ST. PAUL – With the Easter/Passover break now over, State Representative Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) said budget bill negotiations will begin in earnest.
“Both the House and Senate have approved budget bills for every area within state government,” Miller said. “Now it’s time to reconcile the differences and craft a budget all sides can live with.”
Because there are differences between the House and Senate proposals, Miller said a conference committee consisting of five representatives and five senators is called in order to create a compromise proposal that can be approved by both bodies. A separate committee is called for each spending area, such as transportation, taxes, higher education, etc.
When the House and Senate have approved the various conference committee reports they are sent to Governor Dayton, and he decides whether or not to veto them or sign them into law. If any of the budget bills are vetoed, Miller said it’s back to the drawing board for the Legislature, as both the House and Senate would need to come up with a new spending proposal in the area of government in which the governor issued the veto.
“It’s our hope that the governor will be engaged early on so we don’t have drag things out until the end of session,” Miller said. “This is one of the reasons we finished up our budget proposals early this year, as we want an early start to negotiations.”
Miller said May 22 is the final day of the 2017 legislative session, meaning all budget bills must be approved and sent to the governor by that date.