Legislative Update: February 11, 2019

Additional legislative deadlines announced

Legislative leaders and Governor Tim Walz laid out a new set of deadlines today, which they said are intended to bring public transparency to the conference committee process and to ensure that legislative decisions will be made in public.

Last week, legislative leaders set deadlines to get bills through committee and to the floor. As a reminder, the committee deadlines set for the 2019 legislative session are:

  • Friday, March 15: committees must act favorably on bills in the house of origin
  • Friday, March 29: committees must act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other body
  • Friday, April 12: committees must act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills

The new deadlines announced at a press conference today by House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, and Governor Walz are additional deadlines that focus on moving bills forward after they have passed out of the House and Senate.

The three new deadlines are:

  • The House and Senate will pass all major finance bills off their respective floors and leadership will appoint conference committees by May 1
  • The Governor, Senate Majority Leader and House Speaker will provide fiscal targets to the chairs of conference committees on major finance bills by May 6
  • Conference committee chairs shall provide completed conference committee reports to the house of origin by May 13

Earned Sick and Safe Time

On Wednesday afternoon, the House Committee on Labor will consider a bill, HF11, that would provide employees in Minnesota with earned sick and safe time. Accruing at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, employees may use their sick and safe time for their own physical or mental health needs, those of a family member, or for needs related to domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. A maximum of 48 hours of earned sick and safe time may be accrued in a year and can be carried over, but the total time cannot exceed 80 hours at any point – unless the employer agrees to a higher amount.

Upcoming Senate higher education hearing

Tuesday afternoon Minnesota State will share workforce development initiatives with the Senate Higher Education Finance and Policy committee members. The committee will learn about the workforce development scholarships funded by a 2017 Minnesota State appropriation of $1 million. Each college received 14 scholarships the first year to prepare new students for careers in high demand sectors.

Committee members will also hear about one of the many partnerships Minnesota State colleges and universities have in their communities. They will learn about how Riverland Community College is partnering with The Hormel Foundation to develop a skilled workforce to fuel economic success.

And finally, tomorrow’s hearing will be an opportunity for the Minnesota State Centers of Excellence to highlight the great work they’re doing. Minnesota State hosts eight Centers of Excellence, each serving a major industry that faces serious workforce shortages. The centers collaborate with industry and educators to attract and prepare students for success in high-demand careers. Strategically located throughout the state, the Minnesota State Centers of Excellence drive workforce innovation through education and industry collaboration, and provide thought leadership on workforce development in their respective industries

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