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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, June 25, 2021

Dear Neighbor,

We are making our way through Week 2 in a special session taking place to finish work on a new state budget after that project went unresolved during the regular session which ended in mid-May.

A number of omnibus finance bills have been taken up for votes. This includes a $7.27 billion transportation package the Legislature approved this week providing significant funding for local governments to conduct work on roads and bridges in District 16A. The bill was approved with broad support in both bodies and has been sent to the governor for enactment.

Funding in the bill includes $12 million for townships and $18 million in aid for cities with fewer than 5,000 residents. Estimates for combined funding small cities in District 16A are set to receive:

  • Lac qui Parle: $139,702
  • Lyon: $208,814
  • Redwood: $223,572
  • Yellow Medicine: $144,691

The bill also provides $25 million to expand a section of U.S. Highway 212 in Carver County from two to four lanes, a project that will improve safety for people from southwestern Minnesota traveling to and from the metro area.

We should note the final version of the transportation package also removed all $1.6 billion in tax hikes passed by House Democrats in their transportation bill during the 2021 regular session. It is good to see the finished product for this bill allows us to uphold roads and bridges as the priorities they are without raising taxes on Minnesotans at a time the state has a multi-billion-dollar surplus. This bill is much improved over the one House Democrats brought to the floor in April that failed to reach enactment.

The full package (SSHFF 10) includes $220.4 million in net General Fund spending over base during the 2022-23 biennium, an increase of around 22 percent. The total appropriations by agency include $6.49 billion for the Department of Transportation, $516.3 million for the Department of Public Safety and $235.7 million for the Metropolitan Council.

The bill also features $213 million in trunk highway bonding authorized in fiscal year 2022 and an additional $100 million in each year of the 2024-25 biennium for the Corridors of Commerce program.

Look for more notes from the House as we continue working our way through budget bills. The goal is to have all 14 omnibus finance packages sent to the governor before the fiscal year ends on Wednesday and I may provide a more comprehensive look at the highlights/lowlights in an upcoming newsletter recapping the special session.