2018 End of Session Review

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Senate DFL stands up for all Minnesotans

Minnesotans are counting on legislative leaders to build the state they deserve, where everyone can get a high-quality education, access affordable health care, and enjoy a great quality of life.

The Legislature had an opportunity this year to make progress for Minnesotans on protecting our elders and vulnerable adults; safer schools and smaller class sizes; lowering health care costs; and a $3 billion backlog of statewide construction projects. Minnesotans from every county and all walks of life visited the Capitol and urged lawmakers to lend a helping hand. Instead of listening, Republicans sided with the pharmaceutical industry and multi-national corporations time after time.

Dozens of pharmaceutical industry lobbyists prowled the Capitol halls in the final weeks of session. Their goal? To kill a bipartisan plan to combat widespread opioid abuse that would have required opioid manufacturers to share in the cost of treatment and public safety. Instead of holding Big Pharma accountable for the opioid crisis they helped create, Republicans helped kill the bill, and now taxpayers will shoulder 100% of the costs of the opioid crisis.

The 2018 session began just days after the third-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Days before the session ended, the fifth-deadliest school shooting occurred. Between these two school shootings, tens of thousands of brave Minnesota students, teachers, and parents visited the Capitol to demand better criminal background checks, red flag laws, and other proposals to stem the bloodshed. Despite robust grassroots organizing and public opinion polling showing nearly universal support across all demographics, Republicans in the Senate did not hold a single public hearing about gun violence this year.

In an effort to save face with voters, Republicans cooked up and passed in the dead of night a phonebook-sized supplemental budget just 24 hours before the Legislature’s constitutional deadline to complete its work for the year. Capitol veterans say the 990-page bill is the biggest they’ve ever seen. They also ignored our state’s constitution and combined bills in a last-ditch effort to get things passed. The Senate DFL tried time and again to take out poison pills and other controversial policies, but Republicans voted no at every opportunity.

Republicans used the 2018 session to tee up their political attacks for the summer and fall, but Minnesotans aren’t buying it. Too many voices got ignored this year. Too many good ideas died. Too many Minnesotans were let down. It’s time our Legislature was held accountable for letting these good opportunities fly by.


Agriculture

PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW Rural Finance Authority bonds - HF 4425 The bonding bill appropriated $35 million in User Financed Bonds for the Rural Finance Authority. The money will ...
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Capital Investment

PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW Bonding bill - HF 4425 Lawmakers negotiated a deal to spend $825 million in general obligation (GO) bonds, $41 million from the general fund, and ...
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Commerce

PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW Omnibus liquor bill - HF 3972 The annual omnibus liquor bill approves liquor licenses for some Minnesota businesses and allows for wine and beer tasting ...
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E-12 Education

PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW School safety grants - HF 4425 The bonding bill appropriates a modest $25 million in school safety grants for facility upgrades. Grant recipients are prohibited ...
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Elections

PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW None. DID NOT PASS Cybersecurity - SF 3839 As part of the $1.3 trillion federal spending bill approved in March 2018, Congress appropriated $380 million ...
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Energy and Telecommunications

PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program - SF 3245 The Legislature lifted a moratorium on the residential property-assessed clean energy (PACE) program and addressed ...
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Environment and Natural Resources

PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW Sophia’s law - HF 3755 In 2016, the Legislature passed the first comprehensive carbon monoxide law for boaters in the United States in response to ...
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Health and Human Services

PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW Child care background studies - SF 2683 The Legislature amended background study fingerprinting and photograph requirements for children ages 13-17 living in the homes of ...
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Higher Education

PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW None. DID NOT PASS U of M Regent selection process - SF 2611, SF 1347, SF 2142 Members of the Higher Education Finance and Policy ...
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Jobs and Economic Development

PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW PTSD workers’ compensation condition for first responders - HF 3873 The Legislature added Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for first responder ...
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Judiciary and Public Safety

PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW DWIs and controlled substances - SF 2578 The Legislature added several new drugs to the state schedule of controlled substances and made it a crime ...
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Pensions

PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW Pensions bill - SF 2620 The Legislature used a shared-sacrifice approach to ensure the long-term stability of public pensions. Active employees, employers, retirees, and the ...
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State Government and Veterans

PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW Legislative budget - HF 399 After he line-item vetoed the Legislature’s operating budget at the end of the 2017 session, Governor Dayton approved $129.1 million ...
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Taxes

The Governor vetoed two tax bills this year. As a result, Minnesota is significantly out of conformity with new federal tax laws. Governor Dayton released a plan that responded to ...
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Transportation

PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW MNLARS funding and policy - SF 3133 The Legislature appropriated $10 million to improve the Minnesota License and Registration System (MNLARS), which became plagued with ...
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