Looking Ahead to Next Week

With first and second deadlines fast approaching on March 22, expect the pace at the Legislature to increase next week as legislators race to meet these important policy bill deadlines. Governor Walz is also expected to release his supplemental budget on Tuesday, March 12, and finance committees will begin hearings on his proposals soon after. And finally, for those who are counting…there are only 31 official legislative days remaining. Thursday, March 7 was the 89th Legislative Day.

Flying Cars?

If you thought cars without drivers was futuristic, now policymakers are discussing the regulation of flying cars. Both the House and Senate Transportation Committees this past week held hearings on H.F. 4350/S.F. 3975, a bill that defines and regulates “roadable aircraft.” Roadable aircraft, according to the bill, are vehicles that are capable of operation both on public roads as a motor vehicle and in the air as an aircraft. According to committee testimony, at least one company is planning on producing and selling “roadable aircraft” in the next year. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in omnibus bills in both bodies.

Increasing Pay Transparency

Under a bill authored by Rep. Kristin Bahner (DFL – Maple Grove), H.F. 3587, and Sen. Alice Mann (DFL – Edina), S.F. 3725, employers with more than 30 employees would be required to provide salary information in job postings, including the anticipated salary range, benefits information, and other compensation. The measure was heard this week in the House Labor Committee and laid over for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill. Proponents anticipate a hearing in the Senate within the next couple weeks.

Whose Debt?

On Monday, the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee began consideration of H.F. 4100 , authored by Rep. Liz Reyer (DFL – Eagan). The bill, focused on debt collection, was crafted with significant input from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. For months, political insiders have known that a bill related to medical debt was in the works. However, when the bill was introduced, it quickly became apparent that the legislation has a much broader reach than medical debt and affects most entities that lend or collect money. Monday’s hearing was only to take initial testimony and begin discussion of the complex legislation. The committee is expected to hear the bill at a later date to consider amendments.

Ride Sharing in Minneapolis

While we typically keep you up-to-date on statewide issues, one of the bigger issues currently being considered in Minnesota is a local ordinance. Uber and Lyft drivers continue to push for better pay in Minneapolis and have significant support from the Minneapolis City Council, which recently voted to increase minimum rates and per mile fees. However, with ride share companies threatening to leave Minneapolis, or Minnesota altogether, as a result of this ordinance, Mayor Jacob Frey continues to say that he will veto the measure. The city council likely has the votes to override his veto — whether they have the will to do so remains to be seen.

March 8, 2024