2022 Legislative Session Wrapup

2022 Session Wrapup

The Minnesota House of Representatives 2022 legislative session ended on its constitutionally required date of May 23 at midnight.   Here's a recap of what did and didn't get done. 

Normally, the second year of the legislative session focuses on borrowing (bonding) for capital projects and infrastructure and policy. The legislature already passed, and the Governor signed a budget last year. The state government is fully funded for the next two years. But given that there is either a 9.6 or a 12-billion-dollar surplus (depending on how you count it) there was hope from republicans that we could get tax cuts and some reform to stop overtaxing our citizens and businesses, causing them to flee the state. The DFL and some Republicans saw it as an opportunity to spend more money or to trade more spending for some tax reforms.

The “deal” that was announced by House and Senate Leadership was that the Governor was supposed to spend $4 billion, give $4 billion in tax relief (most of it one-time, not permanent), and leave $4 billion on the bottom line for next session.
When Senate Republicans looked at this deal, they decided no deal was better than a bad deal and they ran out the clock waiting for the DFL house to come up with a better offer. They produced offers even worse than this one until midnight on May 23rd.

Will there be a special session? House Democrats now want the Governor to call a Special Session to have the Legislature come back to pass their spending proposals. Let's hope not. From our point of view, we just dodged multi-year billions of dollars spending increase that would drain the surplus in just a few short years. If all of the DFL bills had passed both houses and had been signed into law we'd be looking at a 15-17% increase in the state budget. 

The DFL and Governor Walz wanted to pile on the entitlements, which would mean committing future legislatures to new programs with no surplus left to pay for them. Goodbye tax cuts, hello tax increases!

Here is a picture of what happened in a few different policy areas.