Missed a Day! Things are moving at such a hectic pace at the Legislature that I totally missed the Senate’s Friday floor session that was largely centered around the debate and passage of the women’s reproductive health bill that passed the House a week earlier. It’s rare that a January floor session runs late into the evening, but there have been several instances already this session where significant pieces of stand-alone legislation that have produced extended floor debates have been discussed and ultimately passed. The women’s reproductive health bill and the carbon emissions bill were both high on the list of the DFL on the campaign trail and they promised early action on both of those items. The tax conformity bill was a high priority left over from last session when the inability of all parties to come together on a workable compromise across all budget and tax areas left that bill hanging and it was needed to prevent many Minnesotans from having to file amended tax returns.
So, as the first month of the session comes to an end, take it from someone who has been around the process for quite a few years, the pace and energy of this session is unprecedented when compared to previous budgeting sessions. With ample resources–although the amount of one-time money dwarfs the amount of on-going revenue–and aggressive budget policies coming in the Governor’s budget across almost all funding areas, I don’t expect the pace to let up. Energy may diminish a bit as the focus on legislative priorities narrows to the realm of the possible, but for now we are still sprinting.
Friday Bill Introductions.