The following information was shared via email with the library community on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by Sam Walseth, Capitol Hill Associates, in his role as the MLA-ITEM lobbyist.
The legislature must adjourn at midnight next Monday. All of the GOP budget
and tax bills have passed and been vetoed by Governor Dayton. The Governor
and legislative leaders have been meeting and exchanging global budget
offers since yesterday. There has been some progress and the omnibus
Agriculture bill has been agreed to. This is the smallest of the budget
bills and typically the first one to be resolved.
The Governor and GOP leaders have traded numbers on the E-12 bill. Dayton’s
initial E-12 bill called for $713 million in spending, including $175
million to expand his signature voluntary pre-K initiative. Yesterday he
offer the $606 million and $100 million for VPK expansion. The GOP’s now
vetoed E-12 bill spent $300 million, but late yesterday they offered $408
million for E-12. They didn’t offer details and are likely still dug in
against funding any portion of the Governor’s VPK program. They instead want
to invest in the early learning scholarship program.
Leaders are meeting again this morning and we may see new budget offers. I
don’t think a deal on E-12 is imminent for today, but I encourage you to
contact your legislators at this point and urge them to include regional
library funding in the E-12 bill. This is a good time for them to hear from
you as it looks like a slower day for each body.
Bonding bill –
The House is in recess until 4pm, but is scheduled to take up a bill that
will serve as their bonding bill. HF 575 will serve as the vehicle for the
bonding bill. The delete-all amendment for the floor includes $2 million for
library construction projects. You can view the amendment here:
There’s no sign of the Legacy conference committee coming in to meet. I’m
assuming they will come in for a perfunctory public review of their deal in
the next few days when they’re ready to share it.
Samuel P. Walseth, Capitol Hill Associates