Vikings Stadium Bill Moves Forward in House and Senate
On Monday the House Ways and Means Committee heard two bills dealing with charitable gambling. The Committee voted to insert language from the Rep. Lanning's Vikings Stadium bill. The bill uses revenue from electronic pull-tabs and electronically linked bingo to fund the state portion of the stadium. Following a voice vote, the Committee sent the bills to the General Register.
On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Jobs and Economic Growth heard the Senate version of the stadium bill (SF2391), authored by Sen. Rosen (R-Fairmont). The Committee voted to pass the bill as amended to the Committee on Finance.
The Committee on Finance heard SF2391 on Wednesday. The Committee passed an amendment by Sen. Nienow (R-Cambridge) that establishes Racino as a source of funding for the stadium, despite objections by Sen. Rosen. A 9-5 vote moved the bill without recommendation to the Senate Committee on Taxes, which will hear the bill on Friday.
Bonding Bills Await Further Action
The bonding bills in the House and Senate have been delayed after the State Capitol Repair and Restoration Project failed by one vote in the House last week. Bonding bills require a supermajority of 60% for passage. DFL leadership has put the pressure on the GOP to pass a large bonding bill to put Minnesotans back to work.
Tax Bill Negotiations Continue
House and Senate leadership continue to negotiate with Governor Dayton concerning the omnibus tax bill. On the table are provisions to provide tax relief for businesses and homeowners. Tax relief could be an important issue in the upcoming election. Agreement among the parties on the tax bill could open the door to a "global agreement," including the tax bill, bonding bill and stadium bill.
House and Senate News
Omnibus Bills Pass in the Senate
The Senate passed a number of omnibus bills throughout the week, including HF2171 Omnibus Game and Fish (Sen. Ingebrigtsen; R-Alexandria), HF2164 Omnibus Environment and Natural Resources (Sen. Ingebrigtsen), HF2949 Omnibus Education Policy (Sen. Olson; R-Minnetrista), HF2938 Omnibus Agriculture (Sen. Magnus; R-Slayton), HF2627 Health and Human Services Policy (Sen. Hann; R-Eden Prairie), and HF2294 Health and Human Services Finance (Sen. Hann).
LIFO Conference Committee Report Adopted in House
The House adopted the conference committee report for HF1870, authored by Rep. Petersen (R-Andover). HF1870 abolishes the "last in, first out" layoff system and substitutes teacher evaluations as the basis for layoffs and leaves of absence. The Senate must adopt the conference committee report before the bill moves to the governor.
Fireworks in House and Senate
The House on Monday passedSF1694
, sponsored by Rep. Kriesel (R-Cottage Grove). The bill permits the sale of fireworks in Minnesota and includes an amendment permitting cities to enact ordinances regulating the use of fireworks. Senate author Sen. Jungbauer (R-East Bethel) accepted the amendment and the Senate passed the bill.