Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Leon Lillie (DFL)

Back to profile

Legislative Update - July 19, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Dear Friends,

I hope the summer has been treating you well. It’s been a few rough weeks for our country and our state. It seems like every day we hear more bad news about events around the country. While I have a heavy heart each time I hear of tragedies and deaths, I’m heartened by the responses I’ve seen where we come together to peacefully share our sadness.

A lot has been happening around the Capitol since my last update. Here is some information I would like to share with you about that:

Special Session Possible

Last Friday, negotiations between Gov. Dayton and legislative leaders regarding a possible special session restarted. It’s unfortunate we’re in this position, but as you know, the regular session adjourned in late May, but left a great deal of work unfinished for Minnesotans, including a tax bill – which included some really good provisions, such as a student loan tax credit, and increases to the working family and child and dependent care credits – a bonding bill, and a comprehensive transportation package. All parties involved – myself included – understand the urgency of wrapping up business like this, but a final conclusion is going to require give-and-take from all sides.

The tax bill passed both bodies of the Legislature during session, but was vetoed due to a $100 million error. We should easily be able to easily reconsider this in a special session. The bonding bill may require some more work, but I think we should be able to get to an agreement there, too.

These opportunities are too big to miss out on again, so I’m hopeful we can put election year posturing aside and get this work done. It appears any special session likely won’t happen until mid-August at the earliest. I’m more hopeful now than a few weeks ago that we can reach a compromise and get this done.

State Budget

Good news came earlier last week from Minnesota Management and Budget. Fiscal Year 2016 concluded on June 30, and revenues exceeded the amount from the February budget forecast by $230 million. While economic growth has slowed a bit, our economy is still in a solid position, and hopefully we will be entering the 2017 session with another sizable budget surplus.

This means that with economic uncertainty we need to fiscally judicious, but we should be using this situation as an opportunity to make key investments in the things that help out all Minnesotans, such as education, job creation, and transportation. I look forward to more discussions about this as we approach January.

New Laws

July 1 is the start of Minnesota’s Fiscal Year. As a result, many state programs will receive continued funding or increases for vital state services. August 1st is the day many new policy provisions become law.

A summary of selected new laws that took effect July 1, 2016, can be accessed at

A complete summary of all laws passed by the 2016 Legislature is available online from the House Public Information Services Office at

Last Update

This will be my last update until after the November elections. There is a state law that prohibits a legislator from using state resources to proactively send out information to constituents. I still, however, can respond to e-mails, letters or phone calls sent to me by constituents. I can also attend any community events, tour your business or organization and would be happy to.

So please, don’t hesitate to contact me with any issues, questions, concerns or events. I look forward to visiting with you in person over the coming months.


Leon Lillie