The House Ways and Means Committee on Friday began rolling finance bills into HF3172, which is the vehicle for the supplemental budget proposal.
The committee deliberations, which are scheduled to resume on Monday, came after various House finance committees labored throughout the week on spending and tax proposals for the state agencies over which they have jurisdiction.
The committee on Friday adopted three budget bills as separate articles for the omnibus bill:
• Jobs and Economic Development: The committee removed provisions pertaining to Women’s Economic Security Act, which will advance separately. WESA legislation, originally sponsored by Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing), is scheduled for a hearing next Wednesday in Ways and Means. The change reduced the overall amount of funding in the Jobs and Economic Development article from $38.6 million to $37.37 million. (Find Session Daily coverage of the bill here.)
• Public Safety: The article spends $49.7 million in additional spending for the 2015 fiscal year, with $36.5 million from the General Fund. Ways and Means amendments to the bill were technical in nature. (For Session Daily coverage of the bill click here.)
• Transportation: The article spends $49.6 million from the General Fund. An amendment adopted Friday in Ways and Means would shift an additional $10 million from the General Fund toward a provision that would provide emergency funding to cities and counties to patch a proliferating number of potholes across the state. The measure would allocate $15 million to local governments and $10 million in state highway funds for post-winter road repairs. (Find Session Daily coverage of the bill here.)
Budget bills still waiting to be amended into HF3172 include: Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture; K-12 Education and Health and Human Services. Rep. Lyndon Carlson Sr. (DFL-Crystal), the chair of Ways and Means, said the omnibus bill could be reported out of committee on Monday. The bill is expected to be debated next Thursday on the House Floor, he said.