Omnibus Policy Bills on the Move

Prior to the March 22nd legislative deadline for policy bills, most committees created omnibus policy bills. Starting this week, both the House of Representatives and the Senate engaged in lengthy floor sessions as they passed many of these bills. It is expected that both the House and Senate will finish passing these bills prior to the legislative deadline for finance bills, which is quickly approaching on April 19.

Agency Finance Bills Appearing

This week also saw the appearance of most of the bills containing recommendations from Governor Tim Walz’s supplemental budget proposal. While just introduced, many of these bills are already scheduled for hearings next week. Most will be heard and then laid over for future action, eventually becoming the basis for committees’ omnibus finance bills.

House and Senate Consider Bills to Apply Prevailing Wage to TIF and LIHTC

The House and Senate are hearing H.F. 4994 (Rep. Nathan Coulter, DFL-Bloomington) /S.F. 5157 (Sen. Grant Hauschild, DFL-Hermantown), bills that would apply a prevailing wage requirement to tax increment financing (TIF) funding on multifamily rentals who have either 25 or more units or $100,000 of financial assistance. It would also apply that requirement to low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) development when credits are used for projects with more than 10 units. The proposal would be effective on projects who receive financial assistance after August 1, 2024.

The bill was heard in the House Tax Committee on Thursday, April 4th, and will likely be heard in the Senate Labor Committee next week.

Constitutional Referendum on Full-Time Legislature and Redistricting Clears Second Committee

Representative Jamie Long’s (DFL-Minneapolis) constitutional referendum bill, H.F. 4598, passed the House State and Local Government Finance and Policy Committee on Thursday, April 4th. The next stop for the bill is the House Rules Committee, and the bill appears to be on a trajectory to pass the House.

H.F. 4598 wraps three questions into one constitutional amendment, and it is the goal of Representative Long to get this language on the November 2024 Ballot. The amendment would state:

“Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require an independent redistricting commission to adopt boundaries for congressional and legislative districts following a decennial census; to prohibit members of the legislature from serving as lobbyists while in office and for a period of one year after leaving office; and to amend requirements related to the timing and process for convening regular legislative sessions?”

While the bill passed on a party-line vote, most of the contentious debate occurred on the language related to the timing of legislative sessions. Republican members claimed this would create a year-round legislature while DFLer’s denied this claim.

Consumer Data Privacy Bill Expected to Pass as Part of Commerce Omnibus Bill

According to bill author Rep. Steve Elkins (DFL-Bloomington), the Consumer Data Privacy legislation (H.F. 2309 / S.F. 2915) that he has been working on for several years, is expected to be added to a yet-to-be-created omnibus commerce finance bill sometime in the next couple of weeks. The bill has a relatively small cost associated with it, which is also anticipated to be carried in the Commerce budget.

April 5, 2024