Current Legislation

 

91st Minnesota Legislature (2019 – 2020)
Convened January 8th, 2019
Need to Adjourn by May 20, 2019

For up to date information please visit the Minnesota Legislature home page.

2019 Legislative Session Summary
State Legislative Priorities
June 7, 2019

Overview
The Legislature and Governor concluded their work for the 2019 Legislative Session and passed a two-year budget of $48.3 billion, an approximate 3.5% increase in spending over last year. It took a one-day special session to pass all the agreed to budget bills, but the divided government was able to find compromise and pass a two-year budget before the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2019.  The Governor signed the omnibus budget bills into law on May 30th.

Results of Olmsted County-specific Priorities

Graham Park Regional Event Center
Olmsted County requested state bond funds to help fund a new multi-use regional arena/expo center at Graham Park.  The building will be the cornerstone of planned enhancements at Graham Park to ensure it will better serve the community and regional needs into the future. 

House and Senate companion files were introduced during the early months of the 2019 session outlining this request.  Senator Senjem chief authored SF 1979 and Senator Nelson was a co-author.  Representative Duane Sauke chief-authored the House version of the bill, HF 1333, with Representatives Liebling, Pierson and Quam signing on as co-authors. 

HF 1333 received a hearing in the House Capital Investment Committee this session and was included in a first version of the House omnibus bonding bill (HF 2529).  The Senate Capital Investment Committee did not meet this session and SF 1979 was not heard.  Ultimately, there was not a comprehensive capital investment (bonding) bill this session and the Graham Park request did not pass.  We will focus on bonding next year, which is the second year of the biennium, when the legislature traditionally focuses on a capital investment bill. 

Minnesota Pathways to Prosperity and Well-being Pilot Project
Olmsted County requested state funding to leverage additional private dollars to fund Minnesota Pathways to Prosperity and Well-being.  The County, in partnership with Dakota County, is piloting this program to build a more effective system for people experiencing poverty.

House and Senate companion bills were introduced this session focusing on this request.  HF 2571 was chief authored by Dakota County Representative Laurie Halverson and had bipartisan and local co-authors of Representatives Liebling, Pierson, Mann, Dehn and Bierman.  The companion, SF 1797 was chief authored by the Senate Human Services Reform Committee Chair Jim Abeler (Anoka County) and also had bipartisan and local co-authors of Senators Nelson, Senjem, Clausen and Hoffman.

The bills received hearings in the House and Senate and were included in omnibus health and human services (HHS) bills on both sides.  Unfortunately, however, Pathways to Prosperity and Well-being was not included in the final omnibus HHS bill and did not pass this session.  We are grateful for the bipartisan and bicameral support and will keep working to move the program forward.

County Road 104 Improvements
Olmsted County requested state funding for improvements to County Road (CR) 104 at Trunk Highway (TH) 14 to increase safety and support regional growth and economic development.  The County worked with local legislators, most specifically Senator Senjem, to identify funding options for the intersection improvements and introduced four bills as starting points: HF 437 (Quam)/SF 314 (Senjem) and HF 594 (Quam, Liebling, Pierson and Sauke)/SF 650 (Senjem).

Ultimately, none of the bills were heard this session but efforts were made to educate legislators on the safety concerns and need for improvements at CR104 and TH14.  One such effort was a YouTube video developed by Olmsted County Public Works; a compilation of drone video footage taken during the peak morning commute.  Olmsted County will continue to pursue options for funding improvements at CR104 and TH14.

County-specific Priorities:

Graham Park Regional Event Center
Request bonding funds that will support enhancements at Graham Park. The $12,500,000 capital investment will be used to make strategic improvements that will help transform Graham Park into a self-supporting venue offering year-round facilities for a wide variety of activities of local and regional interest.

Minnesota Pathways to Prosperity Pilot Project
Request an amendment to current Minnesota Pathways to Prosperity legislation to work with the Minnesota Department of Human Services on a functional way to fund a pilot that utilizes a unified benefit set.

County Road 104 Improvements
Request bonding funds to support improvements to County Road 104 that will increase safety and access 

*Olmsted County Policy on Testifying/Lobbying