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The State Capitol was awash with committee hearings this week as new and returning members began the important work of framing individual committee priorities, setting procedural rules, and learning about the work of the House and Senate’s 56 different legislative committees, subcommittees, and divisions. Traditionally, the first week of hearings involves overview presentations of each committee’s work and provides members with an opportunity to hear from nonpartisan staff and state agencies or other institutions over which the committees maintain jurisdiction.
As the shutdown begins its fourth week, we want to let you know the impact on the University of Minnesota. Our thanks to colleagues across the University for keeping a close eye on the situation. Please check for updates SPA has received from affected agencies.
At noon today, the Minnesota House and Senate gaveled in the 91st legislative session, electing Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) and Rep. Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) as speaker and House minority leader, respectively. This follows yesterday’s inauguration at the Fitzgerald Theater of Minnesota’s 41st governor, Tim Walz, and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan.
Moving quickly to assemble leadership posts, both the Minnesota House and Senate members-elect chose their leadership yesterday and today in the first steps toward forming their overall governing structure and priorities.
The federal government began FY2019 on October 1 with the passage of 6 out of 12 appropriations bills and a Continuing Resolution until early December for the balance of the federal government's funding.
It's an election year –– the Minnesota primary is August 14. There's a Supreme Court opening. The Farm Bill is awaiting action. The Higher Education Act is on hold. And the Senate, but not the House, will be back in session in August.
During the 2018 legislative session, the House introduced 1,819 bills and the Senate 1,672 bills. Over 8,600 bills in total were introduced in the biennium. In the end, this year, 115 bills were passed by the legislature, and the governor signed 100 into law. In total, 23 new laws are relevant to the University.
Today, Governor Dayton signed the 2018 capital investment bill into law. This new law includes $79.4 million for the University of Minnesota.
At a few minutes before midnight last night, the Minnesota Legislature adjourned sine die, bringing to a close the 90th legislative session. Many outstanding issues went down to the wire.
Absent a special session, the state legislature will conclude its business when the clock strikes midnight on Sunday. With a little more than 48 hours to go, the path to resolution remains unclear.