Wednesday, April 6, 2011

House approves jobs bill; Senate moves tax bill

Yesterday at the Capitol

The House approved the jobs and economic development finance omnibus bill yesterday by a vote of 70-60. The bill cuts funding to the Department of Employment and Economic Development by 5.8 percent and the Department of Labor and Industry by 7 percent. One of the more controversial provisions in the bill is the transfer of $60 million in one-time money from the Douglas J. Johnson Economic Protection Trust Fund that is funded by tax mining companies who pay towards the fund in lieu of property taxes. The money is used for economic development projects on the Iron Range.

The bill reduces the Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership program by $1.37 million over the 2012-2013 biennium. There is also an appropriation of $90,000 each year of the biennium for a grant to the Rural Policy and Development Center at St. Peter, Minnesota. The grant is to be used for research and policy analysis on emerging economic and social issues in rural Minnesota, and to encourage collaboration across higher education institutions.

In the Senate, members passed the tax bill yesterday by a partisan vote of 37-26. The bill cuts $580 million in spending and eliminates the statewide property tax on businesses, reduces aid to local governments and reduces a property tax refund for renters. The House tax bill differs in that it includes income tax cuts, does not phase out the business property tax, and focuses its local government aid cuts only on the cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth. These differences will be addressed in conference committee.

Today at the Capitol
10:30 AM
House in Session
Omnibus state government finance bill
Omnibus health and human services finance bill

1:00 PM
Senate State Government Innovation and Veterans
Room: 123 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Mike Parry
S.F. 134-Robling: Public employee definition modification.
S.F. 646-Hann: Public employee insurance program provisions modifications for local government employees.
S.F. 163-Pappas: Legislative commission on pensions and retirement membership increase.
S.F. 434-Rosen: Minnesota Pay for Performance Act of 2011.

Looking Ahead

Thursday, April 7

8:15 AM
House Education Reform
Room: Basement Hearing Room
Chair: Rep. Sondra Erickson
SF55 (Woodard) Charter school authorizer approval deadline modified
HF1321 (Woodard) Charter school provisions clarified.
HF672 (Dettmer) Charter school pilot project established to examine the policy implications of allowing the charter school to become an educational entity within a school district while retaining the autonomy and flexibility of a charter school.
HFXXXX (Woodard) Charter school provisions clarified.

10:15 AM
House Government Operations and Elections
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Joyce Peppin
Agenda: HF1234 (Downey) Commissioner of administration required to issue a request for proposals and enter into a contract for strategic sourcing consulting services.
HF429 (Dettmer) Anoka County; countywide public safety improvement finance cost authority expanded.
HF1139 (Hancock) Public safety equipment single source acquisition and long-term leasing authorized.
HF962 (Howes) Tobacco license suspension alternatives authorized for
sales to minors upon compliance with requirements.

11:00 AM
Senate in Session

5:00 PM
House State Government Finance
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Morrie Lanning
Agenda: HF210 (Kiffmeyer) Voter picture identification required before receiving a ballot, identification cards provided at no charge, provisional ballot procedures established, election administration procedures specified, electronic polling place required, recount procedures enacted, and money appropriated.

Friday, April 8

9:00 AM
House Education Reform
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Sondra Erickson
HF905 (Hamilton) Youth athletes with concussions resulting from participation in youth athletic activities policies established.
HF1092 (Buesgens) Qualified individuals receiving a retirement annuity allowed to serve as a coach during a sports season.
HF575 (Erickson) Probationary teacher and principal status governing requirements clarified.

12:00 PM
Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement
Room 10 State Office Building
Agenda: Organizational Meeting
Election of 2011-2012 Commission Officers

2:30 PM
Joint Meeting: Environment and Natural Resources and Capital Investment
Room: Moorhead City Hall
Chairs: Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, Sen. David H. Senjem
Agenda: 2011 Red River Valley Flood Update and Impact

Monday, April 11

3:00 PM
Senate Education
Room: 15 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Gen Olson
S.F. 605-Nienow: Graduation required assessment for diploma (GRAD) mathematics requirement exception removal; high school assessments for college and career readiness determination establishment.
S.F. 143-Wiger: High school assessments for college and career readiness determination establishment; assessment advisory committee recommendations for alternative means of graduation for students requirement.
S.F. 1073-Nelson: School districts transition planning for high school students to successfully pursue postsecondary education and employment.

Wednesday, April 13

3:00 PM
Senate Education
Room: 15 Capitol
Chair: Sen. Gen Olson
S.F. 452-Vandeveer: Charter school as educational entity within a school district pilot project for charter district #4116, Lakes International Language Academy and independent school district #831, Forest Lake.
S.F. 946-DeKruif: School districts joint operation and innovative delivery of education pilot project establishment.
S.F. 977-Wolf: Charter school revenue formulas modifications.

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