April 12 - 2019

Well, the legislature made it to the spring break, so now legislators will return back to their districts for a week, to hear from their constituents about is most important to them. Leadership from both parties will likely be pushing their own caucus priorities and advocates will be stepping up their efforts to pass or defeat certain legislation.

The House and Senate were both busy this week moving key omnibus finance bills through the process, in what will eventually be the set up for budget negotiations.  Stark differences remain between the DFL House, GOP Senate and Governor Walz.

Two major bipartisan events took place on Tuesday. The first was the 9th annual Minnesota Congressional Hotdish Competition in Washington DC. Rep. Betty McCollum picked up her 2nd win with a dish called "Hotdish A-Hmong Friends".  Rep. Betty McCollum Wins 9th Annual Minnesota Congressional Hotdish Competition

The second event took place in St. Paul at the biennial legislative " Ranger Party " held at Mancini's, on West 7th. This event is a chance for legislators, staff, lobbyists, and other capitol regulars to gather for a night of fun but this year had added meaning, as funds were raised for the Tom Rukivina Scholarship fund.
Governor's Office
This morning, Governor Walz signed the H ands-Free bill (passed by both the House and Senate earlier in the week), making it illegal to use a cell phone while driving - "in all but rare instances". Your first offense will come with a  $50 fine, but the penalty jumps higher for repeat offenses. The new law takes effect in August. 

In a news release issued last night, his office announced that Governor Walz has signed Emergency Executive Order 19-30, "declaring a peacetime state of emergency in the State of Minnesota....ordering the Minnesota National Guard to provide assistance and emergency relief services as needed for stranded motorists across the state. The release highlighted Freeborn, Marshall, Mower, and Steele Counties as places drivers could encounter dangerous conditions". 
House Omnibus Bills
The House has now moved most of its budget bills out of committee and out of Ways and Means. This sets up the floor  debates  that will take place the week after break.  Below are the most recent version of bills that are available. The Capitol Investment bill is still in committee.

Agriculture HF2200

Judiciary HF2705

Capitol Investment HF2529

Legacy HF653

Early Childhood
Public Safety HF2792
HHS Items Spreadsheet
Education Spreadsheet


Education Finance HF2400
State Government HF1935

Environment Finance HF2209
Taxes HF2125

Health & Human Services
HF 2414

Transportation HF1555
Language (warning: this is over 1,000 pages; do not attempt to read when tired, unless sleep is your goal in doing so)

Jobs & Economic Development HF2208
Veterans & Military Affairs HF2086

Senate Omnibus Bills
The  Senate committees released their omnibus budget bills this week but unlike the House, most bills still need to go through Finance and Taxes (when applicable), before they are ready for a floor vote.

Agriculture SF2226

Jobs & Economic Development SF2611

Capitol Investment 

Judiciary SF802
Not Released

Commerce SF2474

Legacy SF836

Education Finance SF7

State Government SF2227

Energy and Commerce Finance SF1692


Not Released

Environment Finance SF2314

Transportation SF1093

Health & Human Services SF2452 SF92

Veterans & Military  Affairs SF2358
Health Spreadsheet
Health Language
Human Service Spreadsheet
Human Service Language

Trump is visiting Minnesota
President Trump will be making his first visit of an official nature on Monday (as opposed to a campaign rally). This  is sure to activate both his base and the opposition, equally. He will be visiting a business in Burnsville. 

Anytime a President visits it is newsworthy, but this President tends to make a little more news than most, so we'll see. Given that he is visiting on tax day, I would expect much of his talk to be about taxes... and maybe - given her national news coverage of late - we might also hear some mention of MN 5th CD Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar. 

Top Legislative News 
What's Next?

Next week will be pretty much "radio silence" at the Capitol, as legislators take a well deserved Spring/Easter/Passover break. But that doesn't necessarily mean "no work", since most will spend this time in their districts, hearing from their  constituents. 

When they return on the 23rd, bills will begin to see full floor votes in both bodies (get your popcorn ready for the debates that will surely ensue) ... and then the Conference Committees will take over, to hash out what are 
sure to be MANY remaining differences.  

May 1, the next legislative deadline, will be  the last day for both bodies to pass all major finance bills and appoint conference committees.

To all my regular readers there will be no newsletter next week, just a heads up.  I am always pleasantly surprised when people say they read this, but none the less thank you!  

Cap O'Rourke
President, O'Rourke Strategic Consulting 

Cap O'Rourke | (612) 483-1863 | cap@orourkesc.com | www.orourkesc.com/
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