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There are several dates that offer opportunities to engage with legislators throughout the 2013 legislative session.
(Published Jan 14, 2013)
The 2013 Legislature convened on Jan. 8 with many new members, new majorities, new committee structures, and new leadership. The main task this session will be to develop and approve a state biennial budget for the upcoming 2014-2015 biennium that begins on July 1, 2013.
There are 20 members who have not served in the Senate before, and three additional members who are returning from serving prior to the last legislative session. In addition to the 34 brand new House members, there are eight members who had previously served in the House prior to the 2011-2012 biennium.
New bills coming soon
Over the next several weeks, policy and budget committees will begin to consider legislation that is introduced this session. A complete list of bill introductions is available on the House and Senate web sites.
Dates to consider as the session ramps up:
Jan. 8: The session convened and new members were sworn into office.
Jan. 22: The governor is required to release his 2014-2015 state budget recommendations by the fourth Tuesday in January. This year, we also expect Gov. Dayton to unveil his recommendations for state tax reform.
Feb. 1: The League’s intergovernmental relations staff will be conducting a webinar on the governor’s budget recommendations from 10-11 a.m. Registration will be available soon on the Upcoming Events page of the League’s website.
Feb. 6: Gov. Dayton will give his State of the State Address at 7 p.m.
Feb. 12: There will be a special election to fill seats vacated by Rep. Terry Morrow (DFL-St. Peter) and Rep. Steve Gottwalt (R-St. Cloud), who both resigned prior to the start of the legislative session.
Around March 1: Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) will release the semi-annual state budget forecast. The last forecast, released in December 2012, reported a state budget deficit for the incoming 2014-2015 biennium of $1.1 billion.
The March state budget forecast will be updated to reflect the impacts of the recent congressional fiscal cliff compromise. However, with the pending potential federal sequestration cuts and the fact that the federal debt limit has been reached, the MMB staff and the state economist could have difficulty accurately projecting state revenues and expenditures. The League will offer a webinar to go over the details shortly after the forecast is released.
March 21: The League will co-sponsor the Joint Legislative Conference. Join colleagues from cities, school boards, counties, and townships at the Crowne Plaza and Capitol for a day of advocacy and legislative updates. Registration will be open soon on the League’s Upcoming Events page.
Mid-March to mid-April: Each year, the Legislature establishes a series of committee “deadlines,” which are self-imposed requirements for proposed legislation to be acted on in policy and budget committees. Legislation that fails to be acted upon by these deadlines will technically be dead for the remainder of the session.
Easter/Passover break: The Legislature traditionally recesses for several days around Easter and Passover. This year, Passover begins on March 26 and Easter is on March 31. This is a great time to invite your legislators to city hall or meet with them to be sure they know what your city’s legislative priorities are.
May 20: The regular 2013 legislative session must adjourn by this date, which is the first Monday after the third Saturday in May.
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