May 18 - 2018
This has turned out to be one of the most unproductive sessions most capitol regulars can remember. The Governor has said he will veto the supplemental budget bill and the second version of the tax bill.  Just a few hours ago it looked as if the session would end without a bonding bill as well, but at the last minute legislative leaders were able to salvage a bonding agreement that would garner enough votes to pass both bodies. T he legislature has adjourned Sine Die with everyone willing to cast blame on someone else.

Tax Bill
After the Governor vetoed the tax bill passed by the legislature last week, they  decided to take another shot. This second version included $50 million for schools, taken from state reserves, and they removed a few smaller provisions. The Commissioners of Revenue and Education both expressed disappointment in the bill and made it clear that it was likely to be vetoed by Governor Dayton. The House and Senate both passed the bill today, despite threats of a veto. 

The Supplemental Budget Bill was passed by both the House and Senate late Saturday night. During conference committee process they removed 54 of the 117 issues of concern listed by the Governor. The bill still had a number of policy provisions and appropriations that the Governor opposed. He said he will veto the spending bill as well. There was one last bill passed at the end that would have fixed some of the controversial provisions of the health article, in an effort to convince Dayton to sign the Budget bill but it is unclear if that will be enough.

The House and Senate amended a bill in conference committee with a list of bonding projects.  but once it reached the floor it became evident that there would not be enough votes from the DFL in either body (they need 3/5th's). 

After a day filled with behind the scenes negotiations the Senate took up a different House file late in the night, amended it with their original list plus a few new projects and passed it. The bill was sent to the House where they quickly passed it with about 15 minutes left in session. 

All Eyes on Dayton
So here we are at the end of session and Governor Dayton now has to decide what action to take on every bill presented to him.  According to Minnesota's Constitution:
"Any bill passed during the last three days of a session may be presented to the governor during the three days following the day of final adjournment and becomes law if the governor signs and deposits it in the office of the secretary of state within 14 days after the adjournment of the legislature. Any bill passed during the last three days of the session which is not signed and deposited within 14 days after adjournment does not become a law." 

You can find the list of bills presented to the Governor  herealong with any actions he  may or may not take.  
What's Next?

The legislature has adjourned sine die and the Governor has been adamant that he will not call a special session if the legislature does not finish their work on time. So this is as good as it gets.

Both GOP and DFL leaders will now make the case to voters this Fall, on who is to blame for the lack of action and/or accomplishment.   

To those of you who are regular readers of this newsletter, thank you. I have received great feedback from many of you and I enjoy trying to provide a succinct briefing of what is taking place at the capitol.  Please feel free to share with anyone who is interested in politics, policy and elections (yes we are expanding our coverage) in Minnesota.

Cap O'Rourke

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

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