The 2022 Legislative Session adjourns on Monday, May 23, and with only a few days left, much of the important work for this week took place in the conference committees where House and Senate members are crafting final, compromise legislation for their assigned supplemental budget areas.
If you’re interested in following this process, I’d recommend checking the House Public Information webpage for the latest schedules and updates. Once conference committees complete their work, their bills will return to the House and Senate floors for a final vote before being sent to Governor Walz for his approval or veto.
Supporting Our Veterans
One stand-alone bill we were already able to send to Governor Walz for his approval was one investing in Minnesota’s Veterans. Among other provisions, this bill includes further action to tackle veteran homelessness, service bonuses for post-9/11 era veterans and additional funding for new veteran’s homes in Bemidji, Preston, and Montevideo.
You can read more about this bill here.
Updating our Liquor Laws
As we work to reach consensus on our supplemental budget bills, we were able to pass other pieces of legislation this week Minnesotans have been asking for. Changing liquor laws is a slow and infrequent process in the Minnesota Legislature, but this week we passed a bill that delivers sorely-needed reforms for our breweries, distilleries, and liquor stores.
Specifically, the bill increases the growler cap for breweries from 20,000 barrels to 150,000 barrels of beer sold annually. Other provisions in the bill include those allowing breweries to sell six packs, four packs, and other small containers to the public; allowing distilleries to sell more products to the public and removing the cap on cocktail rooms; and allowing liquor stores to sell limes
These changes will allow our local businesses to grow to their full potential without worrying about scaling back or limiting the ways in which they’re able to sell their product. You can read more about this bill here.
Legalizing Sports Betting
Another issue we addressed this week brought forward by Minnesotans was the legalization of sports betting. Right now, Minnesota is an island, as all of our bordering neighbors have legalized it.
We’ve worked with the state’s sovereign tribal nations and other stakeholders to craft a responsible bill that protects Minnesotans while giving them the opportunity to engage in fair and regulated sports betting.
The bill legalizes sports wagering and allows people who are 21 years or older to place bets in-person at tribal-owned casinos and on mobile platforms controlled by tribal nations. It also provides integrity monitoring to identify unfair betting patterns and data protection for consumers. You can read more about this bill and the uphill battle it faces in the Republican-controlled Senate here.
There are only a few days left, and things will be moving pretty fast as we have a lot of ground to cover. As a reminder, if you were a frontline worker during the first year of the pandemic, you may be eligible for the Frontline Worker Bonuses we recently passed into law. We’re still building the application process, but you can find more information and sign up for notifications here.
If you have any questions about our work, or ideas for our community, please feel free to reach out. You can contact me at 651-296-4262 or email me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you!