The final weeks of the legislative session are in full swing and much work remains on the state’s next biennial budget. DFL House and Senate leadership continue to meet behind closed doors as they attempt to reach agreement on overall funding levels. With the mandatory May 20th adjournment date looming and no final budget bills having been passed, the pace is likely to quicken rapidly next week.
Some of the conference committees have held meetings to discuss issues that are the same or similar in each version of the overall bill. Others are continuing to wait for an overall agreement on spending.
The next phase in the legislative process is conference committee work. A conference committee is made up of five members from each House and Senate body to resolve differences; craft one bill to be passed by the House, Senate and signed by the Governor. The first step in that process is for Leadership to establish new budget and tax targets. House and Senate Leadership have met with the Governor to begin negotiating a global budget deal.
Education Finance Conference Committee work was scheduled to begin meeting on Tuesday, May 7. The first few meetings will allow members the opportunity to understand the funding and policy provisions in each bill. The conference committee will not be able to accomplish much until the House, Senate and Governor establish new budget targets for the conference committee.
It was a party 14 years in the making. Attendees included nine moms who met when our kids were in preschool. Now, we came together to anticipate and celebrate those same preschoolers’ high school graduations.
We sat around a long table at a local restaurant, passing old photos and wondering aloud where the time went.
When Larry Schneider became a substitute mail carrier for the Kimball Post Office March 28, 1979, he had no idea that he would someday retire 34 years later having logged nearly 1,000,000 miles.
The 1976 Kimball High School grad just wanted a part-time job that would allow him to continue farming with his father, Walter.
Larry Schneider has logged nearly a million miles delivering mail from the Kimball Post Office. He’s smiling here because this was the end of his last run on his last day, Friday, May 3. Enjoy your retirement, Larry! Staff photo by Stephanie Johnson.
While we get focused on the House and Senate omnibus bills, it’s important to remember that the governor has top priorities of his own. In education, Governor Dayton continues to push for a large investment in early childhood scholarships. He has stated many times that he likes scholarships as an important investment in education, and the business community supports scholarships as well.
The Senate is advocating for school property tax reform and all-day K as their top priorities. The House is pushing all-day K, equity reform and additional funding to the formula. The House tax bill has a provision to surcharge upper incomes on a one-time basis to pay back all of the remaining school shifts.