LEGISLATIVE FORECAST BY MNRSA LOBBYIST, TODD HILL
At high-noon, Tuesday, February 11th, the 2020 Minnesota Legislature will begin.
In preparation for the session, we have participated in numerous meetings with other business trade associations and members of the legislature to discuss the impacts of the new Minnesota Wage Theft Law. We are hoping to advance legislation in 2020 to minimize some of the business impacts and bring clarity to areas of the law which have been confusing and difficult to implement. As any legislation advances during the session, we will be looking for MNRSA Members to testify and participate in meetings with various regulators and elected officials.
The even-year session will be primarily focused on passing a bonding bill which will dedicate $1-2 billion in spending on local projects, infrastructure, housing, roads and bridges. The Governor has until January 15th to release his bonding proposals. While the Governor hasn’t disclosed the total cost of his bonding bill, he’s indicated it will be close to $2 billion.
A bonding bill requires more votes than a simple majority so any final bill must have bipartisan support. House and Senate GOP Leadership have voiced concerns with a bonding bill over $1 billion. In the end, if the Governor and House DFL want a $2 billion bonding bill, they will likely need to allow Republicans to get a win on portions of their agenda. While the Senate GOP has scheduled a press event for Monday, January 13th to formally release their agenda, with a $1.3 billion budget surplus we should expect calls for tax cuts and passage of other policy proposals left over from 2019 or to address unintended consequences of legislation adopted last year.