Throughout the legislative session MASA Lobbyist Valerie Dosland will be providing our members with an legislative update. We encourage you to share your thoughts with your elected officials as the opportunity arises...
This week the legislature reached agreement on two significant issues – minimum wage and the Senate Office Building plans. Both the House and Senate passed the minimum wage bill and Governor Dayton is expected to sign it on Monday. And, the House approved a revised version of plans for a new Senate office building. Only a few outstanding issues remain – the supplemental budget bill and a bonding bill.
The legislature leaves for an Easter/Passover break through Monday, April 22. When they return work turns to completing a bonding bill and finding resolution on the supplemental budget.
SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET BILL
The Senate Omnibus Supplemental Budget bill passed the Senate floor late yesterday afternoon on a vote of 37-27 after over five hours of debate and amendments. There were 24 amendments offered and eight were adopted but none with a significant impact to the education provisions in the bill.
The next step will be for a conference committee to begin its work to reconcile the difference between the House and Senate bills. Conferees were named so expect conference committee to begin its work right when they the Easter/Passover break.
House conferees Senate conferees
SENATE HEALTH INSURANCE BILL TRANSPARENCY ACT
Thursday the Senate took up an passed Education Minnesota’s health insurance transparency act. During floor debate, one significant amendment was adopted. The bill allows districts to go back and negotiate with up to two bidders to reduce costs or improve services. The choice of bidders had to be agreed to by the exclusive representative of the largest union group and the district. Sen. Dahms offered an amendment, which was adopted, to say that instead districts must consult with the exclusive representative of the largest union group.
Prior to floor debate, the Senate Finance committee heard the bill and adopted several significant amendment. Sen. Terri Bonoff offered an amendment to exempt self-insured school districts from the requirements of the bill. It was approved on a 10 – 9 vote. In addition, Sen. Sieben, the author of the bill, offered an amendment that adjusted the timelines for requesting an RFP and for opening the sealed bids. In addition, her amendment clarifies that if the bill is passed, it does not impact RFPs already issued.
Next, a conference committee will work out differences between the House and Senate. We expect conference committee to begin its work after the Easter/Passover break.
Attached is an updated side-by-side comparison of the House and Senate bills: Download HITAsummary
SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS BILL PASSED AND SIGNED BY GOVERNOR DAYTON
After more than 11 hours of debate, the House passed HF826. And, Tuesday Governor Dayton signed the bill into law.
Attached is a summary prepared by Roger Aronson, lobbyist for the Secondary and Elementary Principals Associations: Download Aronsonsafesupportiveschoolssummary