MN Budget Agreement (Update)
Doug Barrett | May 20, 2019 AT 8:35 am
A House-Senate conference committee has reached a bipartisan agreement on compromise legislation aimed at stopping Minnesota's opioid crisis.
The bill imposes sharply higher registration fees on drug makers and distributors to raise around $21 million annually. Part of the money would go for grants to fund prevention strategies to reduce opioid deaths and overdoses.
Much of the rest would go to counties to help reimburse them for their growing child protection costs resulting from families being hurt by the opioid crisis.
Under the compromise, the registration fees would end once the state recovers at least $250 million from settlements with drug makers after a minimum of five years. House negotiators wanted those fees to be permanent, while Senate conferees insisted on the sunset. Settlement revenues would go to response efforts.
A major package of protections for Minnesota's elderly has cleared the Legislature and awaits Gov. Tim Walz's signature.
The House and Senate late Sunday night passed the final version of the bill, which was over two years in the making. The most important component is a framework for licensing assisted living facilities that contains expanded enforcement powers. Minnesota is the last remaining state that doesn't require licensing them.
The bill also has other safeguards to protect older and vulnerable adults, including the right for assisted-living residents and their families to install hidden monitoring cameras for two weeks before being required to notify the facilities.
It also includes a bill of rights for assisted-living residents and other stronger consumer protections, such as protections against retaliation for residents of care facilities.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and top legislative leaders have reached a bipartisan budget agreement that drops the governor's proposed gasoline tax increase but gives middle-class Minnesotans an income tax cut and preserves most of an expiring tax that funds health care.
The Democratic governor, Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman announced details Sunday, with just over 24 hours before Monday night's adjournment deadline. The leaders expect to call a one-day special session for Thursday to finish the work.
The deal also includes more money for education.
Walz said the negotiations were difficult and neither side got everything it wanted, but that it showed they were able to make divided government work.
Gazelka said the talks ended in a draw that will be good for Minnesota.
May 19, 2019 Global Agreement and Conference Committee Framework — Attachment 2
In addition to the global targets agreed to by the Governor, Speaker of the House, and Senate Majority
Leader the following will be included in the final agreement:
1. $59.51 million for Broadband, Agriculture and Housing
• $40 million for broadband in FY20/21 only.
• $4.51 million in FY20/21 and $3.9 million in FY22/23 for agriculture.
• $15 million in FY20/21 and $10 million in FY22/23 for housing.
2. $540 million for E-12 Education
• General education formula increase of two percent and two percent.
• Tribal Contract School Funding $3.536 million in FY20/21 and $4.670 million in FY22/23.
3. $10 million for Economic Development
• $11 million in revenue from unclaimed property in FY20/21 and $22 million in FY22/23.
4. $13.78 million for Environment
• Funding to address chronic wasting disease including funding for Department of Natural
Resources and Board of Animal Health.
• Aquatic Invasive Species surcharge of $10.60 to protect our lakes and waterways.
5. - $357.85 million for Health and Human Services
• Increased spending offset by Healthcare Access Fund (HCAF) resources of $270 million in
FY20/21 and $514 million in FY22/23 and $142 million from the Premium Security Account in
• All savings need to be substantiated and based on sound assumptions or backed by
• No reduction to Department of Health funding in HCAF.
• Creation of Blue Ribbon Council to identify $100 million in savings in FY22/23 and provide
recommendations for legislative action. Any savings not implemented by the legislature will
be backfilled by a contingent transfer from the budget reserve.
6. $150 million for Higher Education
• No reduction to University of Minnesota funding in HCAF.
7. $125 million for Public Safety
8. $63.37 million for State Government
• $20 million for cyber security funding.
• Funding increase for Minneapolis Employees Retirement Fund (MERF) moved to tax bill. Base
for MERF retained in state government target.
9. $93.45 million for Transportation
• Funding for Metro Mobility in FY20 is $23.190 million. Additional $13 million in FY 21 for
Metro Mobility contingent upOn closing balance for FY19 exceeding February forecast
estimated closing balance.
• $13 million for Deputy Registrar reimbursement.
• $55.67 million for the MnLARS replacement system; and fees for DVS staffing and systems
maintenance and operation.
• $20 million for Disaster Assistance Contingency Account appropriation contingent upon
closing balance for FY19 exceeding February forecast estimated closing balance.
• Zero target in tax bill FY20/21 and FY22/23.
• Include $20 million for MERF per biennium.
• Middle class tax cuts of .25 to the second tier rate starting in tax year 2019 and reduction of
the CI levy (Senate proposal). House Chair and Commissioner negotiate an equivalent
amount of general fund tax expenditures and spending.
• Debt service for $440 million General Obligation Bonds.
• Debt service for $60 million Housing Infrastructure Bonds.
12. $30.85 million for Vulnerable Adults
• $491.367 million from the budget reserve in FY22/23.
• No savings that cannot be substantiated.
• 1.8% Health Care Provider Tax effective for gross revenues received after December 31,
2019. No carve out, all categories, no sunset.
• Reinsurance for two additional plan years.