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Current Legislative Session

2018 Legislative Bill Status Report (pdf)

May 30, 2018

The Governor has now taken action on all bills sent to him during this session.

Highlights:

  • The Governor vetoed the omnibus tax and budget bills passed by the Legislature.
  • No significant changes were passed on any civil justice/tort reform issues.
  • Workers comp legislation was passed, including a controversial provision creating a rebuttable PTSD presumption for disability claims by law enforcement and certain public service employees.

May 15, 2018

The Legislature can only pass legislation until midnight on Sunday. They are now racing against the clock to try and reach agreement with the Governor on a major spending bill, Tax bill, and bonding Bill.

Many of the bills on your tracking list are part of the omnibus budget bill; that conference committee is still meeting to try and resolve the differences between the House and Senate bills. Included in those bills was language on pre-judgment interest rate, salt liability, court budget items, workers comp advisory council provisions, trespass to critical structures liability, and sex harassment legal standards.

May 8, 2018

The House and Senate have now both passed all their budget and tax bills. Conference committee work and trying to reach a compromise with the Governor on these bills should consume most of the remaining two weeks of the session. The House amended controversial workers comp language on to their budget bill creating a presumption of occupational disease for a public safety worker who is diagnosed with PTSD. Members of the House voiced significant displeasure with the Workers Comp Advisory Council for not resolving this issue.

Prejudgment interest rate legislation is included in the omnibus public safety bill, to be resolved in conference committee. The Senate Judiciary committee has separately passed this bill to the floor.

Majority Leader Peppin’s proposal on sex harassment was amended on to the omnibus public safety bill on a floor amendment this week. The Senate author has indicated that the bill needs more work and is unlikely to pass this year.

May 1, 2018

There are 3 weeks remaining until the Legislature is required by the constitution to adjourn their regular session.

The House held hearings on the Governor’s federal tax conformity proposal, and then introduced and passed their own bill last week. It will be considered on the House floor Monday. The House will then spend several days passing all their budget bills.

The House Public Safety bill again contains the prejudgment interest rate proposal, as it did last year. It also money for the courts for case management, another judge unit for the ignition interlock program, and $ for public defenders and the guardian ad litem program. The Senate judiciary bill has none of those provisions.

The Senate Republicans tax bill is expected to be released on Tuesday. The Senate, in a 12 hour floor session, passed their omnibus budget bill Thursday; it contained the budget proposals from each of their budget divisions.

Sex harassment legislation was introduced recently, and passed out of House Civil law committee last Thursday, in spite of Widespread opposition from the business community, local government, and many in the legal community. Molly Ryan graciously agreed to testify against the bill on behalf of the MDLA at the late night hearing. No amendments were offered, and the bill moved to the House floor. There are no hearings yet scheduled in the Senate.

April 23, 2018

Last Friday was the third committee deadline, when all budget bills had to be passed out of their respective budget divisions and sent to Finance and Ways and Means committees.

The House and Senate Tax committees both heard the Governor’s proposal on federal tax conformity last week. The House Republicans have released their proposal, it will be heard and passed out of Tax committee on Tuesday. The Senate Republicans have yet to introduce their proposal.

The Legislature is required to adjourn the regular session in 4 weeks, on May 21st.

April 16, 2018

This Friday is the deadline for all budget bills to be passed out of budget divisions and sent to Ways and Means and Finance committees.

The Governor’s tax proposal on conforming to the federal tax law was introduced on Thursday, and will be heard in House Tax committee on Tuesday and in Senate tax committee on Thursday, It is expected that the House and Senate Republicans will also introduce their respective tax proposals this week.

Constitutional adjournment of the regular session is 5 weeks away.

April 2, 2018

The first two committee deadlines for passage of policy bills has now passed, which means that any bill that has not passed all required policy committees in both bodies is dead for the session. As you can see by the attached tracking list, very few of the bills being tracked for your association have made it past these deadlines.

The Legislature is now on their Easter/Passover break, returning Monday, April 9. The last 6 weeks of the session before their required adjournment on May 21st will be spent working on federal tax conformity, bonding, policy bills sent to finance committees, and a supplemental budget bill.

March 26, 2018:

Last Thursday was the first policy committee deadline, this coming Thursday, March 29th is the second policy deadline. After that date, policy committee work will end, and the Legislature will turn their focus to tax and appropriations committee work.

The Legislature will be taking an Easter/Passover break from March 30-April 8. When they return on April 9, there will be 6 weeks until the constitutionally mandated deadline of May 21st.

March 19, 2018:

The Governor delivered his last State of the State address to the Legislature last Wednesday, and released his supplemental budget and tax proposals on Friday.

The Governor has taken the position that the federal tax bill passed in December overwhelmingly favored business and wealthy Americans, and as a result, his tax proposal would instead give tax cuts and benefits to individuals and families.

If the Minnesota Legislature does nothing to respond to the federal tax law, state taxes will rise; if the Legislature fully conforms to the federal tax law, matching all the changes made at the federal level, state taxes would rise by an even higher number. Failing to pass any tax legislation would result in a headache for Minnesotan tax filers, requiring two entirely different forms.

This Thursday is the first policy committee deadline of the session; the 2nd and final policy deadline is the following Thursday, March 29. After that date, the work of all policy committees is expected to be complete for the session.

The Legislature will then take an Easter/Passover break until April 9, and then will have 6 weeks until the constitutionally mandated adjournment of their regular session on May 21.

March 12, 2018:

The Legislature has now completed the third week of the 2018 session. The first policy committee deadline of March 22 is fast approaching, when policy bills must have passed all policy committees in one body that need to see it.

Committees have been discussing proposals on:

  • school safety
  • banning the use of handheld cellphones while driving
  • new teaching licensure
  • autonomous vehicle regulation
  • elder abuse reporting
  • MNLARS motor vehicle registration computer issues
  • sex trafficking
  • wild rice water standards
  • mental health issues
  • establishing a crime for misrepresenting a service animal
  • bills allowing for easier sharing of health records

The Governor will be making his last State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature on Wednesday evening, and has announced that he will be releasing his proposed supplemental budget and tax proposals the following day. Release of his budget should begin the serious deliberations on how Minnesota should conform or make changes to the federal tax bill passed in late December.

February 28, 2018:

The Legislature is now in their second week of the session. There are 12 weeks remaining before the constitutional adjournment of May 21.

They began hearings last week on federal tax legislation and how and whether the state should conform to these changes. They also passed legislation restoring the House and Senate’s legislative two-year funding of $129 million that Governor Dayton had vetoed last May due to his opposition over some of provisions for business tax relief. He is expected to sign this bill.

The February budget forecast will be announced on Wednesday this week and is expected to show a surplus. The Governor will be submitting his supplemental budget and tax reform request to the Legislature by mid-March, likely when he makes his state of the state address to the Legislature on March 14.

While committee deadlines have not yet been announced, it appears that the first policy deadline will be March 22, and the second deadline will be March 29, just before the Legislature takes off for their Easter/Passover break.

If you should have any questions about legislation MDLA is monitoring, please feel free to contact Richard J. Thomas, Burke & Thomas, 651-490-1808, thomas@burkeandthomas.com, Thomas E. Marshall, Engelmeier & Umanah, P.A., 612-341-8131, tomm@e-ulaw.com or Bryan Mowry, MDLA Executive Director, 651-366-6099, director@mdla.org.

Bills are constantly being introduced and amended/changed. MDLA's Law Improvement Committee is always interested in your opinions on the legislation it is monitoring.

Minnesota State Legislature

For complete legislative information, visit www.leg.state.mn.us. Minnesota House of Representatives information can be found at www.house.leg.state.mn.us. Minnesota Senate information can be found at www.senate.leg.state.mn.us.

House and Senate Resources

Senate Information Office
Room 231, State Capitol
651-296-0504 (metro)
1-888-234-1112 (outstate toll free)
www.senate.leg.state.mn.us

House Public Information Office
Room 175 State Office Building
651-296-2146 (metro)
1-800-657-3550 (outstate toll free)
www.house.leg.state.mn.us

House Chief Clerk
Room 211 State Capitol
651-296-2314
www.house.leg.state.mn.us

House Index
Room 211 State Capitol
651-296-6646
www.house.leg.state.mn.us


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