The Minnesota Legislature’s most senior members are getting a rundown on how the state’s economy is performing. Nine top House members and nine from the Senate were due to convene the Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy on Thursday.
Lobbying groups spent more than $11 million at the Minnesota Legislature this past session, according to Minnesota’s Campaign Finance Board. Now, there’s a new player at the top of the spending list.
Top Minnesota lawmakers purposely delayed the start of a new sales tax on warehousing services until next April in case they need to revise or undo it before then. The storage service tax, which doesn’t apply to mini-storage rentals, became a point of dispute.
Gov. Mark Dayton and Democratic legislative leaders call the just-finished session a success and that they accomplished what they set out to do. Dayton and the lawmakers held a Tuesday news conference at the Capitol, just a few hours after the session wrapped at midnight.
Minnesota lawmakers worked right up to the end Monday before adjourning a session that produced $2.1 billion in tax hikes and a historic vote on gay marriage. The gavel fell after a frenetic final push to wrap up major issues.
A few final debates echoed through the state Capitol Monday, as lawmakers haggled over tax increases and union organizing in a session that’s already seen a big spike in spending on schools and a landmark law legalizing gay marriage.
Extensive work on the 107-year-old state Capitol is getting the go-ahead from Minnesota lawmakers in a late financial rescue package. A borrowing proposal that came together on the Legislature’s final day includes $109 million for the next phase of a renovation to the deteriorating building. The money was needed this year to keep underway construction from halting. A new parking ramp will be authorized, but paid for with fees from users.
Minnesota voters will decide in 2016 if the constitution should be changed to let an independent board set the pay of legislators. The state Senate voted 43-23 early Monday to put the proposed amendment on the statewide ballot. It follows a tighter House vote on the identical measure.
North Dakota is promoting its business climate at Minnesota’s expense, and some politicians are not happy about it. The Greater North Dakota Chamber has created billboards that mock proposals in the Minnesota Legislature, including bills that would raise certain taxes.
Nearly 100 amendments await Minnesota House lawmakers if they move ahead as planned on a bill that could lead to unionization of in-home day care providers and personal care attendants. The volume foreshadows a long fight should the House brings the bill up on Saturday as planned.
With time running out in this year’s session, Minnesota lawmakers appear to be close to a deal for the next state budget. It doesn’t involve taxing clothing or any changes to the alcohol tax, but there will be some noticeable changes for some people.
A new plan for paying off Minnesota Vikings stadium debate is about to surface at the state Capitol as the legislative session nears its conclusion. Leaders of a House-Senate committee crafting a wider-ranging tax bill alluded to the new proposal while trading offers on Wednesday.
Pressed for time, the Minnesota Legislature faced increasing urgency Thursday to start sending Gov. Mark Dayton the bills that make up the two-year, $37 billion state budget. Democrats running the Capitol have a late Monday deadline to pass the budget and avoid a special session.
Minnesota’s governor is set to sign a bill legalizing gay marriage that will let same-sex couples hold weddings starting Aug. 1. Gov. Mark Dayton has repeatedly promised to sign the bill. He’s scheduled to do so during a ceremony at 5 p.m. Tuesday on the front steps of Minnesota’s Capitol in St. Paul.
Minnesota lawmakers are bearing down for the legislative session’s homestretch. Monday marks one week until the mandatory adjournment deadline. Much is left to do. The House and Senate still need to pass compromise bills to comprise the state’s next two year budget.