Session ends with lots of work left to do
and everything else happening in the Legislature this week
Judiciary budget target received, time for Senate Republicans to come to the table
After initially receiving a $90 million target, $20 million of which was earmarked for the disaster assistance contingency account, DFLers fought to increase new spending for the Judiciary Committee and were able to raise the target to $105 million. This new funding, however, is expected to be stretched very thin, as our communities are demanding changes in our criminal justice and policing systems.
Environment budget left in limbo, no progress in negotiations despite hearings
Though the Environment and Natural Resources conference committee met nine times – the House convening six hearings and the Senate three – in the final weeks of session, no progress was made towards working through the differences between the two versions of this year’s policy and budget omnibus bill. Senate Republicans maintained throughout that time that they couldn’t begin working on anything with a financial component to it, despite the many non-general fund financial components contained within the bill.
Omnibus Tax Bill
The Tax Conference Committee met all but two days between its inception and the end of regular session, spending most of the time discussing provisions but adopting only non-controversial, no-cost items. The global budget targets include an agreement to fully conform to federal tax changes regarding PPP forgiven loan amounts received in 2020 or 2021, and unemployment benefits received in 2020. The total cost is $643.9 million this biennium and $47.5 million in the next, which takes much of the tax target.