Legislature Adjourns Sine Die
The Legislature adjourned the 2012 legislative session on Thursday afternoon. The final week focused on passage of a bonding bill, Vikings stadium bill and omnibus tax bill. Governor Dayton has signed the Vikings stadium bill and bonding bill. However, he has not yet decided whether he will sign or veto the omnibus tax bill. In addition to this week's update, we will provide a complete legislative wrap-up next week.
Governor Dayton Signs Legislation for the Vikings Stadium
The Legislature passed HF2958, authored by Rep. Lanning (R-Moorhead) and Sen. Rosen (R-Fairmont). The bill provides the framework and funding sources for the construction of a new Vikings stadium to replace the Metrodome. The total cost of the stadium is $975 million: the team will cover $477 million; the state will provide $358 million, and the city of Minneapolis will cover the remaining $150 million. The state share of the stadium cost will be funded by revenue from electronic pull-tabs and electronically linked bingo. In case the gaming revenue falls short, the bill provides for back-up funding from a sports-themed lottery game and a 10% admission tax on luxury seats.
The bill passed the House and Senate by Tuesday, but a conference committee had to be formed because the bodies passed different versions of the bill. The conference committee met throughout the day on Wednesday before finally coming to an agreement. The House passed the bill on Wednesday evening 71-60. The bill passed in the Senate on Thursday afternoon 36-30.
House and Senate Pass a Second Omnibus Tax Bill and a Technical Tax Bill
On Wednesday, the House and Senate each passed HF247, sponsored Rep. Davids (R-Preston) and Sen. Ortman (R-Chanhassen). The legislation represents a second attempt at passing an omnibus tax bill and includes a one-year freeze of the statewide property tax, an increase in the second tier of the research and development credit from 2.5% to 2.8%, and a one-time increase in the angel investment credit of $4.5 million. HF247 also includes an upfront exemption for capital equipment purchases for employers with 50 or fewer employees, a change to the definition of "substantially refurbished" in the data center sales tax exemption, and an elimination of the monthly accelerated sales tax.
The House passed the legislation 73-56, with two DFL Representatives voting in the affirmative, and the Senate passed the legislation 41-24, with six DFL Senators voting in the affirmative.
The Legislature also passed a non-controversial technical tax bill, HF2690, sponsored by Rep. Davids and Sen. Ortman. The technical tax bill includes targeted homeowner property tax relief and a local government aid fix.
Bonding Bill Passes in the House and Senate
On Monday, the Legislature passed the bonding and Capitol restoration bill,HF1752
, sponsored by Rep. Howes (R-Walker) and Sen. Senjem (R-Rochester). The bill calls for $496.4 million in general obligation bonding to fund road and bridge projects, maintenance for the University of Minnesota and MnSCU, asset preservation projects at various state-owned facilities, and design work for necessary repairs to the State Capitol. Bonding bills are required to pass by a 3/5 majority. The legislation passed in the House 97-33 and in the Senate 45-22. DFL legislators put up the majority of the affirmative votes in both bodies.