House and Senate Hold Joint Tribal Sovereignty Day

On Monday, many committee meetings and other official items of business were halted to allow the House and Senate to hold a joint session dedicated to government-to-government relations. Legislators participated in a day of learning and socializing with tribal officials, dignitaries, and leaders from the 11 sovereign tribal nations located within Minnesota’s borders.

Free School Lunch Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk

This week, the House re-passed the bill to provide free school breakfast and lunch to all students after the Senate approved a slightly different version of the bill than was originally passed. Governor Tim Walz said he would try to sign the bill by Friday, March 17, to maintain a deadline of the same day by which schools and districts must determine how to implement programs for the 2023-2024 school year.

Bonding Bill Fails in the Senate

After easily passing the House last week, the legislature’s initial $1.9 billion capital investment proposal—which requires a three-fifths majority in each body in order to pass—was rejected by the Senate on a 33-32 party-line vote on Thursday. In an explosive debate that continued from the Senate floor into the Capital Investment Committee later in the day, Republicans reiterated to Capital Investment Chair Sen. Sandy Pappas (DFL-Saint Paul) that they would continue to hold out on voting for a bonding bill until tax cuts are enacted.

Governor Releases Supplemental Budget

After the February budget forecast showed little change in the state’s projected revenues and expenditures, Governor Walz released a supplemental budget on Thursday containing revisions to the original proposal. Notable changes in the budget include more money for public safety aid, funding to local and tribal governments, new tax credits for electric vehicle purchases, and a bump in local government aid spending.

Well Wishes for Dziedzic and Westrom

Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) announced she had been diagnosed with cancer and had undergone surgery on Monday. While she is in recovery, she will participate in important votes remotely. The same week, the office of Senator Torrey Westrom (R-Alexandria) announced he had suffered minor injuries in a snowmobiling accident and expects to make a full recovery. We extend our best wishes to Senator Dziedzic and Senator Westrom.

March 17, 2023