MN Legislature adjourns special session sine die
With only a few minutes to spare before the self-imposed 7 a.m. Saturday morning deadline to end the special session, the House and Senate adjourned the session sine die on May 25, finalizing the remaining budget bills for the FY20-21 biennium that begins July 1. Legislators have returned to their districts. The 2020 legislative session will begin on February 11 at noon.
Unable to complete all of the budget bills by May 20, the constitutionally mandated end of regular session, the governor had to call the legislature back into a special session starting at 10 a.m. Friday morning. Legislators worked day and night negotiating final budget deals among themselves and the governor, sending them back and forth between the two bodies for approval, and then adjourning. Thirteen bills in total were approved in the special session and are headed to the governor for his signature. The governor is expected to sign all 13 into law.
One casualty of the special session was the failure of the legislature to pass a general obligation bonding bill. As a result, the University’s 2019 capital request projects like Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR), Child Development Building Replacement, and A.B. Anderson Hall Renovation must wait another year for further action. Bonding bills require a super-majority vote, and because the Democrats in the House and Republicans in the Senate don’t have super majorities, they needed support from the minority caucuses to pass a bonding bill. Ultimately, the four caucuses and the governor could not reach agreement.
The higher education omnibus bill was the only budget bill completed in the regular legislative session, appropriating an additional $43.5 million to the University. However, various funds for the University were also spread out among a few of the budget bills passed in the special session. In total, the University received approximately $65.3 million in additional funding from the state this year.
View a comparison of the budget and capital proposals and outcomes. In the coming weeks, you will receive a detailed 2019 session summary.
The summer months for legislators are filled with parades, constituent meetings, and hopefully some rest. The House and Senate capital investment committees will begin touring bonding projects in late summer and we expect they will be on our campuses to learn more about our work and priorities for the 2020 legislative session. We look forward to continuing this conversation with legislators and the governor in the weeks and months ahead.
Many of you spent considerable amounts of your time this session offering testimony, writing letters of support, and/or responding to inquiries from the governor, legislators, and staff. On behalf of our State Relations director Kelly Hansen and our entire Government Relations team, THANK YOU for your support this legislative session. It is appreciated.