Legislative Update: April 23, 2019

Lawmakers returned to St. Paul today after the Easter/Passover break last week, and now have less than four weeks to pass a two-year state budget before the May 20 constitutional deadline for adjournment.

New this session are a set of additional deadlines that legislative leaders and Gov. Tim Walz agreed upon with the hopes of achieving an orderly end to the legislative session. Those deadlines are:

  • May 1: House and Senate will pass all major finance bills off their respective floors and leadership will appoint conference committees
  • May 6: Governor, Senate Majority Leader and House Speaker will provide fiscal targets to the chairs of conference committees on major finance bills
  • May 13: Conference committees will complete conference committee reports and send back to the House and Senate floors for consideration

This morning, the Senate Finance Committee took up the Senate higher education omnibus bill, SF 2415, and after much discussion on the bill and multiple amendments, adopted the bill as amended and sent it to the Senate floor, where it will likely be heard as early as tomorrow.

Two amendments were adopted. The first, an amendment offered by Senator Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis, offered an amendment to expand the stop locations of the University of Minnesota zone pass so students have access to healthy food at grocery stores. The second amendment passed by the committee was an amendment offered by Senator Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center, to provide funding to expand mental health services at both Minnesota State campuses and the University of Minnesota.

The next stop for both the House and Senate higher education omnibus bills is the floor. We will provide updates when each body takes up the bills.

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