MN Legislative Update MN — April 2017

After taking Monday for the last day of the Easter/Passover break, the legislature got back to work on Tuesday. Both the House and the Senate met in floor sessions to name members to conference committees for the omnibus bills that had been passed prior to the break (a complete list of conferees can be found at the end of this document). The various conference committees began meeting this week and will continue to meet until the two bodies can come to agreements on the omnibus bills to be sent to the Governor.

In addition to naming conferees, the Senate also took up and unanimously passed four bills during Tuesday’s floor session. They passed: SF 1020 (Hall): Eliminating the cap on spending for purchasing awards and trophies; SF 870 (Fischbach): Authorizing National Night Out local government expenditures and fundraising; HF 46 (Smith): Clarifying and adopting technical changes to statutes affecting real property including the registration of land, recording, and land titles; and HF 13 (Smith): Modifying incorporator and director powers and duties, regulating mergers and conversions, and modifying definitions.

The House met Thursday for the floor session to take up and pass five non-controversial bills, passing each of the five unanimously. The bills included: HF 593 (O’Driscoll): Changes real estate appraiser investigation, background check, and disciplinary action requirements; HF 676 (Davids): Regulates landscape application contracts, and provides exclusion; HF 1294 (Loonan): Regulates sales representative termination; HF 1477 (Fenton): Regulates creditunion meetings; and HF 1732 (Hoppe): Modifies commerce commissioner examinations. The House also took up and passed a sixth bill: HF 1397 (Hoppe): Limits life insurance payments for beneficiaries of persons furthering terrorism. The bill garnished much more debate but still passed on a vote of 127-2, with Representatives Lesch and Omar being the two dissenters.

The Senate also took up several bills of Thursday, some of which were rather controversial. The Senate unanimously passed SF 799 (Benson): Modifies MNsure board, DHS and MDH interagency agreements and intra-agency transfers; and HF 792 (Theis): Prohibiting mandatory installation of automatic fire sprinkler systems in certain dwellings and townhouses. The Senate also took up the slightly controversial HF 140 (Erickson): Changes teacher licensure, which did ultimately pass on a vote of 44-21. The most controversial bill the Senate took up Thursday was easily HF 600 (Garofalo): Uniform State Labor Standards Act. After several hours of debate, and among protests outside the Senate Chamber, the Senate passed the bill on a vote of 35-31 with Senator Sparks being the lone DFL member to vote for the measure.

The comments Minority Leader Hortman made about members being in the retirement room prior to the Easter/Passover break are still a topic of discussion following the break. Minority Leader Hortman along with Representatives Moran and Applebaum registered a response protest and dissent letter that can be found on pages 21 and 22 of the House Journal for Tuesday. The response followed the protest and dissent letter submitted in the House Journal on April 7th by numerous members of the House following Minority Leader Hortman’s initial comments. In addition to the response letter of protest, Minority Leader Hortman also held a rally to explain why she wouldn’t be apologizing. Some of her comments at the rally can be found in this article by WCCO.

On Thursday, the House recognized recognized Representative Mary Murphy in a House Resolution for being awarded the Mentor Award during the Women as a Driving Force awards hosted by The Woman Today magazine. The award recognizes a woman who has been an experienced and trusted advisor to those around her. Conference Committee conferees:

HF 4 (Omnibus tax bill):
Representatives: Davids, Drazkowski, McDonald, Hertaus, and Marquart
Senators: Chamberlain, Dahms, Miller, Senjem, and Rest
HF 861 (Omnibus transportation finance bill):
Representatives: Torkelson, Runbeck, Petersburg, Koznick, and Howe
Senators: Newman, Jasinski, Kiffmeyer, Osmek, and Sparks
HF 888 (Omnibus environment and natural resources finance bill):
Representatives: Fabian, Heintzeman, Swedzinski, Uglem, and Ecklund
Senators: Ingebrigtsen, Ruud, Westrom, Mathews, and Tomassoni
HF 890 (Omnibus education finance bill):
Representatives: Loon, Erickson, Bennett, Kresha, and Mary Murphy
Senators: Nelson, Pratt, Eichorn, Weber, and Wiger
SF 605 (Omnibus state government appropriations, veterans and military affairs
appropriations bill): Sarah Anderson, O’Driscoll, Dettmer, Fenton, and Nash
SF 780 (Omnibus agriculture and Housing appropriations bill):
Representatives: Hamilton, Paul Anderson, Lueck, Backer, and Poppe
Senators: Westrom, Weber, Goggin, Lang, and Eken
SF 800 (Omnibus health and human services bill):
Representatives: Matt Dean, Schomacker, Albright, Kiel, and Schultz
Senators: Benson, Abeler, Housley, Utke, and Lourey
SF 803 (Omnibus judiciary and public safety appropriations bill):
Representatives: Cornish, Brian Johnson, Zerwas, Scott, and Hilstrom
Senators: Limmer, Relph, Bruce Anderson, and Latz
SF 1937 (Omnibus jobs, commerce, energy, labor and industry, and employment and
economic development appropriations bill):
Representatives: Garofalo, Newberger, Hoppe, O’Neill, and Mahoney
Senators: Miller, Dahms, Osmek, Paul Anderson, and Champion
SF 2214 (Omnibus higher education appropriations and policy bill):
Representatives: Nornes, Christensen, Daniels, Whelan, and Omar
Senators: Fischbach, Draheim, Paul Anderson, Jensen, and Clausen