Senate, where it could be taken up as early as today.

Earlier this week, Gov. Mark Dayton, said he wouldn’t sign the bill unless the Republican-controlled Legislature approved emergency funding for K-12 schools.

As shared earlier, the agreement calls for first-tier tax rate to drop from 5.35 percent to 5.3 percent in tax years 2018 and 2019, and 5.25 percent beginning in tax year 2020. The second-tier tax rate would drop from the current 7.05 percent to 6.95 percent in tax years 2018 and 2019 and 6.85 percent beginning in tax year 2020.

In the meantime, the supplemental budget conference committee continues to meet to work through the differences between the House and Senate. In addition to having agreements in higher education, agriculture and jobs and the environment, conferees reached agreement yesterday on housing, health and human services and E-12 education. The E-12 education agreement focuses on school safety and provides $27.9 million towards it.

As a reminder, the compromise language for higher education provides an increase of $4 million, with $3.5 million of that going to Minnesota State. $3 million would be appropriated for campus support and $500,000 for the renewal of workforce developmental scholarships. The remaining $500,000 would go to the Office of Higher Education for the State Grant program and other programs.

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