Here’s wishing you and yours a blessed Easter/Passover holiday. I hope you are able to spend some extra time with family and friends this weekend.
When the Legislature returns to the Capitol next week, only six full weeks will remain in the legislative session. The House has made little progress on this year’s major issues, especially in setting the state’s next two-year budget. Zero finance bills have come to the floor for consideration so far. By comparison, in 2017, the House had approved a full set of 11 budget bills by first week in April. It seems highly unlikely we will match that pace this year with a different House majority in place.
It’s one thing to have a lack of movement on budget bills at this point in the session because there is still time to get our work done before adjourning on May 17. What is more concerning is the majority continues to work on more controversial issues while bills that have wide, bipartisan support, remain on hold.
The House still has not passed a bill exempting from state taxes federally issued Paycheck Protection Program loans businesses received to keep people on the payroll. Minnesota still is the only state in the Upper Midwest to not address this issue and it is doing a disservice to businesses that need help, not more taxes and regulations placed on them by the majority.
Also, the House has not yet conformed with federal tax code on unemployment, meaning Minnesotans who have been out of work are receiving unexpected tax bills from the state. This needs to be fixed immediately, but the majority continues to delay.
It would be nice of the governor were to call on the House to act on these issues because the majority usually responds to his asks. Interestingly, it seems the only time House Democrats have stood up to the governor has been in their continued refusal to approve funding for law enforcement.
This has been an extraordinarily difficult time for Minnesotans and they deserve results at the Capitol. The House needs to put political gamesmanship aside and take care of these issues. I continue advocating to bring forward bills that will help businesses and families alike get back on solid footing.
Look for more news as things develop over the next several weeks at the Capitol. It is important for us all to remain engaged on the issues and, as always, your input is welcome. Until next time, I hope you enjoy the Easter/Passover holiday.