Urgent issues not accomplished in 2016

There are a substantial number of issues, including taxes, bonding, and healthcare, that were not resolved in 2016 and will need to be addressed in 2017.

The last tax bill that was signed into law in Minnesota was in May of 2014. In 2015, the legislature could not find compromise between the House Republicans’ $2 billion bill and Senate Democrats’ more responsible $460 million investment, so the bill (HF 848) remained in conference committee. In 2016, the Senate passed a new, smaller tax bill that later merged with HF 848, and the reorganized conference committee passed a tax bill on May 22. Governor Dayton pocket vetoed that bill after session adjourned because of a minor wording mistake related to bingo halls, which inadvertently would have caused up to a $101 million deficit in the stadium reserve fund.

The Senate DFL remains committed to passing a bonding bill that will preserve our current facilities while meeting the demands of future generations. Bonding bills are one of the most direct economic development tools we use to create jobs. Infrastructure projects funded through these bills employ thousands of Minnesotans across the state and, in some instances, leverage federal matching grants or other private investment in communities. The completion of a bonding bill is critical to communities across the state for basic needs such as water, sewers, roads, and bridges. The longer we wait to address our infrastructure needs the more expensive it is to repair or replace the state’s resources.

After the 2017 individual market health insurance rates were announced in October, the DFL Senate, Governor Dayton and, eventually, House Republicans supported an upfront, state-paid rebate on health insurance premiums to help Minnesotans absorb the massive cost increases. Despite their calls to immediately address the problem, House Republicans refused to agree to terms of a special session so this priority remains unaccomplished.

Senate DFL Media