Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Race is On.  Conference committee season kicked off today and there was a lot of presentation of side-by-side comparisons between the House and Senate bills across a broad range of tax and budget areas.  The E-12 budget and conference committee included testimony from Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius.  Her main messages were:  (1) the legislative budget target is way too low to provide Minnesota families and school districts what they need, and (2) the decision by the House to repeal the Governor's voluntary all-day pre-kindergarten program is unwise and would unfairly penalize those districts currently participating in the program.  It should make for a spirited discussion as the conference committee puts together its bill to send to the Governor.  It will be interesting to see if the Legislature sends bills to the Governor and have them meet a likely veto or begin their negotiations in earnest with the Governor prior to the bills reaching the legislative floor.

The tax committee did not take testimony, but made it through most of the side-by-side comparison.  The sheer size and scope of the tax bill requires a lot of time to present.

Both conference committees are slated to meet again tomorrow.  The E-12 conference committee will be discussing the teacher licensing changes that emanate from the legislative task force that met last summer while the tax conferees will continue working through their side-by-side comparison.

In keeping with today's title, here's the late great George Jones singing one of his biggest hits:

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