May 18 - 2018

The last week of session is always filled with long spans of waiting followed by short bursts of action, with plenty of rumors, speculation and drama sprinkled in between. So without providing every nugget of rumor and speculation, here are the highlights of what actually happened this week.  

House passed bonding bill BUT it failed in the Senate

Governor Vetoed Tax Bill

Supplemental Budget trudges along

Everything else is in limbo.
Tax Bill
Governor Dayton vetoed the tax bill that was sent to him this week by the legislature. Dayton had a number of issues with the bill but he mostly opposed the legislative leaders' lack of action on his late proposal to add more funding for schools. While I do think a tax agreement is still possible it will require movement in other areas of budget and bonding before that can happen. 

The Supplemental Budget Conference Committee has been moving slowly this week, on finding agreement between the House and Senate. It appears as if (just today) they have finally reached agreement on language and spending for all budget areas BUT they are still a long way from getting approval from the Governor's office. Earlier today the Governor issued a list of 117 items that he has concerns with in the Bill. 

Budget Spreadsheet (Warning small print ahead)

The Bonding bill passed the House floor on Monday; 84-39. Some were surprised that it had enough support from DFLers to get to the votes. The Senate took up their Bonding bill a few days later and it failed on a 34-33 party line vote. While this was a significant set back, historically the bonding bill has often come together very quickly at the end of session, though this is not the preferred way to do it, of course. It is likely that the House and Senate Bonding chairs are talking behind the scenes with the Governor and the minority leaders, to find a compromise list of projects that might be able to get the votes needed.

What's Next?

Basically, this is what is happening at the capitol...

Can something break free? Yes. 

I suspect the Tax bill is the most likely to do so,  as there is motivation from both sides to find agreement.  Bonding too, could find enough support and get done by Monday. However, the Budget bill has a lot further to go before the Governor will sign.  There are also some side issues - such as elder abuse and the opioid crisis - that could also find resolution by Monday . BUT keep in mind, that is a long list of "To Do's" with only 52 hours remaining.  

My next update will come out early next week after the dust has settled and we see what, if anything, has passed.

Thank you for reading,

Cap O'Rourke

Cap O'Rourke
Lobbyist / President
O'Rourke Strategic Consulting

Cap O'Rourke | (612) 483-1863 | |
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