10th Hour Sees Five Major Bills Pass the House

There are 12 days until the end of session, but still no budget deal.

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ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota House passed late Tuesday afternoon and evening night, announcing all the passages via press releases on the legislature’s website and via social media late Tuesday night.

All five bills passed by the house last night were omnibus spending bills for the state budget. They were all also adopted via the conference committee report which ironed out the differences between the house and senate versions of the bills. Press releases regarding the passage of the bills were put out by the individual bill’s chief author in the House.

They bills passed are as follows:

  • State Government Finance omnibus bill – SF 605 – passed 75-56 – $165.2 million total in 2018 and 2019
  • Agriculture Omnibus bill – SF 780 – 77-53 – $101.9 million
  • Health and Human Services omnibus finance bill – SF 800 – 76-56 – $14.8 billion
  • Education Omnibus bill – HF 890 – 72-59 – $18.6 billion
  • Environment and Natural Resources omnibus bill – HF 888 – 79-55 – $187.7 million

The five bills together total over $33.8 billion.

The state government bill prioritizes those with disabilities, veterans, and victims of domestic violence. It also allocates $6 million to the Minnesota National Guard for enlistment bonuses and education incentives, and establishes a first time home buyer savings account at the Department of Revenue. The bill totals $1.65 billion in spending across 2018 and 2019.

“Minnesotans deserve a state government that lives within its means and is accountable to the people,” Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth) said of the bill in a press release. “With this compromise between the House and Senate, we are putting an end to double digit state agency increases while still funding our priorities and making state government more efficient and accountable.”

Prior to the bills’ passage, Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton vowed he would veto every single budget bill, reports KMSP. Republicans previously abandoned the negotiating table on the budget and began the process of passing their bills.

“They should know that I will veto every one of those bills which will leave us with the same differences several days from now that we face today,” said Dayton in a statement, reports KMSP.

The legislature has a constitutionally mandated deadline of May 22 to reach a budget deal. After that, Dayton can call a special session to haul legislators back to St. Paul to finish the budget. If no deal is reached by the July 1 start of Minnesota’s 2018 fiscal year, the state government will enter an automatic shutdown mode due to lack of funding.

Editor’s note, correction: Previously this article said all the bills were passed around 10 p.m. Tuesday. The MN House Republicans released statements on social media regarding the bills passing around 10 p.m. The bills were passed over the course of several hours in the latter part of the day.

Anders Koskinen