As requested by Gov. Mark Dayton, GOP majorities have consolidated their position on tax conformity, supplemental spending and bonding. The details of the GOP’s position on each of these bills started to emerge last week.
On bonding, the GOP doesn’t have a unified position in terms of each project, but they’re unified in a total amount of General Obligation bonding authority of $825 million. This is just over half of what Gov. Dayton proposed last winter.
On tax conformity, the GOP wants to reduce the first two income tax brackets and the state’s corporate tax rate. They also want to trigger future tax cuts should the November budget forecast show a surplus. While the Governor and GOP majorities are in agreement on some key elements of how to conform to the new federal tax code, they are miles apart in the price tag of the tax bill. The Governor wants some ‘add-backs’ from last session if the GOP expects him to sign new tax cuts into law.
Spending & Pensions
The GOP is expected on Monday to release details of their supplemental spending, which would include school safety improvements. Learn more about Supplemental Budget Conference Committee plans for this week.
Other Key Issues at Play
A major pension overhaul also is in the mix. The bill needs to get out of the House Ways & Means Committee on Monday morning and to the House floor for final passage.
Lawmakers also are seeking to move forward legislation aimed at tackling the opioid crisis in the state. The difference between the Senate and House is the Senate bill would raise ‘a penny a pill’ on drug manufacturers to pay for some $20 million in programming aimed at addressing various fronts in the opioid battle. The House bill would use $20 million from the state’s general fund to pay for these initiatives.
How this all shakes out by midnight on Sunday night is anyone’s guess. The skeptics are loud and predict nothing will make it to Gov. Dayton’s desk that he will sign into law. If needed this week, we will alert you to anything significant that is happening. Otherwise, look for our update next Monday to arrive later than usual as we anticipate working past midnight Sunday to absorb, dissect and write about any final bills that emerge at the last minute.