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Legislative session comes to unsatisfying conclusion

Amidst shouting and bellowing, the Minnesota Legislature adjourned at midnight on Sunday, May 19, while failing to pass what should have been the top priority—a bonding bill. In the last few weeks leading up to the end of session, the DFL accused the GOP in both the House and Senate of “filibustering” with delay tactics that resulted in an unusually lengthy legislative session to pass bills and conference reports.

On Saturday, May 18—the day before adjournment—little activity happened as legislation regarding rideshare applications was being negotiated behind the scenes between factions of the DFL, further delaying the passage of key bills. Delay tactics continued on the floor throughout the day Sunday, leaving many bills in danger of not passing. As a result, the DFL deployed what many referred to as the nuclear option, rolling key remaining bills into one and employing a procedural device to pass the large bill without further debate.

An attempt was made to pass a stripped-down, cash-only bonding bill. The House approved it, but the Senate ran out of time to pass it. A larger, traditional general obligation bond bill was never brought up for a vote. GMPT had hoped to see a larger bill with funding for DNR grant programs and for individual members’ projects, but the tense relations between the two parties meant that we never saw a full version of the bill advance. 

Despite those disappointments, GMPT still has reason to cheer because several of its top priorities moved forward earlier in the session. The LCCMR’s Environmental and Natural Resources bill—which included funding for both the DNR’s local grant programs and member projects—passed early on. The Legacy bill also passed with additional money for regional parks and trails and time extensions for four of our members. 

Over the last few weeks of session, GMPT also engaged with the tax committee. Legislation that would modify how cities and counties could adopt local sales taxes was proposed, and we weighed in on how funding for parks and trails should be handled. The Senate adopted a GMPT proposal, but ultimately, the final tax bill did not address local sales taxes. 

For any questions on GMPT’s legislative work this session, please contact lobbyist Elizabeth Wefel at