The 2014 Legislative Session started today. It will be a short one, Feb 25th– May 19th (up to 12 weeks long) with first committee deadline on March 21st. This session promises to have more than usual evening meetings and additional floor sessions to process bills. The leadership is intending to keep the agenda focused on bonding, supplemental tax issues and left over bills from last year.
The first bill to be passed off the House floor is an emergency bill – HF2374, sponsored by Rep. Joe Radinovich (DFL-Crosby) – which would provide $20 million from the General Fund to LIHEAP, a program that provides energy assistance to low-income residents. After suspending the House Rules, the legislation was approved on a 133-0 vote. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
House and Senate today decided to reconstitute the conference committee on minimum wage as it did not reach an agreement last year. This sends a signal that the proposal is likely to travel rapidly through each of the legislative bodies.
Interesting fact: On the first day of session 246 new bills were introduced in the Senate and 512 in the House (including 300 pre-session introductions)