ST. PAUL, MN – Early Friday morning, the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate concluded the special session, passing the final bills that comprise the 2018-2019 biennium budget. In all, the legislature passed seven bills during special session: Taxes, Transportation, State Government, Health & Human Services, K-12 Education, Bonding, and Labor Standards.
“We have been working around the clock to complete the work of the people,” said Rep. Barb Haley (R-Red Wing). “We have come to a final deal with the Governor, resulting in the passage of the largest tax relief bill in nearly two decades, as well as one of the largest funding increases in road and bridge infrastructure without asking Minnesotans to pay more in taxes.”
The Republican-led tax bill will mean more than $650 million in tax relief—the largest tax cut in nearly two decades—for Minnesota families in the 2018-2019 biennium and three-quarters of a billion dollars in tax relief in the 2020-2021 biennium. It includes relief for seniors on social security, college graduates with student loan debt, and property tax relief for farmers and Minnesota businesses. In addition, Republicans championed and the legislature approved the largest investment in road and bridge infrastructure in a state history without an increase in the gas tax or license tab fees. The K-12 education budget bill invests an additional $1.3 billion in schools. The bill also ends the “Last In, First Out” default layoff policy for schools to keep the best teachers in the classroom, reforms the broken teacher licensure system to help in hiring more teachers to address Minnesota’s teacher shortage, and invests in pre-k scholarships and school readiness programs.
During regular session, the legislature passed budget bills for Public Safety, Higher Education, Jobs & Energy Affordability, Agriculture, and Environment & Natural Resources. Altogether, the legislature is sending ten budget bills, a $995 million bonding bill, and a labor standards bill to the governor’s desk for his signature.