Dear Mighty Citizens,
On Wednesday, July 1st, several new laws passed during the 2009 legislative session went into effect. I want to provide you with some of the highlights these new laws.
Please note, the Governor’s unallotment plans will cut $2.7 billion from the budget and will affect many of the budget laws passed by the Legislature. I have also provided some new information about the Governor’s unallotment and their prospective impact, which began on July 1st.
We learned at a recent Legislative Advisory Commission hearing, from non-partisan State Economist Tom Stinson, the Governor’s proposed unallotment will result in 3,000to 5,000 lost Minnesota jobs. Stinson also said the balanced budget passed by the Legislature and vetoed by the Governor would only have resulted in about 1,000 lost jobs.
It’s disappointing the Governor has pursued a go-it-alone unallotment strategy that will cost our state 3 to 5 times the amount of lost jobs as the balanced budget we sent him and he vetoed.
For more information on the new laws passed during the 2009 session, visit: http://www.house.mn/hinfo/NewLaws/NewLawsmain.asp.
For information on the Governor’s unallotment plans, visit: http://www.mmb.state.mn.us/doc/budget/unallotment/unallotment_2009.pdf.
Please contact me with your ideas, input and questions. Erin
New Laws Effective July 1, 2009
Focused on job retention and core services in an agricultural funding bill that reduced the departments base budget to help solve the budget deficit.
Strengthened protection for domestic assault victims with new laws. A prosecutor must now provide victims of domestic abuse and harassment with information on civil protection orders. The law also increases from 12 to 24 hours the time an officer may arrest a person whom the officer has probable cause to believe committed domestic abuse.
Energy and Environment
Modified successful electronic waste law to strengthen manufactures incentives for proper disposal of waste.
Increased transparency in environmental agencies and departments by requiring them to display their budgets on a Web site.
Directed about $400 million in Legacy funds to projects critical to environmental and cultural heritage. These funds come from the dedicated funding constitutional amendment passed by the voters last election.
Passed new law to direct the Minnesota Gambling Control Board to conduct a 12 month review of licensed charitable gambling organizations in order to provide transparency where gambling funds are directed.
Boosted accountability and reduced spending in state government budget bill, including a cut to the State Legislature. State Government received largest percentage cut of any budget area this session.
*Governor’s unallotments will affect state government laws passed by the Legislature. See section on unallotment for more details.
Made changes to meet federal Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act that will result in additional $20 million in federal dollars cover kids. New law is expected to provide health care to 20,000 previously uninsured Minnesota children.
Cut health care and human services spending by about $500 million, but preserved funding for nursing homes, health care access, and minimized job losses at hospitals and clinics.
*Governor’s line-item veto of General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) and unallotments will affect health care laws passed by the Legislature. See section on unallotment for more details.
Capped tuition increases at University of Minnesota at $300 per year and at 3% for MnSCU campuses.
Passed several provisions in higher education funding bill to make college more affordable, such as expanding state grant program, work study, and child care assistance grants and creating middle income scholarship.
*Governor’s unallotments will impact higher education laws passed by the Legislature. See section on unallotment for more details.
Jobs and Economic Development
Passed jobs and economic development budget bill that reduces funding to help solve the budget deficit, while preserving programs critical to getting unemployed Minnesotans back to work.
Protected K-12 schools from cuts with education funding bill that held base funding flat.
Reduced unfunded state mandates to schools with new laws to provide funding flexibility in these tough times.
*Governor’s unallotment plans will impact education laws passed by the State Legislature. See section on unallotment for more details.
Passed “Brandon’s Law” which expands state’s missing children law to include adults who go missing under dangerous circumstances. The law is named after Brandon Swanson, who went missing after his car was stuck in a ditch in Southwest Minnesota.
New law requires child restraint for young riders. Youth in motor vehicles must be in child passenger restraint system until their eight birthday or until they reach 4 foot 9 inches tall.
Preserved veterans’ services from budget cuts with passage of targeted budget bill.
We learned more about the Governor’s unallotment plans this week at our second Legislative Advisory Commission meeting. Perhaps most important, we learned the Governor’s unallotment will result in 3,000 to 5,000 job losses. The areas that will be most affected by job losses are private sector health care related jobs, K-12 education jobs, and local and state government-related jobs such as police and fire. Non-partisan State Economist Tom Stinson said the balanced budget passed by the Legislature would have resulted in 1,000 lost jobs. In other words, the Governor’s unallotment will result in 3 to 5 times the amount of lost jobs as passed by the Legislature.
Here are further details on the impact of the Governor’s unallotment plans and information we learned at the Legislative Advisory Commission hearing.
$1.7 billion shift or delayed payment to K-12 schools. Schools may have to borrow money in the short term, increase levies, cut their budgets, or some combination of the three. State Economist Tom Stinson estimates 300 to 600 lost jobs.
$100 million cut from the University of Minnesota and the MnSCU system on top of the $60 million in cuts that were signed into law this session. Tuition is likely to increase and over 1,000 jobs are likely to be lost.
$300 million cut from local government aid to cities and counties, which will increase property taxes significantly and result in over 1,000 lost jobs. St. Paul will be cut about $16 million and Ramsey County will be cut about $10 million. The Governor also cut $50 million from the renters’ credit program, which will result in an average tax increase of $129 to $441 for 304,900 Minnesota renters. The average tax increase for the 84,700 seniors and disabled Minnesotans who use the renters’ credit will be $144.
Health Care, Hospitals, Services for the Disabled
$236 million was cut to various health care programs, most of which serve seniors, the disabled, and mentally ill. According to State Economist Tom Stinson, these cuts will result in over 500 private sector job losses. We also learned the state of Minnesota will lose $72 million in federal matching dollars as a result of these cuts.
$33 million in across the board cuts to state agency operating budgets with exemptions for public safety, military and veterans affairs, corrections, and State Operated Services within the Department of Human Services
Posted on Monday, July 6, 2009 by Erin Murphy,