Budget Targets Released, But Not to Public
Finance committees in both the House and Senate have been provided budget targets for their respective omnibus finance bills. Unlike most years, these targets have not been released to the public. During biennial budget years (which occur in odd-numbered years), budget targets are required to be public, but this is a non-budget year and both the House and Senate are taking advantage of not being required to release the information.
Senate Moves Up Deadline
This week, the Senate made clear its plan to pass all omnibus bills out of finance committees of jurisdiction by next Friday, April 1. This is a week earlier than the previously announced committee deadline. Moving the deadline up a week allows the Senate Finance committee to then consider and pass each omnibus bill to the floor prior to the legislative break, which begins on April 9.
House Partially Open
More than a month ago, Minnesota Capitol insiders welcomed the news that the State Office Building, which houses the offices for members of the House of Representatives, would be opening to the public for the first time in more than two years on March 21. Those same individuals groaned when they arrived at the building this week to find locked doors and signs announcing that any member of the public must have an appointment and be escorted into the office areas.
Minnesota Unemployment Rate
Earlier this week the state announced its lowest unemployment rate since 1999, coming in at just 2.7% in January. There were an additional 5,200 jobs added and the labor force participation rate increased to 67.9%. Ongoing wage increases and inflation are likely to continue.
Republican Super Saturday(s)
Republican insiders have been gathering in small—and sometimes not-so-small—groups across the state to select delegates to the state party convention. The stakes are high, as the delegates will decide who is endorsed for statewide offices, most notably, Governor. The gubernatorial candidates have been racing around the state to reach as many conventions, and thus potential delegates, as possible. Republicans have not conducted a formal straw poll since precinct caucus night in February, nor have they been keeping track of candidate preferences among the elected delegates, so it remains unclear who is leading the delegate count among Republican candidates for Governor. The Republican state convention will take place May 13-14 in Rochester.
March 25, 2022
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