Welcome Haley!

The Winthrop & Weinstine Government Relations team is thrilled to introduce the newest member of our team, Haley Cobb. Prior to joining Winthrop, Haley held numerous roles in the political arena since 2017, including most recently as Finance Director of Walz For Governor, the re-election campaign for Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. She also previously served as Legislative Assistant to Rep. Melissa Hortman, the Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Priorities Presser

On Wednesday, House and Senate leadership held a press conference to communicate their top session priorities. The specific items they mentioned are:

  • Paid family & medical leave
  • Codified access to abortion
  • Expansion of voting rights
  • Tax conformity
  • Ban on price gouging
  • 100% clean energy by 2040
  • Increased access to affordable childcare

Leaders also signaled support for at least one bonding bill, and committed to passing high-priority items as quickly as possible.

Tax Conformity

While the federal tax code changed significantly in 2019, Minnesota’s tax code never received important alterations to bring it into conformity. The bill to rectify this was approved by the House Taxes committee on Wednesday, and by its Senate counterpart on Thursday. The bill is expected to rapidly pass both chambers in order to take advantage of a January 13 deadline for state tax filers.

Reproductive Rights

The PRO Act, which would codify access to abortion, had its first committee stop with a hearing in the House Health & Human Services Finance committee this Thursday. Access to abortion is already protected in Minnesota under Doe v. Gomez, but remains vulnerable to future Supreme Court challenges. This bill is expected to pass through both chambers quickly and, along with tax conformity, become one of the first provisions signed into law this session.

Quiet Start?

It must be the first week of session: discussion topics during a 7-hour-long debate on the Senate floor about temporary rules ran the gamut from committee names to types of water bottles that might be allowed on the Senate floor. Floor and committee activity was largely slow to start this week as legislators acclimated to new surroundings and contended with a major snowstorm.

Next week, however, is shaping up to be a return to full session form, with more than 40 committee meetings scheduled between both chambers and a full docket of bills on deck to be heard. The recreational cannabis bill will start moving through the House on Wednesday.

January 6, 2023