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House closes 2024 session in chaotic fashion, trading bonding for budget boosts

(House Photography file photo)

After 2023 produced a record $72 billion in biennial funding, Minnesota’s legislative leaders were dampening expectations for anything resembling an encore. Tweaks and bonding seemed to be the chief items on the agenda.

Before the session started, House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) said, “The state’s borrowing bill will be the biggest order of business.” House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth (R-Cold Spring) said early in the session that fixing an issue with potential use of force by school resource officers was a top Republican priority, and a bill was signed into law relatively early in the session to address that issue.

On Sunday, both chambers of the Legislature finished their business for the year by the midnight deadline, and bonding bills fell by the wayside in the closing hours as DFL priorities in the House shifted toward getting a state equal rights amendment on the 2026 statewide ballot, cutting a deal for drivers with the companies that run rideshare services Lyft and Uber, and approving more than $450 million in supplemental funding for the current biennium.

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