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Minnesota Legislature

‘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

Agriculture policy set to finish first as conferees reach agreement
The omnibus agriculture policy bill is the first omnibus bill to be wrapped up by its conference committee.
Lawmakers may burn the midnight oil as budget talks continue
As time continues to run out on the 2019 legislative session, House and Senate leaders and Gov. Tim Walz dedicated the better part of an afternoon Tuesday to ongoing budget target negotiations.
Gun measures fail first votes in public safety conference committee
A pair of gun-control measures failed along party lines Tuesday in a public safety conference committee.
Natural resources policy begins to take shape, budget targets remain elusive
With budget targets still lingering in the political ether, Senate and House conference committees are working toward what agreements they may. A partial agreement was reached Tuesday on policy provisions contained in Article 3 of the omnibus environment and natural resources finance bill.
Conference committee begins work on bill to improve PBM oversight
A conference committee focused on improving the oversight of pharmacy benefit managers began its work Tuesday with an early-morning start and speedy acceptance of similar and identical bill language.
Republicans, DFL make counteroffers but budget negotiations stall
Budget talks between legislative leaders and Gov. Tim Walz resumed Monday afternoon with Senate Republicans putting forth an offer of increased spending for education and public safety.
Jurisdictional restrictions on tribal police could be removed
As it stands now, a tribal police department cannot enforce state law on tribal lands unless it first signs a cooperative agreement with the local county sheriff’s department. That may change.
House panel OKs study that would examine impacts of $15 per hour minimum wage
How will boosting the minimum wage to $15 per hour, as St. Paul and Minneapolis have done, affect residents of those cities?
A week to go and still no state budget deal between DFL, Republican leaders
Gov. Tim Walz said on Twitter that he spent Sunday afternoon putting together his son’s basketball hoop, calling it “great practice for tonight’s budget discussion.” Those talks seemed to amount to the equivalent of an airball as no new offers were exchanged.
Week in Review: May 6-10
A look back at what happened in the Minnesota House of Representatives the week of May 6-10.

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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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