Metro Cities News 5/20/22


In This Issue:



2022 Metro Cities Policy Committees

Metro Cities is preparing for 2022 policy committees this summer, and your participation is encouraged! Committees will recommend the association’s legislative policies for 2023. Participation is open to member city elected officials and staff, and committee descriptions and dates are on the website. Please be sure to sign up for the committee(s) you wish to attend. This will help us keep rosters accurate. We look forward to seeing you this summer!


Legislative Updates

Governor Walz and House and Senate leadership released conference committee budget targets Wednesday. The budget targets outline spending areas for FY2022-23 and FY2024-25. Under the agreement, the state would allocate $1.6 billion in supplemental spending and $1.6 billion in tax cuts in the current biennium. The agreement contains a target of $2.4 billion in spending and $2.4 billion in tax cuts agreed to for the 2024-25 biennium. Using projected revenues, the agreement leaves $4.2 billion on the bottom line.

Legislative leaders indicated that conference committees were expected to negotiate and finalize bills and were optimistic that bills could be passed by midnight Sunday. This is the deadline under which legislators can pass bills before the Legislature’s sine die Monday, May 23 adjournment.

This week, committees have met in starts and stops and some more regularly than others. Below are updates on specific omnibus bills of significance to Metro Cities. Legislative activity will be very fluid this weekend. Updates will be posted via Twitter at Thank you to city officials who have reached out and continue to reach out to legislators as bills are considered and finalized.

The Taxes Conference Committee met twice earlier this week, to walk through the comparison of House and Senate language under HF 3669 and to adopt several same and similar provisions. Adopted provisions included language to clarify several areas of tax increment financing (TIF) laws, and TIF provisions for the metropolitan cities of Plymouth, Fridley, Woodbury, and Shakopee. Informal behind-the-scenes ‘work groups’ have been addressing specific areas of the bill. Legislative leaders indicated Friday morning that negotiations on the tax bill are near completion. Speaker Hortman indicated in a press conference that the tax bill would be the last bill to close.

State Government/Elections/Transportation/Pensions
The State Government, Elections, Transportation, and Pensions Conference Committee (HF 4293) met twice this week and is scheduled to meet again Friday. The committee has found agreement on several issues. The committee has adopted most of the provisions found in this table and yesterday adopted all of the elections provisions listed in this table. As of Friday morning, no transportation provisions have been considered or adopted by the conference committee.

Public Safety
The work of the Public Safety Conference Committee (SF 2673) has stalled following the exchange of offers between the Senate and House earlier this week. Click HERE to view the Senate’s global offer and HERE to for the associated spreadsheet. Click HERE to view the House counteroffer. Senate Chair Limmer held a series of press conferences following presentation of the House offer where he expressed disappointment that the proposal fails to address the major differences between the two chambers regarding public safety investments. For context, the Senate proposal prioritizes direct peace officer bonuses and reimbursements where the House bill funds flexible grants to law enforcement agencies. The rationale from the House for not reconciling these positions in their offer is that the focus should be on reaching agreement where the two sides are more aligned.

The jobs conference committee received an $11 million target for FY2023. The conference committee met earlier this week and adopted same and similar language in the jobs, labor and energy articles.

The agriculture, housing, and broadband conference committee has not met publicly since May 9. The housing target is $50 million for FY2023 and the broadband target is $25 million. Metro Cities continues to monitor discussions and oppose local zoning preemption language.

Environment and Natural Resources
The Environment and Natural Resources Conference Committee (SF 4062) met this week to adopt more agreed upon provisions which can be found in this document. As of Friday morning, no major budgetary agreements have been presented in committee. The conference committee is scheduled to meet Friday afternoon.

The House passed HF 3438, as amended by the Senate, with a vote of 89-40. The bill that was passed by the House in April contained $159 million from the Outdoor Heritage Fund and $66 million from the Clean Water Fund, the Parks and Trails Fund, and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. The Senate amended the bill to only include the Outdoor Heritage Fund dollars and then the smaller bill was passed 55-9 before making its way back to the House floor for Thursday’s vote. HF 3438 now heads to Governor Walz for his signature.


HomeHelpMN Homeowner Assistance Program Applications Now Open

The state’s new home assistance program is now accepting applications. The application period will be open through 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 17, but MHFA is telling homeowners not to wait to apply.

HomeHelpMN provides assistance for homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage or other eligible housing-related expenses due to effects of the pandemic. Eligible homeowners may receive up to $35,000 in assistance for past-due expenses.
Funds for the program are limited, and need is expected to be high. If applications received during the application period exceed available funding, applicants may be put on a wait list. Homeowners should submit their applications as soon as possible after the application period begins.

For more information about the program, including who is eligible to apply and what expenses are eligible, visit or call 1-800-388-3226. The Call Center is open Monday – Saturday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Free Smart Salting for Local Leaders Workshop

The MN Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is working with Dakota County and We Are Water MN to offer a free 2-hour smart salting workshop on May 25, 2022 at 12:00 PM. The workshop will cover the impacts of chloride and participants will learn about action steps they can take to reduce salt pollution in their city. The event will be virtual. Click HERE to register for this event.


MCES Municipal Customer Forum on May 26

Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) is hosting two customer budget and annual update events in the next few weeks. MCES will provide information on the proposed 2023 budget, the municipal wastewater charge, the MCES capital improvement program, and other updates. Attendees are encouraged to provide feedback on the preliminary rates, capital program updates, and other MCES activities and services. Click HERE to register for one of the customer forums which are being held May 26, 2022, from 9:00 to 10:30 AM and June 7, 2022 from 1:30 to 3:00 PM.


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