In what will be its last stop before a likely vote on the House floor, a bill to legalize same-sex marriage — and a newly attached fiscal note — cleared the Ways and Means Committee Monday evening.
The proposal passed the committee on a voice vote after a short discussion of a new fiscal note attached to the bill. Budget officials now estimate a law allowing same-sex couples to wed will cost the state about $688,000 a year to provide health insurance benefits to spouses of state employees, or about 114 additional people. The proposal is also projected to generate about $10,000 in revenue annually through collections from marriage license fees.
The revenue collected from the fees is projected to be considerably higher in the first year a gay marriage law is in place, as budget officials anticipate an initial rush from same-sex couples to get married. Minnesota Management and Budget estimates the state will collect more than $190,000 from wedding license fees in fiscal year 2014.
The Senate Finance Committee will also review the fiscal note this week as both chambers head into the final two weeks of session. House Speaker Paul Thissen and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk have not yet set dates for full floor votes on gay marriage.