At the beginning of the legislative session, legislative leaders targeted a deadline that set adjournment for Monday, April 30. After a long Saturday session, there were still unanswered questions and concerns regarding the Vikings Stadium, a bonding bill, and an omnibus tax bill. After missing the April 30 adjournment, Republican leadership is working to wrap up the session as the clock is ticking toward a constitutional adjournment deadline.
Omnibus Tax Conference Committee Report Passes House and Senate
On Tuesday, the House heard the conference committee report for the Omnibus Tax Bill, HF2337, authored by Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston). The House adopted the conference committee report following a 73-57 vote. The Senate took up the conference committee report, sponsored by Sen. Julianne Ortman (R-Chanhassen), on Thursday and adopted the report on a 41-25 vote. Debate in both bodies was similar: Republicans said the legislation will create thousands of jobs across the state, while Democrats said that the bill focuses too much on business tax relief and not enough on individuals.
On Friday morning, Governor Dayton vetoed the Omnibus Tax Bill. To read his veto letter, click here.
Vikings Bill to Receive a Vote Next Week
The Vikings Stadium legislation had a shaky week as Republican leadership announced a new plan that relied on general obligation bonds to pay the state portion of the stadium. The proposal also asked the Vikings to contribute $100 million more than the $427 million contribution asked of the team in the current legislation. Republican leadership withdrew the proposal prior to drafting legislation after fiscal analysis revealed that the plan would fall short of financing a new stadium.
The current Vikings legislation utilizes gambling in the form of electronic pull tabs and bingo as the main state funding source for the proposal. The bill is scheduled for a floor vote in the House on Monday.
Governor's Veto Threat Stalls Bonding Bill
Leaders in the House and the Senate have agreed on a $496M bonding bill. The bill was supposed to be voted on Thursday, but the sponsors pulled it from consideration due to a veto threat from the governor's staff. The main sticking point in the legislation was that the University of Minnesota was going to receive a much smaller appropriation ($54M) than the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities ($144M). House leaders will be making adjustments to the final proposal over the weekend and are expected to take up the bill on Monday.