Workforce Wednesday: Budget Negotiations Continue
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
With less than a week to go, Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders are hard at work on a final budget deal. While substantial progress was made on Tuesday, the two sides have major differences to work out over the next few days.
- Last week, budget negotiations started to break down.
- The Legislature began passing the omnibus budget bills approved by the House and Senate conference committees, without negotiating the bills with Gov. Dayton.
- The Legislature sent five budget bills to the governor at the end of last week, and the remaining five were sent on Monday.
- Gov. Dayton vetoed all 10 bills.
The Youth Skills Training Program was included in the Jobs and Energy bill that was vetoed. In the veto letter, Gov. Dayton outlined concerns with the Jobs and Energy bill.
It is noteworthy that the Youth Skills Training program was NOT among the objectionable items in the bill. Representatives from the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) have been communicating with the governor about the Jobs bill, and they have continued to express their support for the program. House and Senate leadership also remain strongly supportive of the bill, so it is highly likely the Youth Skills Training will be included in the final Jobs bill.
Negotiations recommenced yesterday to shape the final budget bills. The governor made a significant offer mid-day, and the GOP leaders responded later in the day with a strong counter offer that included agreement on the Agriculture bill.
While the budget numbers are getting closer, differences remain:
Among the sticking points on Tuesday: the governor proposed license tab fee increases to pay for transportation funding, which the GOP says is a “non-starter.” Also, the governor and legislature continue to disagree on several major policy items, including pre-school and transportation.
Budget negotiations will resume Wednesday, and the House and Senate will continue to meet to process bills on the floors in preparation for the next round of budget bills.
There is much work for the governor and Legislature to do over before adjournment on Monday, May 22. The MPMA remains hopeful that they will be able to reach agreement so they can complete their work on time. If they are not able to reach accord by Monday night, then a special session will be necessary to finish work before the end of the state fiscal year on June 30.
Please contact MPMA lobbyist Amy Walstien with any questions.