Last Day of the 2023 Minnesota State Legislative Session
ST. PAUL (WJON News) -- This is the last day of the 2023 Minnesota State Legislative session.
Several big bills were passed over the weekend including the tax bill, the transportation bill, and the recreational marijuana bill.
Political Analyst Blois Olson says there are two pieces of business that need to get done before midnight including passing the health bill.
This includes the nurses by the bedside act. There is a Mayo carve out proposed which would exempt Mayo from these rules. That's pretty controversial. Hospitals are claiming that they are going to have some closures potentially throughout the state.
The other item is the passing of a bonding bill. Over the weekend Republicans struck a deal with the Democratic majority that allows for a half borrowing and a half cash bonding bill, which frees up some money and allows $300 million to go to struggling nursing homes.
The Minnesota House and Senate passed a transportation bill over the weekend. Olson says the bill includes both a gas tax increase and a new delivery fee.
The gas tax will be indexed. It will be about .28 cents per gallon. The delivery fee is .50 cents on every delivery not including food, so food is exempt.
The delivery fee starts on orders of $100 or higher. Olson says the Democratic majority believes we need a funding source for roads and bridges as more people shift to electric vehicles. The gas tax increase didn't emerge until last week in the conference committee.
Some changes will be coming to the way electronic pull tabs look in Minnesota. Olson says over the weekend the State Legislature passed a bill that restricts how the games look.
There still will be e-pull tabs but some of the games were seen as felling and looking like slot machines. There was an open all feature rather than the way people traditionally think of pull tabs where you open them one at a time.
When electronic pull tabs were first approved the state made an agreement with the tribal casinos that the games would not mimic slot machines. The current games will be grandfathered in, but any new games that are created won't have the same features, so they'll be phased in over the next year or so.
The bill also gives charities some tax relief and it loosens some audit rules.
Olson says the change is going to impact Minnesota charities but to what level we don't know yet.
Olson believes Governor Tim Walz could sign a number of the bills passed into law during an event on Wednesday.
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