The 2018 legislative session adjourned a week ago, Sunday. The final weekend of session saw the passage of a compromise tax conformity and education bill, a bonding bill, and a pension bill to the Governor's desk for consideration as well as a supplemental finance bill.
Unfortunately, the governor vetoed both the supplemental finance bill and the tax conformity/education bill last week, blocking the first income tax rate reduction in nearly two decades, funding to help deputy registrars hurt by the MNLARS mess, funding to help avert a 7% cut for disability services, school safety funding, and more.
The legislature addressed nearly 70% of the specific concerns the governor had with the bills, and provided up to $84 million in new funding for schools ($225 million in total when flexibility measures are added), meeting the governor more than halfway on his key priorities and concerns. Nevertheless, he decided to veto the bills.
I am very disappointed that Governor Dayton once again showed immense partisanship and vetoed this much needed legislation. These bills represented a great deal of compromise from the House and Senate in an effort to do what is right for Minnesotans and reach agreement with the governor. Instead, he has decided to play politics and now millions of Minnesotans will have to suffer the consequences.
Here is a brief list of just a few of the groups that will be negatively impacted by the governor’s actions:
As you can see, the impact is widespread.
Fortunately, not all hope is lost as the legislature still had a productive two years that included the largest tax cut in nearly two decades, the largest investment in roads and bridges in state history without a gas tax increase, major funding boosts for education, and reforms to lower health care costs and boost health care choices for Minnesota families.
In other news, Governor Dayton signed the bonding bill into law on Wednesday. This bill was geographically balanced and provided general obligation bonds to fund construction and critical infrastructure maintenance and preservation throughout the state.
The bill included $4.143 million to renovate the National Guard’s Brainerd Readiness Center, known locally as the Brainerd Armory.
Here’s a breakdown of the funding included in the bill:
That’s all for this week. As always, I encourage you to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments regarding state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4333 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great week,