A 213-page conference committee report covering economic development, commerce, energy and other areas won House and Senate approval Monday.
The House re-passed HF2209/ SF1937*, the omnibus jobs and energy bill, 75-54; the Senate 34-30. Sponsored by Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) and Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona), the $378 million bill now goes to the governor, who has promised it would be met with a veto.
Garofalo called attention to provisions of the omnibus bill that came from DFLers, but acknowledged that “clearly more of your priorities will need to be addressed for it to become law.”
“I don’t see anything particularly good in the energy section,” said Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Mpls). She said the bill “sabotages” solar energy programs and puts money from the Renewable Energy Fund “into a newly created fund with entirely different priorities,” which Rep. Susan Allen (DFL-Mpls) termed a “slush fund.”
Rep. Karen Clark (DFL-Mpls) said she was disappointed to see no funds for homeless and highly mobile students in the bill, calling it “a big loss.” Rep. Rena Moran (DFL-St. Paul) decried a lack of “equity dollars” for people of color and other disadvantaged groups. “I have confidence in Rep. Garofalo to make it better,” she added.
On a question that caused sharp debate on the Senate Floor, Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Mpls) said a provision on internet privacy that had been approved in different form by both chambers was missing from the conference committee report.
Thissen said “the problem is on the Senate side,” and Garofalo said he is confident issues regarding internet privacy would be “addressed by the end of session.”
The state’s latest economic forecast projects a budget deficit of $188 million for the current two-year biennium, and a $586 million deficit for the 2020-21 biennium
The Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of the Legislature’s 2018-19 operating budget.
The budget process explained — and why it matters