On May 23, the Minnesota Legislature adjourned, ending the 2022 Regular Session. The divided Legislature was unable to reach agreements on most major legislation before its deadline. For now, here is a summary of what passed and where negotiations ended:
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund Appropriations Bill (HF 3765)
The Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) appropriations, or “LCCMR bill,” passed approving $70 million for environmental projects for the public purpose of protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state's air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources.
Agriculture, Drought Relief, & Broadband Omnibus Bill (HF 3420)
The Agriculture and Drought Relief Omnibus Bill passed including provisions to fund Forever Green, the Soil Health Financial Assistance Program, the Emerging Farmers Program, and tree replacement costs for drought-killed seedlings.
Legacy Omnibus Bill (HF 3438)
The Legacy Omnibus Bill passed providing $159 million for the Outdoor Heritage Fund—as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC)—and paving the way for more budget recommendations for the Clean Water Fund.
What Didn’t Pass or Remained in Negotiations?
ENRTF Lottery Dedication Reauthorization Bill (SF 4131/HF 4649)
The ENRTF Lottery Dedication Reauthorization Bill remained in ongoing negotiations at the end of session. This bill would have reauthorized and increased the allocation of lottery proceeds until 2050.
Capital Investment/Bonding Bill
The Capital Investment Bill received a $1.4 billion target and was reportedly subject to productive negotiations; however, a four-caucus agreement was never announced. This bill could have included important funding for water infrastructure (including federal fund matching), asset preservation, and lead service line removal.
Compromise was reached on several omnibus bills in conference committees including the Environment and Natural Resources Omnibus Bill (SF4062), the Jobs, Energy, and Commerce Omnibus Bill (SF4091), and the Tax Omnibus Bill (SF3669); but the clock ran out on the legislative session before the omnibus bills could be passed off the floor of either body.
We’re calling on our legislators to get back to work to pass vital bonding and spending bills that seek to protect the people and the places we love. We believe that the Legislature must take action to capture federal funding that Minnesota’s taxpayers have already paid for. These funds are crucial for the modernization and safety of Minnesota’s infrastructure, water quality, and energy landscape. We can’t afford to leave money on the table, and we’re dedicated to securing this investment in our state.
While the prospect of a special session is unknown, Conservation Minnesota continues to advocate for our priorities—in 2022 and beyond.