With just a bit more than one full week left in February and the Legislature’s first committee deadline on the horizon March 12, more and more of the 1,348 bills that have so far been introduced are being heard and moved through their respective committees and divisions.
The past few days saw bills that would legalize marijuana, raise and lower taxes, ban flavored tobacco and establish a new state agency focused on helping the youngest Minnesotans.
Members also spent considerable time working with state officials to dissect and discuss the various provisions of the budget proposal Gov. Tim Walz released last month as the much anticipated February forecast is to be released one week from today.
The numbers in that economic outlook will serve as the framework lawmakers will work within as they attempt to craft the state’s budget for the 2022-23 biennium before they’re constitutionally mandated to adjourn on May 17 – now 88 days away for those keeping track of such things.
That work will continue on Monday with a House Ways and Means Committee meeting at 10:30 a.m., followed by four more committee meetings at 1 p.m. and a floor session at 3:30 p.m., although there are no bills on the Calendar for the Day. But as last Thursday’s unexpected floor debate on the State Aid for Emergencies account bill illustrates, anything is possible.
Be sure to check the weekly schedule for updates on the days ahead, and here’s another look at what you may have missed last week.
Stay up-to-date on House news and updates throughout the week at Session Daily.
Costs of soil friendly farming would be defrayed under approved bill
Pandemic-related funding boost for Farm to Foodshelf program could be extended
Bonding committee approves measure to help cover costs of recovery from last summer's civil unrest
BUSINESS AND COMMERCE
Recreational cannabis bill clears first committee in House
Fibbing about Fido to skirt a ‘no pets’ policy? Bill would make it illegal
Students in residential facilities could have better access to extra learning opportunities
Proposal would establish a new state agency focused on early childhood
Education committee considers ‘Seizure Smart Schools’ legislation
More children could be eligible for early learning opportunities this summer
New teachers could have better access to mentorship opportunities
‘Technical’ elections bill approved by committee on partisan vote
Bill held over would eliminate ‘Social Security offset’ that reduces unemployment payouts
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
No Child Left Inside grant program could get $2 million
Air-quality permits could get additional scrutiny in underserved communities
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Extension considered for pandemic-prompted changes to home and community-based services
Multiple approaches could bring more dentists to rural Minnesota
Mental health workforce shortage, cultural competency demand range of solutions
Proposed ban on flavored tobacco moves ahead
Parents of maltreated children could have greater say in day care provider appeals
Allowing raw cannabis for medical use could cut costs, improve access
Divided House committee approves price controls on prescription drugs creating ‘affordability challenges’
Study proposed to develop consumer protections for state's sober home residents
Minnesota State, U of M leaders tell lawmakers big repair bills need big bonding
Walz proposes $149 million increase in higher education funding — with some program cuts
Housing panel OKs legislation that could offer eviction protections, expunge records
Support program for Twin Cities homeless adults could be expanded
Legislation could protect low-income tenants in apartments primed for rent hikes
Repeal of local government compensation cap gets OK by House division
Met Council reform measure met with House panel's approval
Bill proposes tougher penalties for sex trafficking
SAFE account bill fails to gain enough support, tabled for second time
Overhaul of criminal sexual conduct statutes moves forward
Public safety panel OKs bill to grant limited immunity to victims of sexual assault possessing or under influence of drugs
Proposal would have Greater MN bars, restaurants fully open sooner
House subcommittee continues debate over legislative response to Walz's emergency powers
Walz’s tax bill would net revenue bumps from corporations and high earners
Auditor’s report says use of tax increment financing down, but revenue up
Paying taxes on PPP loans? That, and more, would change under tax conformity bill