Legislative Constipation. Not to work blue, but things are bound up at the Capitol. It's April 30th, the day legislative leadership had slated for final adjournment, and I'm guessing we'll be here a couple more days. Legislative leadership met with the Governor earlier this afternoon with the meeting described as "productive," but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.
As has been described in the media, there are three big gears--the tax bill, the bonding bill, and the stadium bill--that the Legislature and the Governor are trying to get to mesh in order to accomplish things that each side wants in the waning days of session. The main question is whether the votes exist to pass either the bonding bill or the stadium bill and we're in a position where each of these bills would need to pass in order for any of them to become law. In other words, if any of the three doesn't reach the Governor, there would be no global accord.
The tax conference committee finished up its work with the report coming to the floor this afternoon and perhaps being voted upon in the wee, wee hours of the morning or during daylight hours tomorrow. There are a couple of provisions in the current iteration of the tax bill that will likely make the Governor arch an eyebrow, but the conference committee did take several provision the Governor opposed out of the bill, which may be an indication that the Governor would sign the bill provided the stadium and bonding bills pass. The statewide business property tax is reduced in the bill, which along with a federally-mandated payback to the federal government brought about by UCare's $30 million donation to the State of Minnesota, reduce the budget reserve by approximately $43 million.