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Minnesota Legislature

Week in preview: multi-hour — maybe multi-day — omnibus debates expected to continue

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About the only thing certain at the Minnesota House of Representatives in the next week or so is that members will not be meeting Friday evening or Saturday.

Inordinate amounts of caffeine and maybe not always eating the healthiest of food? Probably.

Passing bills when most Minnesotans are asleep? Perhaps.

According to supplemental guidelines established by legislative leaders and Gov. Tim Walz earlier this year, all major finance bills are to be passed off the House and Senate floors, and conference committees appointed, by May 1. Conferees are to finish their work by May 13, one week before the legislative session must constitutionally conclude.

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Recent Dailies

Weaving sustainability into carpet could be manufacturers’ responsibility
A bill to expand producer responsibility by requiring they develop and finance a recycling program for used carpeting was laid over Tuesday for possible omnibus bill inclusion by the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division.
Governor’s higher education proposal grows
The governor has increased his budget request for the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities by $25 million over what he proposed Feb. 19.
Free heart screenings could protect student athletes, but policy change needed
Bill would allow health care facilities and charitable organizations to access liability insurance though a volunteer health care provider program if providing free monitoring or screening services.
Funding sought to help more military members get R & R at MSP
HF143 would appropriate $100,000 in Fiscal Year 2020 to the Department of Veterans Affairs for a onetime grant to remodel and expand the Minnesota Armed Forces Center at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Division considers funding increases, changes to Child Care Assistance Program
HF1801 includes includes dozens of provisions that would increase funding for the troubled Child Care Assistance Program, while also aiming to improve its integrity and bring it into federal compliance.
Tougher penalties for texting while driving get transportation panel’s OK
HF104 proposes to increase fines for using a wireless communication device to text message while operating a motor vehicle.
House energy and climate division unveils its omnibus proposal
What will it cost Minnesotans to try to make a dent in climate change? About $53 million. At least that’s the amount put forth in appropriations in the House Energy and Clim...
Omnibus early childhood education bill includes more scholarship funding
Increasing funding for early learning scholarships is one of the big-ticket items in the House Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division’s omnibus education bill.
Proposal to create legislative intelligence commission moves forward
Over the last several years, law enforcement agencies have begun to use new technologies such as license plate readers or cellphone tracking that sweep up vast amounts of data w...
Increased agricultural water quality loan funding proposed
With demand outpacing available monies, an infusion of $15 million is sought to bolster the state loan program funding rural water quality projects implementing agricultural best management practices.

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Priority Dailies

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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