2024 Minnesota Legislature Comes to a Chaotic End


Around this time last year, the 2023 Minnesota Legislature came to a close with the DFL trifecta-in control of both the House and Senate and the Governor's office. This trifecta declared a decisive victory by passing a slate of historic legislation, ranging from legalizing marijuana, adopting paid family medical leave and passing a state budget where spending far exceeded any previous state budget. In firm control of state government, the DFL passed numerous consequential pieces of legislation, many of which had been debated for years, if not decades.

On the heels of their 2023 wins, DFL leaders and Governor Tim Walz began 2024 with a message of moderation, citing a need to be measured in 2024, maybe tap the brakes, and keep the debate in the legislature limited to a few priorities, such as passing a capital investment bill and fixing or adjusting a few of last year's bounty of new programs such as standing up three new agencies in state government.

Ultimately, 2024 turned out to look a lot like 2023, in that the DFL majorities never tapped the brakes. In fact, they passed volumes of new legislation that will be equally consequential as their work in 2023.

The 2024 legislature will be remembered for a few twists and turns, including:

  • The session was very short and lasted only 14 weeks.
  • The Minnesota House and Senate had to complete their committee work at the same time, versus historically having two committee deadlines when legislation has to pass all of its relevant policy committees.
  • The DFL senate majority leader stepped down in the middle of the legislative session due to her battle with cancer, causing a shakeup in Senate DFL leadership and staff.
  • The arrest of a DFL senator on felony burglary charges, which threatened the Senate DFL's majority.
  • The tumultuous end to the last weekend of the legislative session that ended in chaos as the DFL majorities slammed through at the very last minute a mega-omnibus bill totaling 1431 pages in all and covering at least 11 topic areas.

In the end, the biggest casualty of this year's chaos was the slow death of the capital investment bill. Projected to be close to a minimum of $1 billion in new spending on critical infrastructure dollars for state and local projects, the bonding bill hung in the balance the entire legislative session. In the end, it appears the majority never had the super majority support of the minority party in either chamber.

The interim between now and January 2025 when the legislature will convene might prove to be just as eventful as the past two legislative sessions. To note:

  • All 134 House seats are up for election and the Republicans will be gunning for taking back the majority.
  • There might possibly be two DFL-controlled Senate seats up as well, threatening the DFL's one seat majority in the Senate.
  • We can't forget it is a presidential election year.

The following is a summary of the numerous bills and topics—many, but not all—that were addressed during the 2024 legislative session. We hope the summary is helpful to you and your colleagues. Governor Walz has already signed into law most of the omnibus spending bills presented to him. A list of those chapter of laws can be found here: 2024 Chapters.

Please feel free to reach out to anyone on our team for additional information on the items we have highlighted, or if you would like to know more about a topic we did not cover in this summary.

The Government Solutions team at Stinson LLP provides a complete range of services to clients who need to interact with government at all levels, including businesses, trade associations, nonprofits and citizens' groups. If you have any questions specific to this subject, please contact one of our team members listed below.


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