Friends and Neighbors,
This Friday is the final day for finance bills to be passed out of committee. The Minnesota Constitution requires that the legislative session adjourn by the third week of May. Committee deadlines are imposed on both the House and Senate for each body’s policy and finance bills so that there is a reasonable amount of time for work to be completed, and so that session can end in an organized way.
The first deadline is for policy bills in the House, which was March 10th this year. This means that the appropriate committee actions on policy bills must have been completed by that time for the bills to be brought to the House floor. The second deadline is for Senate files that have been sent over, which was March 17th, and the third deadline applies to the major House finance bills for them to be completed in their respective committees and sent to the Ways and Means Committee. The third deadline is March 31st, so this coming Friday.
These deadlines serve a sort of filter for the 3-4,000 bills that are introduced every biennium, requiring the public and legislators to actively show their support by moving their bills through the committee process. The House and Senate decided to set these three deadlines earlier than in past sessions this year to allow for more time for legislative leadership to negotiate with Governor Dayton.