While the interim after the budget year can sometimes be busy, this interim is proving to be pretty quiet. The new Walz administration is getting settled in a new role and the legislature is taking a breather from the long budget session. Typically, there are interim committee hearings held but so far, other than some Senate hearings on MN Department of Human Services turmoil, few hearings have been held. However, expect the pace to pick up a bit as we head into fall.
House “Mini-Session” Announced
The Minnesota House of Representatives announced a revival of the “mini-session” where the entire MN House will head out to certain communities to hold public committee hearings and connect with communities around the state. In the past, these “mini-sessions” were quite frequent but the last mini-session was held in the fall of 1997 in Willmar, Minn.
During a mini-session, committees can hold informational hearings on a topic or bill, take testimony and even take a vote. However, unlike regular session and special session, there is no official action, and anything done in a mini-session would have to be replicated during a regular session in order to move forward.
The first mini-session is scheduled to be held in Winona October 2-4. However, specific schedules and agendas have yet to be announced so stay tuned!
State Budget Update/School Safety Supplemental Aid
In July, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) announced that Minnesota has $636 million more than projected in the February forecast. While MMB still needs to finalize the year-end budget estimates and close their books for the year, it looks very positive for districts to receive the $30 million in one-time school safety aid. More information will be provided from MDE once MMB has finalized their work.
Connecting Locally with Legislators
The interim between session provides you an excellent opportunity to connect with elected officials. Our elected officials seek opportunities to connect with their community and love to hear from constituents. You often can spend more time helping them get to know your district and they are less distracted and pulled in a lot of directions than during the session. Some ways to connect include inviting them to tour your district or specific schools (especially if they are newly elected) or you could invite them to visit with you over coffee for more informal conversations.