Conference committees worked in fits and starts on their omnibus bills this week, doing what they could to lay the groundwork, and find harmony where possible, that will allow them to hammer out agreements once legislative leaders provide final budget targets.
The billions-dollar question now is when, or possibly if, that agreement will come. Substantial progress is unlikely until it does, or until the respective bodies decide their differences can’t be reconciled and each moves ahead on its own.
Conferees did adopt same and similar language in some bills over the last few days and that work may continue in at least a few conference committees over the weekend with the state government, environment, health and human services and public safety panels each set to hold Saturday meetings.
But the schedule this time of year is subject to change on very short notice, so it’s best to check the Combined Legislative Meeting Calendar regularly for updates.
As the clock continues to countdown to this session’s May 17 deadline, here’s one last look at what you may have missed this week:
Conferees cultivate plan to resolve differences in agriculture and broadband legislation
House, Senate begin work on bridging $620.5 million divide on education bill
Omnibus pension and retirement bill gains committee approval
A loan against the vortex: House panel approves price spike protection
Conferees find House wants renewables, Senate health reinsurance
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Money matches up in House, Senate Legacy bills — but not where to spend it
Path to compromise on omnibus environment bill as conference committee kicks off
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Lawmakers get to work on crafting compromise HHS budget bill
Differences in omnibus housing bills highlighted in first conference committee meeting
Bill to create alternative to custody warrants passes House
Police reform proposals get lukewarm Senate response in conference committee
Public safety omnibus bill conferees start task of resolving major differences in policy provisions
Compromise on elections proposals, other measures needed as House, Senate start negotiations on omnibus state government bill
American Rescue Plan means changes for Minnesota taxpayers
Tax bills bear big differences on the bottom line
Transportation conferees begin work while waiting for final budget target