Minnesota Historic Legislative Session Comes to an End
In what many are calling one of the most consequential legislative sessions in Minnesota's history, Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders pulled together a last-minute $72 billion budget deal to close out the 2023 legislative session on time. Many of the remaining issues were big ticket budget items such as taxes, nursing homes, capital investment and transportation. In the end, the governor and legislative leaders were able to come to a global agreement that included $300 million in additional nursing home spending, an initiative a minority of Republicans had been fighting for all session. In exchange for their support, Republican member projects were also included in the final capital investment package, which requires a three-fifths majority vote to pass.
The historic $72 billion budget package, a 38% increase over the pevious biennium, includes huge investments in public education, transportation, environment and human services. The legislature is required to pass a balanced budget every two years, and this is the first time in a decade that the legislature has been able to pass a budget on time. With a record $17.4 billion surplus, the legislature had the luxury of making massive one-time investments in all facets of state government.
Gov. 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: 2023 Session Laws.
Some high profile policy bills include:
- $2.9 billion capital investment package.
- Adult-use cannabis legalization and expungement of many marijuana- related criminal records.
- Background checks on private gun transfers and red flag law.
- Codification of abortion rights.
- Driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants.
- Election protections.
- Employer requirement to provide employees paid sick and safe time off.
- "Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act."
- Paid family & medical leave.
- Prohibition on most employment non-compete agreements.
- Free school meals for all students.
- Restoring voting rights to former felons on supervised release.
We are pleased to present to you the following overview of some of the highlights of the 2023 Minnesota Legislative session.