ST. PAUL – State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston) said he was pleased to have been named to two legislative conference committees. The first deals with a comprehensive proposal that reforms Minnesota’s tax system; the second would return the Green Acres conservation program to its original intent.
“Both of these proposals are critical to folks in Fillmore and Houston counties, and it is an honor to be one of the five House members that will help craft a final solution,” Davids said.
A conference committee is made up of five state representatives and five senators. A conference committee is appointed when each legislative body passes a bill on a particular topic, but the language contained in the proposals is not identical. The joint House/Senate committee then works out the differences between a bill, and agrees on a proposal that can be approved by both bodies.
In the case of Green Acres – a farmland conservation program that was altered in 2008 and resulted in massive tax increases for many rural property owners - Davids said there were only minor differences between the House and Senate versions. The conference committee met briefly, agreed on a new proposal, and this compromise proposal has already been approved by the Minnesota House. Davids expects the taxes bill to take much longer.
“At this time of year, many bills are being approved by both the House and Senate, and it’s not unusual to see many conference committees operating in order to have legislation to present to the Governor before the end of session,” Davids said.