Legislative Update – May 21, 2018

The Legislature adjourned the 2018 session sine die just before midnight, but not without both chambers first passing a bonding bill. After the Senate was unable to pass their bonding bill off the floor last week, legislators put together a larger bonding bill, and passed it out of conference committee Sunday evening.

The bonding bill adds up to a nearly $1.57 billion package, including $825 million in general obligation bonding. It also includes $416.6 million in trunk highway bonding, $63 million in user financing, nearly $45.83 million in Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund appropriations and $41.25 million in general fund spending.

The bill includes $129 million for Minnesota State, of which $45 million is for asset preservation, or HEAPR, and the remaining $84 million is for individual capital projects on various campuses (see below).

The bill passed the House by a vote of 113-17, and the Senate passed it by a vote of 42-25. It is now on its way to Governor Dayton. It is unknown if Dayton will sign the bill.

The individual projects funded in the bill for Minnesota State are:

  • Bemidji State University: Academic Learning Center
  • Rochester Community and Technical College: Memorial and Plaza Halls
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato: Clinical Sciences Phase II
  • Anoka-Ramsey Community College: Nursing and Business
  • Century College: Applied Technology Center
  • Normandale Community College: Classroom and Student Services
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead: Weld Hall
  • Inver Hills Community College: Technology and Business Center
  • Riverland Community College: Transportation, Trade and Industrial Education Center
  • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College: Maajiigi

As for the supplemental budget bill, during the last couple days of session, the Senate passed the large supplemental budget conference committee report that included all spending, by a vote of 35-32, and the House passed it by a vote of 76-49. Prior to passage, the Governor sent conferees a list of 117 objections he had with the spending bill. Conferees changed or deleted 71 of the Governor’s objections in an attempt at compromise.

Lawmakers also put together a tax and education (safe school funding) bill after Dayton vetoed the first tax bill they sent him. However, in the remaining few hours of session, Dayton said he plans to veto the tax-education bill and spending bill as they currently stand. “They would have taken the opportunity for us to work collaboratively and cooperatively together, we could have gotten these things done and put together,” Dayton said.

As a reminder, the bill includes $3.5 million in one-time funds for Minnesota State. $3 million would go towards campus support and $500,000 would be for renewal of workforce development scholarships.

Other activity over the weekend includes the passing of the omnibus pension bill in the final minutes of session. Both chambers passed the bill unanimously, the House by a vote of 131-0, and the Senate by a vote of 66-0.

The House also took up the bill carrying the MSCF and MSUAASF contracts. That bill still needed to clear the House, and was taken up with only a couple hours remaining last night. It passed by a vote of 127-4. Both the bill with the contracts and the pension bill are on their way to the Governor.

Governor Dayton must sign or veto the bills within 14 days after adjournment of the Legislature. If a bill is not signed in that 14-day window, it does not become law.

The 2019 legislative session is scheduled to convene on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.

Watch for a complete summary of the 2018 legislative session coming soon.

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