The only split party Legislature in the nation will begin Tuesday, January 8th, 2019. Minnesota’s 91st Legislature must complete their work by midnight on May 21st. The odd-year session will primarily be focused on adopting the 2020-2021 biennial budget. In addition, Governor-elect Walz will be sworn into office on January 7th. The incoming Governor will give his State of the State Address in late January and must present his budget to the Legislature by mid-February.
Friday marked the end of the second week of the 2019 Legislative Session. While the first week of the session was more ceremonial than serious, this week committees began the process of overview hearings to help new members learn about their committee’s areas of jurisdiction and oversight. Members have begun the process of introducing bills and committees will begin taking a serious look at legislative proposals in early February.
Governor Walz has completed the nomination of his Commissioners and now begins the process of preparing his budget which must be released to the Legislature in mid-February. The leadership of Explore Minnesota has presented their request to the Commissioner of Management and Budget, Myron Frans. The Governor, Commissioner Frans and the heads of each agency are now reviewing and prioritizing these requests. The Governor must compare each request against his campaign promises and vision for state government. The next biennial budget will likely top $50 billion. We hope the Governor’s budget will include increases in the base budget of Explore Minnesota and the event grant program.
This week will be a short week with the National Martin Luther King Holiday on Monday. Once the legislature returns on Tuesday, they are scheduled to hear bills related to distracted driving and presentations from the Walz Administration regarding the impacts of the Federal Government Shutdown.