While the Minnesota Legislature may be adjourned until January 31, 2022, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start game planning now for next session! For our Minnesota-based clients, we are talking now about legislative priorities – including how to plan, build grassroots and grasstops support, and create a strategic communications plan to grow support for your issue.
Unlike this year’s session, there is no requirement for lawmakers to pass legislation in the second year of a biennium. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a lot of hot button issues being debated in St. Paul, and lawmakers and the public will be championing a variety of bills.
Here are a few of the key issues you can expect to hear a lot about next year at the Capitol:
One of the big issues that will dominate political conversations this upcoming session will be the redrawing of all legislative districts. Every ten years, Minnesota recreates its political map based on the updated census. The Legislature oversees creating that new map, but with a DFL-led House and a GOP-led Senate, the likelihood of coming to a bipartisan agreement is small. The final map decision will most likely end up in the hands of the courts.
The second year of a biennium is often called a “bonding” session, when the state passes legislation to fund capital investment projects across the state. More and more often, the state has been passing bonding in both odd and even numbered years, but notably not last session. With a sizable $1.2 trillion infrastructure package recently passed by Congress and billions being sent to Minnesota, infrastructure will be a significant topic at the Capitol.
COVID and Confirmations
The topic of COVID-19 will continue to be a focus of the 2022 session. The House has already announced they will be virtual again this year, adding some challenges for those looking to meet with lawmakers or advocate for their priorities in St. Paul. The Senate will be hybrid.
Funding for frontline workers has also been a topic of conversation since last session, and there was talk about a fall special session to provide that funding. An agreement between the House and Senate on who to provide funds for was not reached, and Governor Walz is refusing to call a special session without a promise from the Senate GOP to not oust Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.
Those are just a few of the hot topics that will be part of the 2022 legislative session, so preparing now for the short session will help you build momentum going into next year and give you a head start to elevate your issue.
Start building a diverse coalition to support your initiative, begin talking to political press behind the scenes, engage with lawmakers on your topic, and create a strategic communications plan. Organizing now will go a long way to set you up for success in 2022!