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‘No easy fix:’ legislative reform subcommittee holds first meeting

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When the 2019 regular legislative session failed to produce an agreement on nearly all major budget bills needed to fund the state government for the next two years, lawmakers were forced into a one-day special session to wrap up their work.

Such special sessions have become the rule rather than the exception in recent years, and they’re one of the reasons the House Subcommittee on Legislative Process Reform was created.

“Minnesotans expect and deserve a modern, efficient, and transparent legislative process,” House Speaker Melissa Hortman said in a statement.

At its first meeting Wednesday, members received overviews from nonpartisan staff on the state’s budget process and how several House committees and divisions navigated that process during the 2019 session, as well as past process reform efforts.


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Recent Dailies

The last big bill is ready: omnibus health and human services legislation unveiled
A slimmed-down omnibus health and human services bill was unveiled to the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee late Friday afternoon.
Money on the way to water, environment, parks and the arts as Legacy bill heads to governor
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Agriculture, housing and rural development omnibus bill headed to governor
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Walz calls for special session Friday
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Jobs and energy compromise falls far too short for House DFLers
While most of the omnibus agreements emerging before the special session are presented by their sponsors with a mix of exhaustion and satisfaction, Thursday’s unveiling of the negotiated jobs and energy compromise felt more like a funeral.
Going up or down? Your taxes will likely change under conference committee compromise
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Policy not left behind in environment and natural resources agreement
A pair of issues provided serious stumbling blocks for House and Senate conferees tasked with working out a budget compromise on the omnibus environment and natural resources finance bill.
No gas tax increase in skinnier omnibus transportation package
The House’s transportation panel on Thursday walked through a compromise omnibus transportation package that, from a House DFL perspective, might seem like no compromise at all. No gas tax increase, no transit-dedicated sales tax, no trunk highway bonding.
Tensions high as state government compromise, pensions plan heard
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House speaker says Friday the earliest possible start for special session
The House’s top lawmaker has said the earliest a special session could occur this week is Friday, as Gov. Tim Walz, House DFL and Senate Republican leaders continue to hammer out details of a $48 billion budget agreement.

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Priority Dailies

House DFL outlines $47.8 billion 2020-21 spending proposal
The plan, dubbed the “Minnesota Values Budget,” would increase spending by $416.9 million over the 2020-21 biennium’s projected base budget.
Budget forecast: Projected surplus drops by almost $500 million, still tops $1 billion
The state has a $1.05 billion projected budget surplus for the upcoming biennium, Minnesota Management and Budget officials announced Thursday.
Walz budget would raise gas tax, emphasize education, health care
Education, health care and community prosperity are key targets for funding in the 2020-21 biennial budget proposed by Gov. Tim Walz.
Committee deadlines for 2019 unveiled
Legislators and the public officially know the timeline for getting bills through the committee process.

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