Hoping to get proposals quickly into the legislative pipeline, House members pre-filed 212 bills Thursday in advance of the scheduled reconvening of the Minnesota Legislature at noon Feb. 4.
The second year of the biennium traditionally focuses on capital investment projects. Many of the pre-filed bills are related to projects that lawmakers hope to have included in a bonding bill. More than $2.6 billion had been requested for projects by the July 15, 2009, proposal deadline.
The House Capital Investment Finance Division is scheduled to meet Jan. 21 to review the governor’s bonding recommendations and new state debt service guidelines. Other committees and divisions have scheduled hearings for later this month to review requests. Legislative leaders hope to pass a bonding law soon after members reconvene.
One year after members were charged with resolving a roughly $5 billion shortfall for the 2010-11 biennium, a projected $1.2 billion biennial deficit also awaits their action. The aftereffects of a recent court decision about the unallotment authority used last year by Gov. Tim Pawlenty could increase that amount.
Legislators must constitutionally complete their work by May 17.
Information about the legislative process and the Minnesota House of Representatives can be found at www.house.mn.