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|MCL Jan/Feb 2014 - CAI-MN 2014 Session Preview|
CAI-MN 2014 Session Preview
by Nick de Julio, Ewald Consulting
The Minnesota Legislature is set to reconvene the 88th Legislative Session on Tuesday, February 25, 2014. As this is the even-year of the biennium, the session will focus on bonding for construction projects. Other issues that are likely to get attention include minimum wage, school bullying legislation and tax reform. Governor Mark Dayton has dubbed the upcoming session as the "Unsession,” as he has made government reform a top priority for his administration. Dayton’s goal is to improve service, shorten wait times, eliminate old and outdated rules, and undo anything else that makes government difficult for people to understand.
In early December, state officials delivered some good news regarding the state’s economic forecast and what it could mean for the upcoming session. Officials announced that changes in the state’s general fund revenue and expenditures for the current biennium have increased, and the projected balance for FY 2014-15 is $1.086 billion. The first $246 million of the balance will be used to complete repayment of the K-12 school aid payment shift. Additionally, $15 million is transferred to the state airports fund, restoring money originally borrowed in 2008. This forecast completes repayment of accounting shifts from prior budget solutions, reducing the forecast balance to $825 million.
The State will receive one more forecast in February around the start of session. Legislative leaders and the governor will use that final forecast number as their base to enact any spending or savings changes for the state during the 2014 Legislative Session.
Over the past few months there has been a lot of discussion about the length of the session. Constitutionally the legislature must adjourn by the third week of May. However, there are some discussions that an eight to ten week session may be desirable to limit the agenda. At this point, no timetable has been agreed upon publicly. House members and the governor will be up for election next November and many believe that candidates will want to get out and campaign early.
CAI-MN will continue to be a visible entity up at the State Capitol, serving as a resource to legislators and working with other interest groups on public policy issues that may arise. At this time, CAI-MN is not proactively pursuing any new legislative language during the 2014 session. However, as an industry we will be monitoring any bills, amendments or potential language that could affect the community association management industry. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or hear of a concern CAI-MN should be tracking.
Nick de Julio, Government Relations Specialist, Ewald Consulting
Published by Community Associations Institute — Minnesota Chapter, copyright 2013. All articles and paid advertising represent the opinions of authors and advertisers and not necessarily the opinion of either Minnesota Community Living or CAI–Minnesota Chapter. The information contained within should not be construed as a recommendation for any course of action regarding financial, legal, accounting, or other professional services by the CAI–Minnesota Chapter, or by Minnesota Community Living, or its authors. Articles, letters to the editor, and advertising may be sent to Chapter Staff Editor Joanne Penn at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at CAI–Minnesota Chapter, 1000 Westgate Dr., Suite 252, St. Paul, MN 55114.