Early Learning

House, Senate Begin Negotiations

By April 23, 2016 One Comment

With four weeks left in the session, the House and Senate begin debating their respective supplemental budget proposals and pass them off the floor of each body. A supplemental budget conference committee then will begin sorting through the similarities and differences between the two bodies’ budget priorities in addition to what Governor Dayton wants in the final package in order to attain his signature on the bill.

To provide a sense of how far apart the House GOP majority and the Senate DFL and Governor Dayton are on these major topics, here’s a table showing the big picture numbers:

House GOP

Senate DFL


Bonding bill $600 million $1.4 billion $1.4 billion
Transportation bill No gas tax or metro sales tax for transit


Use about $300 million or more in
ongoing general
fund revenue


5 cent gas tax and metro sales tax for transit


Use about
$31.5 million
in general fund

5 cent gas tax and metro sales tax for transit


Use about
$20 million
in general fund

Tax cuts


$2.3 billion in proposed tax cuts
last session

Current plan is to use a large portion of the $900 million surplus for tax cuts this session

$300 million in
proposed tax cuts
$117 million in proposed tax cuts
Supplemental Spending
(on non-Tax and
non-Transportation accounts)
A net $0 impact on the general fund


Leave the $900 million surplus
for tax cuts and transportation



$489 million of
$900 million
surplus spent on
E-12, health and human services,
jobs, etc.
$581 million
of $900 million
surplus spent on
E-12, health and human services,
jobs, etc.

View full side-by-side comparison of proposals

What’s Next

This session will be no different than any other in that legislative leaders will use up the clock and wait until the last week of session to cut a global budget deal (or not) that will allow the various conference committees to conclude their work.

The various conference committees or major bills that will be in the works include a tax bill that would reduce a variety of taxes, a bonding bill, a transportation bill and the supplemental budget bill that has taken up most of this session’s time to date.

Election Impact

The politics of this election year whereby the entire state House and Senate face the voters isn’t helping bring the two sides together. The primary season is a ‘race to your base’ and doesn’t create the conditions needed for compromise.

Still, the public expects the legislature to get their basic work done and in the minds of legislators that means a transportation and a bonding bill.

Taxes and supplemental spending are nice, but not necessary elements this session. Keep in mind, unlike last session where they needed to pass a budget in order to keep state government functioning, this session there’s nothing they have to pass.

View side-by-side comparison of proposals

View areas of policy concerns.

Get update on where MREA’s platform issues stand.

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