Legislature Reaches Third Deadline

The Legislature has reached another important deadline this week; Friday, April 19, is the final date upon which committees can act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills. Called the Third Deadline, the House and Senate Finance Committees are required to pass supplemental budget bills to the House Ways and Means Committee or the Senate Finance Committee before the end of the day. While the Senate Finance Committee will begin hearing supplemental budget bills on Friday, April 19, most supplemental finance bills will be heard after the Passover Recess next week.

What’s Next

The Minnesota House and Senate will be in recess for Passover on Monday, April 22, and Tuesday, April 23. Legislative activities resume on Wednesday, April 24, at 12:00 noon. This is the last formal recess of the 2024 Session, so expect both bodies to push hard to complete their work by the May 20th deadline.

House Releases Tax Bill

Representative Aisha Gomez (DFL- Minneapolis) released the House Tax Bill, H.F. 5247, this past week. Because 2024 is a supplemental budget year, H.F. 5247 carries a small price tag of $53 million for FY 24-25 and an even smaller cost of $5 million in FY 26-27. The largest item in the bill is the expansion of the child tax credit at $32 million, which was recommended by the Governor. H.F. 5247 also requires the Department of Revenue to release corporate tax return information for corporations with over $250 million in domestic sales. This corporate tax disclosure requirement is strongly opposed by the Minnesota Business Partnership and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. The Senate Tax Bill, S.F. 5234, is expected to be unveiled next week.

Running Aces Sues Mille Lacs and the Prairie Island Tribal Communities

The Running Aces Harness Track has filed a federal RICO lawsuit against the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe’s two casinos and the Prairie Island Indian Community’s lone casino. Running Aces has alleged that these casinos are operating card games in violation of state and federal gambling laws. The lawsuit comes as the House and Senate are considering major changes in gaming law. Both bodies are moving bills that would legalize sports betting and give the tribes exclusive rights. The House is also moving a bill that would ban gambling on historic horse racing after 500 machines for such purpose were recently approved by the Minnesota Racing Commission.

Endorsement Season

In addition to keeping busy with legislative work, legislators have also been busy looking toward the fall elections and heading home for campaign-related events. Communities across the state have been holding endorsing conventions for candidates to the Minnesota House of Representatives, of which all will be on the ballot in November.

April 19, 2024