Legislative budget bill passes committee

A conference committee convened Wednesday evening and passed a report to both the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives. The bill includes appropriations for the Senate and House that were line-item vetoed by Governor Dayton at the end of the 2017 session. The total appropriation for both years of the biennium and both chambers amounts to $129.1 million.

The Minnesota Supreme Court upheld the Governor’s veto in a ruling last November and determined the Legislature had enough funding available to operate until the start of the 2018 session. Due to this funding availability, the Supreme Court did not address the issue of whether the veto was an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers.

The Legislative Coordinating Commission (LCC) passed a resolution on the same day of the Supreme Court ruling to borrow $20 million from the LCC carryforward account and the office’s fiscal year 2019 appropriation. These funds are transferred back for the core functions of the LCC in the conference committee report. The bill also replaces $15 million in general fund money provided through an earlier district court decision.