Apr 11, 2022 - Politics

State of play: Key issues in front of the Minnesota Legislature

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Minnesota legislators have about six weeks of work left before they adjourn for the year. Here's a look at where key issues stand:

πŸ’΅ Unemployment Insurance trust fund: The GOP-led Senate passed a bill to refill the fund after it was depleted by pandemic claims. House Democrats want concessions on frontline worker bonuses before they act.

  • Date to watch: With no deal, a payroll tax increase for businesses is in effect. Payments are due by April 30.

πŸ‘©β€βš•οΈ Frontline worker bonuses: See above. Democrats called for increasing the pot of cash from $250 million to $1 billion and including more professions. Senate Republicans aren't interested.

πŸ’Έ Taxpayer rebates: Tax chairs in both chambers have bypassed Gov. Tim Walz's proposal to send one-time payments of up to $1,000 to Minnesota families. Instead, Republicans passed broad tax cuts and Democrats are prioritizing targeted credits.

  • Reality check: If history is any guide, any eventual agreements on spending the surplus will be negotiated by the leadership "tribunal," Walz, House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller. That means the governor has time β€” and leverage β€” to try to get his plan back in the mix.

⚾ Sports betting: The House author of a bill to legalize wagering says he's hoping for a floor vote by the end of the month.

  • Yes, but: The Senate version hasn't even gotten a hearing.

πŸ“š The Page Amendment: A bipartisan coalition of backers hasn't been enough to overcome opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment related to a quality education.

  • A key House committee chair says her committee won't vote on the measure this year.

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