1) Legislative Democrats have agreed on their spending priorities this session as part of a $283 million supplemental budget package that was released on Monday.
The sector-by-sector targets — ranging from higher education to health and human services — signal that an overall deal on specific projects and policies is close. Lawmakers have already come to an agreement on $103 million in additional tax cuts and are working on an $850 million bonding plan that will be accompanied by $200 million in cash appropriations.
“This is a budget that invests in bread-and-butter priorities important to Minnesotans,” said DFL Rep. Lyndon Carlson, who leads the House side of the negotiations. “We can continue to grow our economy by focusing on priorities that will expand middle class opportunity, create more jobs, and improve the quality of education for our children.”
Here is a list of the categorical spending targets:
2) Gov. Mark Dayton attempted to push lawmakers working on a medical marijuana proposal toward his position when they come together this week to iron out the differences between the House and Senate bills, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
Dayton last week sent a letter to lawmakers saying he would sign the House’s more restrictive version of the bill, which passed last Friday by a bipartisan vote of 86-39. The Senate passed its version, which allows for easier access to the plant both in terms of logistics and qualifying ailments, last Tuesday on a 48-18 vote. House sponsor Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, has been criticized for giving in to the law enforcement community’s demands that make up Dayton’s disapproval, but she has maintained that compromise is necessary to move the bill forward.
In a press conference on Monday, Dayton called on lawmakers to include the tightly controlled access in the House plan and some of the more clearly defined security language in the Senate bill. But a co-author on the legislation, Sen. Branden Petersen, R-Andover, criticized Dayton for his opposition.
“The fact that you’ve got a bill that passes with 86 votes and 48 votes, respectively, I think it’s a little bit unreasonable to think that the governor is going to have all of his own way on the issue, or that there is no middle ground between what the Senate is proposing and the House is proposing,” Petersen said.
3) Lawmakers will meet on Tuesday to hash out whether to adopt Senate language banning lottery sales online and at gas pumps as part of a gambling bill this session, the Pioneer Press reports.
Gov. Mark Dayton said he is still evaluating the plan. Lottery officials have said they believe they had the legal authority to conduct online sales.
COMINGS & GOINGS