Legislative Update

The following information is provided by Elaine Keefe, our MLA/MEMO legislative lobbyist….

politicsGovernor’s Budget:  Governor Dayton released his budget proposal on Tuesday.  There were no changes in library-specific appropriations.  However, the Governor did recommend some increases in broader appropriations that may ultimately have an impact on libraries. They are:

1) An increase of $80 million per year in aid to cities and an increase of $40 million per year in aid to counties.  This could impact public library funding at the local level.

2) An increase of $80 million over the biennium for the University of Minnesota and $80 million over the biennium for the University of Minnesota.  This could impact academic libraries in those two systems.

3) An increase of $118 million over the biennium in the general education formula for K-12 schools and an increase of $125 million over the biennium for special education (thereby freeing up general education dollars that are currently used by school districts to pay for special education).  This could impact the funding available to school library media centers.

Testimony:  On Thursday the Senate E-12 Education Budget Division held a hearing where education organizations were invited to present their platforms.  I presented the portions of the MLA/MEMO Platform that are under the jurisdiction of that committee.

State of the State:  Governor Dayton will deliver his State of the State Address before a joint session of the Legislature on February 6 at 7pm.

Committee Deadlines:  Legislative leaders have announced that committee deadlines are as follows:

The first committee deadline is Friday March 15.  To meet this deadline, a bill must have passed through all of the policy committees it needs to go to and have been referred to a finance committee or to the floor in either the House or the Senate.

The second committee deadline is Friday, March 22.  To meet this deadline, a bill must meet the standard for the first committee deadline in both the House and the Senate.

The third committee deadline is April 19.  This is the deadline for omnibus budget bills to be passed out committee.

Elaine Keefe
Capitol Hill Associates
525 Park Street, Suite 310
St. Paul, MN 55103
office 651-293-0229
fax 651-293-1709
cell 612-590-1244