The conference committee tasked with hammering out the differences that divide the House and Senate on a laundry list of major issues met for the first time Tuesday afternoon.
The 10 conferees jumped right in, listening as staff members outlined the fiscal differences between the two versions of the bill they must reconcile – HF4099/SF3656* – a massive piece of legislation that includes many of this session’s most significant omnibus bills.
With a roomful of lobbyists and stakeholders looking on, it took nearly three hours for legislative staff to walk the lawmakers through nine spreadsheets that summarize the bill’s financial impact in areas such as health care, education, transportation, agriculture and the environment.
The spreadsheets reviewed Tuesday were:
Committee members will also have to review nearly 50 side-by-side comparisons of articles in the bill, to discover where and how the House and Senate versions differ.
“We’re looking forward to working with the Senate and coming to a productive conclusion to our legislative session,” said Rep. Jim Knoblach (R-St. Cloud), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. He co-chairs the conference committee with Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center).
Knoblach indicated that differing policy language is expected to be on the agenda when conferees get back together Wednesday afternoon.
Conferees on the committee are: