Time Marches On

We are two months into session, with merely seven weeks remaining (including a week-long break). After next week, the Legislature will go on break until April 19. When they return, nearly all committee work will be done, and action will shift to the floor as both the House and Senate pass various omnibus policy and finance bills, along with some stand-alone issues.

The First Big Deal: Reinsurance

Thursday saw the first significant deal-making of the 2022 Legislative session with an agreement on S.F. 3472, commonly known as reinsurance. Reinsurance, officially called the Minnesota Premium Security Plan, stabilizes the individual health insurance market through a state subsidy, resulting in a rate decrease for individuals of approximately 20 percent. The program was reauthorized and funded for an additional three years.

Paid Leave

For years, Minnesota DFL lawmakers have advocated for, and advanced, legislation to require most businesses to provide paid family leave to employees. This has been met with resistance by most Republicans. After years of saying “no” to a paid family leave mandate, this year Republicans are advancing an alternative proposal that allows for insurers to offer a paid family leave insurance benefit in the state, along with tax incentives for employers who offer such insurance. Senator Julia Coleman is offering the proposals, S.F. 3885 and S.F. 4394.

State of the State

A date has been set for Governor Tim Walz to present a State of the State address to a joint session of the Minnesota House and Senate. His fourth State of the State address will take place at 6:00 p.m., on Sunday, April 24.

Legislature Sets New Record

While it may not be a record to be proud of, members of the Minnesota Legislature have now introduced more bills this biennium than any previous biennium. As of the end of March 31, members of the House of Representatives introduced 4,737 bills, while members of the Senate introduced 4,413 bills. Combined, a total of 9,150 bills have been introduced—and we still have seven weeks to go! Also note, this does not include any bills from special session.

April 1, 2022