April 5 - 2019

This was a pretty busy week at the Capitol, with both the House and Senate preparing their budget omnibus bills and the House beginning to roll theirs out. Committee chairs released the initial drafts and then they were marked up with amendments. Many were passed out of committee but some of the larger ones are still going through the process.  "Third Deadline" will be one week from today, so finance committees are racing to get all budget bills and markups squared away on time.  

In other news, Governor Walz gave his first State of the State speech, highlighting his goals for this session and how he hopes to work with the legislature. Read all about it below. 
State of the State
Governor Walz gave his first State of the State address earlier this week. His free  flowing speech - which was delivered using only a general outline - mostly stayed away from policy specifics and instead, focused more on stories of teachers, parents and businesses  from around the state. As the Governor called out a number of audience members he had invited to attend, he urged  the legislature to come together to find solutions. 

GOP leaders continue to oppose the Governor's proposed gas tax increase and reinstatement of the provider tax as funding mechanisms, so there is still a looong way to go toward finding common ground and a path to success.
Here's What's Happening in the MN House
This week was all about omnibus bills in the House. Many of these bills were passed yesterday. For your reading enjoyment, here are some write ups about what is in many of the key bills. Next week, I will post the language spreadsheets and summary documents for these bills.

House Transportation Committee  unveiled their transportation budget ... 

House Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy Division approved its omnibus bill >  Veterans and military affairs omnibus bill moves to next stop 

House Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division omnibus environment and natural resources bill ... 
Omnibus environment bill gets division OK; heads to House Ways and Means 

House Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division bill ... 
Energy and climate division approves its finance bill

House Health and Human Services Finance Division budget

The House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Division 
Omnibus public safety bill focuses on community-centered criminal justice reform 

House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division
Omnibus jobs bill approved and sent to House Ways and Means Committee 

House Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Division
Here's What's Happening in the MN Senate
The Senate was not nearly as frenetic as the House this week. Many committees continued to hear bills but behind the scenes the finance chairs and their staff spent the week assembling omnibus bills. The Senate committees will release their bills and go through the mark up process next week.
Top Legislative News 

What's Next?

The House omnibus funding bills will now start going through Ways and Means and possibly Tax committees next week.  At the same time, the Senate will pass their bills out of committee and those will move to Finance and Taxes.  

After next week, there will be a week long break, during which legislators will go back to their districts and hear from their  constituents. After that, bills will face full floor votes in both bodies and then the Conference Committees will take over, to hash out what are sure to be MANY differences.  

Cap O'Rourke
President, O'Rourke Strategic Consulting 

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