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March 8, 2021

Budget Surplus Brings New Spending Initiatives

Activity at the Minnesota Legislature picked up last week as committee chairs responded to the state’s improved budget forecast. With a projected $1.6 billion surplus instead of a $1.3 billion deficit, legislators were quick to put forward their preferred spending initiatives and tax reform proposals. With the first committee deadline approaching Friday, many legislative committees have scheduled additional hearings and evening sessions to process the high volume of proposals being brought forward by legislators. Eyes also turned toward state agencies as they too work to respond to the improved budget forecast. The Walz Administration is expected to release a revised budget proposal later this month and many Capitol insiders expect significant changes from the proposal released in February.

Gov. Walz and legislative leaders continue to negotiate a high-profile and controversial public safety funding package. The proposal (initially outlined as $35 million), is intended to reimburse law enforcement agencies that could be called on to respond to issues arising during or after the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The trial of Officer Chauvin, who is being charged with the murder of George Floyd, is scheduled to begin this week. Many legislators had hoped to have a final public safety package signed into law prior to the trial beginning, but both Republican Senators and DFL Representatives have expressed concerns with the bill. The Senate is expected to pass another iteration (SF 1354-Weber) later today while the House of Representatives has not taken up the measure since HF 445 (Mariani) fell five votes short of passing on February 18, 2021.

Important Dates

March 12
1st Committee Deadline - committees must act favorably on bills in the house of origin

March 19
2nd Committee Deadline - committees must act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other house

March 21
Governor's State of the State

March 26 - April 5
Easter/Passover Break - the legislature is in recess

April 9
3rd Committee Deadline - committees must act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills

May 17
The legislature must adjourn

Please note: Committee deadlines do not apply to the committees on Capital Investment, Ways and Means/Finance, Taxes, or Rules and Legislative Administration.

Please reach out to any of the Larkin Hoffman Government Relations team members with any questions. 


Our Team

Peter Coyle



Peder Larson



Margaret Vesel



Robert Long



Bill Griffith


Matthew Bergeron



Gerald Seck



Logan O'Grady


Grady Harn


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Megan Knight


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Larkin Hoffman provides counsel to a wide variety of ‎organizations, from ‎small businesses and nonprofits to  Fortune 500 companies, in ‎many areas of practice including ‎corporate and governance matters, litigation, real ‎estate, government relations, labor and employment, intellectual property, ‎information technology, ‎franchising and taxation. The firm also serves the needs of individuals in many ‎areas ‎including trusts and estates, personal injury and family law.


This newsletter is provided as a service to our clients and firm associates. While the information provided in this newsletter is believed to be accurate, it is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.