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Legislature Passes Omnibus Finance Bills to Mixed Reviews

If signed by the governor, the finance bills would inflict deep cuts on state spending across the board.

Editor's note: Capitol Review is a weekly look at what your state legislators are doing at the Minnesota Capitol—how they're voting, the bills they're writing and the issues they're getting behind. Come back to Southwest Minneapolis Patch every Monday for a new Capitol Review.

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed five omnibus finance bills last week, which left Republican leaders optimistic while DFLers worried about the deep cuts.

The omnibus finance bills passed were for education, taxes, judiciary and public safety, higher education and agriculture. In addition, the Minnesota Senate passed all of its omnibus bills with the exception of taxes and transportation, which should both be addressed this week, the release stated.

Republican leaders said they are about a month ahead of a typical budget year, according to Sen. Geoff Michel (R-Edina). However, House Minority Leader Paul Thissen (DFL-Minneapolis) said in the release that two years ago budget bills were off the House floor in mid- to late-April. Thissen also encouraged Republican members to work more with Gov. Mark Dayton in creating bills.

Thissen led House Democrats in criticizing the bills. He said in a statement that the public safety bill "takes Minnesota backwards, raids funds, raises property taxes and pick-pockets middle class families."

Weekly Review

Here's what happened last week with bills authored by Southwest Minneapolis legislative representatives:

State Rep. Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis):

  • Another co-author, Rep. Larry Howes (R-Walker) was added to House File 1257, which approves the sale of non-profit housing bonds for community land trusts.

State Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Minneapolis):

  • Co-authored a bill that gradually adjusts certain revenue-based filing fees beginning in fiscal year 2014. The bill was introduced on March 28 and referred to the Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee the same day.

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