Despite a $9 billion budget surplus, very little was accomplished this session. If legislators don’t return to the Capitol, Minnesotans lose out on billions of federal dollars for energy and transportation projects that will go to other states.
It would be a surprise if some deal on replenishing the UI Trust Fund and Hero Pay is not reached. With over a $9.25 billion surplus, we are likely to see some form of tax relief passed, whether it be a rate decrease or “Walz Checks” as proposed by the Governor or some compromise proposal to emerge. The surplus should also mean there is room for at least some supplemental budget bills to pass before session ends. Finally, it is a “bonding year” and the Capital Investment Committees in both chambers are busy putting together a proposal.
As we hit deadlines for bills to be heard in committee, we will start to see a clearer picture of how this session will play out. We expect a strong, clean energy-focused bill to come out of the Minnesota House Climate and Energy Finance and Policy committee setting up a solid position for negotiations with the Senate. The Legislature will be on break from April 9 to April 18 before returning for a month-long sprint to the finish as they must have their work complete by May 23, 2022.
The legislative session will be dominated by competing public safety proposals, a bonding bill, billions in federal funding available and what to do with the almost $8 billion budget surplus. The House Climate Action Caucus put together a billion-dollar plan to fight climate change and put clean energy forward spread across thirty proposals. Hearings on these proposals have begun and there will be plenty of opportunities to weigh in during these committee hearings.
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