I hope you are having a good summer. While it’s been about two months since the regular legislative session adjourned, a lot has been happening around the Capitol. Below is a summary of some of legislative work that is taking place.
Special Session Possible
Last Friday, negotiations between Gov. Dayton and legislative leaders regarding a possible special session resumed. As you know, the regular session adjourned in late May; however, a number of issues important to Minnesotans were left unfinished. Among the important issues is a tax bill. While the initial bill included some good provisions, such as a student loan tax credit and increases to the working family and child and dependent care credits, it contained a $100 million error. The Governor vetoed the legislation due to the error. Two additional major issues left unfinished were the bonding bill and a comprehensive transportation package. Both measures are important to the state and needed more discussion and negotiations. Because these issues are important to the people of Minnesota, I am confident that all three of the issues will be resolved in a short special session.
It appears a special session will be called sometime in mid-August. With the work being done now, the special session will most likely be short in duration.
Good news came last week from Minnesota Management and Budget. Fiscal Year 2016 concluded on June 30, and revenues exceeded the amount from the February budget forecast by $230 million. While economic growth has slowed a bit, our economy is still in a solid position, and hopefully we will be entering the 2017 session with another sizable budget surplus.
By being fiscally judicious, we have an opportunity to make key investments that help all Minnesotans, such as education, job creation, and transportation. I look forward to more discussions about this as we approach January.
July 1 is the start of Minnesota’s Fiscal Year. As a result, many state programs will receive continued funding or increases for vital state services. August 1 is the day many new policy provisions become law.
A summary of selected new laws that took effect July 1, 2016, can be accessed at http://www.house.leg.state.
A complete summary of all laws passed by the 2016 Legislature is available online from the House Public Information Services Office at http://www.house.leg.state.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with your legislative issues, questions, concerns. I look forward to visiting with you in the District over the coming months.
Lyndon R. Carlson