[The following news release comes from the office of Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-District 44)]
The final weeks of session are heating up and winding down all at the same time; it is definitely “hurry up and wait” time. While the Senate met every day this week, and is in the middle of a Saturday session as this goes out with a possible Sunday session, we frequently started an hour or two after scheduled to gavel in. Work in conference committees, with leadership in negotiations and on the Vikings stadium has postponed work on the floor. Waiting for the House to pass the budget omnibus bills first, as constitutionally required, is also creating a very mercurial schedule.
This week the Senate passed several conference committee reports. These reports are the results of a blending of a House and Senate bill so that both bodies are voting on the same exact wording of a particular piece of legislation for final passage. Once both bodies pass a conference committee report, it is sent to the Governor for a signature. The Senate passed conference committee reports for the following bills this week: K-12, Agriculture, Lessard Heritage Appropriations, Higher Education, Game and Fish, two reports from Health & Human Services. I am also happy to announce that we passed my legislation (S.F. 1895), removing an extra step in filing a business with the Secretary of State’s office. It allows businesses to forgo filing an assumed name if the name of the filer and the name of the business are identical or just have the business type indicator tacked on the end, for example: LLC, Inc., or Corp.
Many conversations and committees have revolved around a Vikings proposal as a bill has started to rapidly make its way through the process. This week the bill passed through Local Government & Elections, Jobs & Economic Growth, Finance and Taxes. Now it is on its way to the Senate floor. I have not had a chance to fully digest and vet the proposal that was revised again late Friday night and will be carefully studying it this weekend.
During the week I had the pleasure of meeting with constituents from Opportunity Partners as well as a group of students from Breck School. It is still unclear if session will wrap up next week but as of today, the legislature has only nine days left to meet to finish its business. Constitutionally, we are required to adjourn on May 21st but we also have a rule that either/or both bodies can only meet for 120 days during the two-year biennium. Days when either/or both the House and Senate meet in a floor session are the only days that are counted in that 120 requirement. Today was day 111. A three day break is allowed between session days but the legislature may take a vote to extend that break for more than 3 days. At the beginning of session, the House Republican majority set an earlier adjournment date of April 30th. It is unclear if they will meet that date for adjournment.
I do monitor my emails as we face many votes now. Please continue to e-mail, write or phone me regarding your issues and concerns.