MnTech Recaps the 2022 Minnesota Legislative Session – and Anticipates a Special Session

While legislators can count a number of accomplishments for this legislative session, the May 23rd deadline for the 2022 legislative session came without agreement on a number of key bills. Despite this failure to reach full agreement, a special session may be coming to allow the legislature to finish work on legislation where general agreement was reached but time ran out to pass the final bills.

Education and Workforce Development: No agreement

Although an agreement was reached for the Jobs, Commerce and Energy Conference Committee, it did not materialize in time to be passed by the Sunday evening deadline. No agreement was reached by the K-12 Education Conference Committee, and no bonding bill has materialized. This has impacted MnTech’s priorities in the following areas:

  • MnTech supported the formation of a foundational blueprint to create statewide access to computer science education, with MnTech testifying before the House Education Policy Committee (House recap here) and the House Education Finance Committee, and sending letters of support to the Committees of jurisdiction, including the Conference Committee.
    • Outcome: The House Education Committee included the language in its initial draft of an Omnibus bill, but its fate is uncertain since no final agreement was reached by the K-12 Education Conference Committee.
  • MnTech supported the Governor’s proposed $15 million investment in the Tech Youth Training program and the Governor’s proposed $13 million investment in the Adult Tech Training Program for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and women including through letters to the committees of jurisdiction and Conference Committee.
    • Outcome: The adult training programs were not included in either the House and Senate proposed Omnibus bills, and $5 million was included in the House bill for the youth training program. Ultimately $2 million was included for the Youth Tech Grant program and $700 thousand for Adult Tech Training in the FY23 Jobs, Commerce and Energy Omnibus bill agreement, however the legislation failed to pass by the Sunday evening deadline.
  • MnTech supported robust investments in the creation and expansion of new information technology registered apprenticeship programs.
    • Outcome: The House originally included about $1 million for increasing equity in apprenticeships, however that funding was not included in the final House and Senate Omnibus agreement.
  • MnTech supported the Page Amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution.
    • Outcome: No K-12 Education Omnibus was agreed to, though this amendment was not expected to be part of the discussions for the Omnibus bill.
  • MnTech supported budget proposals to improve postsecondary infrastructure, particularly infrastructure supporting STEM and computer science programs.
    • Outcome: No agreement has been announced on a bonding bill.

Broadband and Telecommunications: Legislation Passed

  • MnTech supported the Governor’s budget proposal to invest $170 million to complete the state’s border-to-border broadband program, including sending letters of support to the relevant House and Senate committees.
    • Outcome: Over $110 million in both state and federal funding for broadband and the Broadband Line Extension Grant program were included in the Omnibus supplemental budget bill.

Business Development: No agreement

  • MnTech supported the Governor’s request of $7 million in fiscal year (FY) 2023 and $10 million in FY24-25 for the Angel Tax Credit Program (ATCP), including letters of support to the committees of jurisdiction:
    • Outcome: The House Tax Omnibus bill had $7 million included for the ATCP, however the agreed to Omnibus tax bill, which included the $7 million for the ATCP, did not get passed in time.
  • MnTech supported the Governor’s $5 million request for Launch Minnesota to support the tech startup ecosystem and launch an accelerator program to help startups scale in the state, including letters of support to the committees of jurisdiction.
    • Outcome: $3 million through FY 25 was included in the Jobs, Commerce and Energy Omnibus bill agreement, however the legislation failed to pass by the Sunday evening deadline.

Intellectual Property: No harmful actions

Legislation on each of the following topics failed to move forward this legislative session:

  • MnTech opposed right to repair
  • MnTech quietly worked to raise concerns with House and Senate leadership on legislation regarding social media algorithms targeting children, including issues with definitions and unintended consequences related to implementation of this legislation.
  • MnTech opposed legislation relating to online content discrimination prohibition and civil action authorization, including sending a letter to Senate leadership and Senators expressing MnTech’s opposition.

Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund: Legislation Passed

  • MnTech recommended the state use existing financial resources to address the Unemployment Insurance budget deficit and halt any increases to UI payroll taxes in the state.
    • Outcome: The Governor has signed into law legislation that fully repaid the federal government for the State’s UI Trust Fund loan and replenishes the UI trust fund at $2.7 billion, with the funding coming from remaining state American Rescue Plan dollars.