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Week in Review: March 18-22

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The second committee deadline is a seven days away, but next week’s schedule has just a handful of night meetings planned at this point, although several divisions and committees have end-of-the-week gatherings scheduled with agendas that have not yet been announced.

Monday’s 3:30 p.m. floor session features only one bill on the Calendar for the Day, HF85, which would allow emergency services personnel to help patients administer prescription medications in emergency situations.

The House Ways and Means Committee is to adopt its budget resolution for the upcoming biennium after Monday’s session.

But before we look ahead, however, let’s look back at what you may have missed during this busy week.

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Recent Dailies

Week in Review: March 18-22
A look back at what happened in the Minnesota House of Representatives the week of March 18-22, 2019.
House OKs using leashed dogs to help hunters find wounded game
Passed by the House, HF680 would allow hunters tracking dead or wounded bear and deer to use leashed dogs. It would also allow for the use of hand-held artificial lights while tracking with dogs.
House passes bill that would change legal definition of sexual harassment
The definition of sexual harassment in Minnesota law could be changed to clarify that sexually offensive behavior need not be “severe or pervasive” in order for it to be subject to litigation.
Walz transportation plan — and its gas tax hike — sets up debate over how to fund state’s road, transit needs
Minnesota’s roads are falling apart and its transit systems are falling behind — and state lawmakers need to green-light big investment, state officials say.
Bill would help buses dump the diesel and go electric
HF1755 would appropriate $4.1 million in the current fiscal year to the Metropolitan Council to purchase electric buses.
House panel approves ‘more inclusive’ firefighter licensing regulations
Firefighter training and education would be streamlined under a bill calling for several technical changes to current law on licensing requirements for firefighters.
Need help with your taxes? Bill would expand free preparation services
Aiming to help low-income or elderly tax filers, HF1862 would increase the budget for the taxpayer assistance grant programs from $400,000 to $800,000 for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021.
Expiring School Readiness Plus program could be made permanent
An initiative that added 4,000 seats to the state’s preschool programs over the past two years is set to expire this year, absent legislative action. Sponsored by Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL-St. Paul), HF2463, would make the School Readiness Plus program permanent.
Safety net for grain producers proposed following elevator fraud
A plan to create a fund to indemnify grain credit contracts was held over Thursday by a House division.
Minnesota Zoo seeks $25 million for infrastructure, exhibit updates
In an effort to offer visitors new perspectives and experiences, while also updating some of its aging facilities, the Minnesota Zoo is seeking $25 million in state funding. ...

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Priority Dailies

Budget forecast: Projected surplus drops by almost $500 million, still tops $1 billion
The state has a $1.05 billion projected budget surplus for the upcoming biennium, Minnesota Management and Budget officials announced Thursday.
Walz budget would raise gas tax, emphasize education, health care
Education, health care and community prosperity are key targets for funding in the 2020-21 biennial budget proposed by Gov. Tim Walz.
Committee deadlines for 2019 unveiled
Legislators and the public officially know the timeline for getting bills through the committee process.
House committees, schedule and chairs announced for 2019-20 biennium
The framework for the 2019 legislative session took shape Wednesday as House DFL leaders announced the committee structure, chairs and the schedule lawmakers will follow when they reconvene Jan. 8, 2019.
Omnibus bills provide framework for the state's biennial budget plan
At the beginning of the state’s two-year fiscal cycle, the first year of the legislative session is traditionally a “budget year.” It’s a lengthy process, but it’s one that requ...

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