With the introduction of his $52 billion budget proposal this week, Gov. Tim Walz made the first major move of the 2021 legislative session, setting the stage for the hearings, debates and negotiations to follow as lawmakers work to arrive at a balanced budget for the biennium that starts July 1, 2021.
As members begin hearings on the various aspects of that proposal, several major bills were already by House committees this week, including HF9, a package of campaign and elections reform proposals, and HF38, which would appropriate $30 million for the state’s disaster assistance contingency account.
Both bills provoked sharp debate with members agreeing on certain aspects of each but also finding serious disagreements on policy and where money should go.
And, by the way, committee deadlines were unveiled.
Overviews are expected to continue next week but more and more bills are also popping up on agendas, including HF40 in the House Housing Finance and Policy Committee, which would establish a rental assistance program for low-income households.
Be sure to check the weekly schedule for updates on the days ahead, and let’s take one more look at what you may have missed last week.
Farmer-lender mediation window could be extended a third time
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Legacy Committee hears of COVID-19 impact on the arts
Committees told capital projects should be ready for climate change
Hearing focuses on bringing more equity to bonding projects
Could bonding help rectify racial disparities?
Tax increases on wealthiest, budget reserves key pieces of Walz's budget proposal
Minnesota well-positioned for recovery, state economist tells lawmakers
BUSINESS AND COMMERCE
Committee approves 15% cap on food delivery services fees
House sends legislation to governor extending remote marriage license options
Bill would permit Minnesota to enforce Canadian orders of protection
Bill would speed up process for getting U-visa protections
District court judges present their case to judiciary committee
Disagreement flares over use of disaster assistance dollars to rebuild following civil unrest
Interventions in early childhood could prevent life-long skills gaps
‘Increase Teachers of Color Act of 2021’ clears education committee on party-line vote
Possible solutions offered to student social-emotional and academic challenges
Education committee reviews racial disparities, poor student outcomes
‘Common sense’ or 'hyper-partisan?' Elections bill clears House committee on party-line vote
Vote delayed on package of DFL-backed election changes
Laid-off service workers could get recall protections
Legislation proposes paid sick leave for nurses, essential workers
Debate continues on clean energy standard bill
Energy efficiency act on its way to the House floor
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Bill would require timely update to state's invasive species plan
Escaped deer provision reinserted into floor-bound natural resources bill
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Interstate compact could expand access to mental health services, continuity of care
More pandemics? Health division hears how public health and climate change converge
Bed shortage for inpatient psychiatric treatment impacting care and access, lawmakers hear
Proposed MinnesotaCare expansion aims to aid undocumented immigrants, small businesses, families
Minnesota State system request funds for campus stability, equity
U of M leaders make lowest funding request in 20 years
MN renters need stronger protections, advocates tell House panel
Plan aims to make local government website accessibility ‘a right for all’
House panel hears about public safety concerns in Greater Minnesota
House panel hears similarities, challenges of policing in Greater Minnesota
Legislative leaders announce 2021 committee deadlines
House passes resolution to ‘denounce violence’ and ‘support our democracy’
Select committee report: Bring a racial justice lens to legislation
Testifiers tout economic benefits of transportation spending
Transportation members updated on state’s infrastructure present and future needs