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It’s 2nd Committee Deadline!

Hundreds of bills that escaped dying last Friday with the 1st Committee Deadline died Friday at midnight with the arrival of the 2nd Committee Deadline. The deadline process winnows down the bills that have been introduced over the past weeks from over 4,500 to hundreds, most of which will be folded into omnibus finance bills. 

Finance committees in both bodies now have three weeks, until April 9, to report out their omnibus finance bills. This process will be very challenging for legislators, staffers, and lobbyists alike, as COVID restrictions continue to limit conversations and the sharing of information.

Governor Releases Revised Budget    

Governor Walz released a revised budget proposal on Thursday that makes major changes in his initial proposal. The changes are due to a recovering economy which flipped a projected $1.3 billion deficit to a projected $1.6 billion surplus. Walz’s new plan eliminates nearly $1 billion in tax increases and reduces a proposed increase in the corporate tax rate. He also boosts tax relief for families with a call for expanded tax credits for renters, working families, some businesses, and unemployed workers by about $1 billion. But the proposed tax increase on very high-income households remains. He is expected to revise his budget yet again later this Spring when the State gets more guidance from Washington on how it can use the $2.6 billion in federal recovery aid in the American Rescue Plan coming to Minnesota. Senate Republicans released their budget plan earlier this week, which provides for no tax increases, $591 million in tax cuts, and a 5% reduction in agency administrative spending. House Democrats are expected to release their budget plan on Tuesday. The budget will be the focus of the final eight weeks of the 2021 session, which is scheduled to end on May 21.

Report: Minnesota Has High Taxes

In a report that surprised no one, a study released this week documents that Minnesota has high taxes. Minnesota ranks 7th in the country in taxes paid by residents, according to a report released this week by the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence. The report found that Minnesota has the 6th highest income tax, 10th highest corporate taxes, 26th highest property taxes and 30th highest sales taxes.