Legislative Update: May 16
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
With less than a week until mandatory adjournment, the pace has increased significantly in the last 12 hours at the state Capitol.
- The tax items are in the Omnibus Tax Bill, which moved quickly to the House and Senate floors on Tuesday. All spending items are now included in the omnibus supplemental budget bill, which is currently in conference committee.
- Here’s the good news about the spending bill: MPMA secured $1 million per year for the Youth Skills Training (YST) program, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. With 24 local partnerships applying for the first round of grants this year, this enhanced funding will help more districts start these programs.
- More good news: MPMA helped to secured $135,000 for the “VPSEO Pilot Program” in the Waconia school district to establish a dual-credit program in manufacturing and construction, in partnership with Hennepin Technical College and/or Ridgewater College, to better bridge CTE classes and technical college programs. There’s also $150,000 in “vocational enrichment” funding for school districts to pilot after-school or weekend technical programs, like the weekend welding program at Fairmont High School.
- Another one of MPMA’s legislative priorities is tax conformity for Section 179 expensing. This language is included in the final omnibus tax bill, which the House passed this afternoon and the Senate is expected to pass tomorrow morning.
While MPMA is well-positioned in the current omnibus bills, it looks like Gov. Mark Dayton will not sign either bill in their current forms. Legislative leaders and the governor continue negotiations, but time is running out. It is expected that negotiations will continue this weekend, and another round of bills once there is an agreement.