The following information was shared with the library community via the MLA and ITEM Legislative Update Newsletter Wednesday, May 23, 2018 by Sam Walseth, Capitol Hill Associates, in his role as the MLA-ITEM lobbyist.
There is a lot to report this week.
Dayton follows through with Veto threats
This morning Governor Dayton followed through with his promise to veto the Supplemental Budget bill and the Tax Conformity/One-time Education funding bill. He’s expected to sign the Bonding bill, which contains $1 million for library construction and renovation grants.
What was lost in the 990 page now vetoed Supplemental bill for libraries?Language for RLTA that would allow the regional systems to re-purpose those funds for broadband expansion outside of the e-rate program is now vetoed. This means that regional libraries will either need to spend all of their fiscal year 2019 funds or any unspent funds will be cancelled back to the state’s general fund at the end of the biennium (June 30, 2019). $15 million for border-to-border broadband expansion funds is lost as well due to the veto.
Expect the political blame-game to fire up this summer. There will be a constant stream of rumors about a one-day special session to pass a Tax Conformity package that Dayton and the four legislative caucus leaders can all sign off on. I’ll tell you about it when it happens, but don’t hold your breath. As for the other pieces of the Supplemental Budget bill re-emerging in any special session, don’t count on it. Most likely we’re done for 2018 and can get on with planning for the next big budget session in 2019.