2021-22 Legislative Voting Record
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Download the 2021-22 Legislative Voting Record
The 2021 Legislative Session was defined by the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, considerable financial uncertainty, unprecedented levels of federal stimulus and the state operating under 16 months of emergency powers. With the Legislature, lobbyists and stakeholders working remotely, a record number of bills were introduced, many of which were unrealistic and overly ambitious given the constraints of the session and the partisan make-up of the nation’s only split legislature (House controlled by Democrats, Senate controlled by Republicans).
The regular session started in January and concluded May 17, requiring a 16-day special session to complete the state’s fiscal years 2022-23 budget and avoid a shutdown.
The budget forecast unexpectedly changed from a $1.2 billion deficit in November to a $1.6 billion surplus in February. In March, the federal government provided Minnesota $2.83 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Guidance on use of these funds was provided in mid-May—the primary reason for the special session. Local governments, higher education institutions, public schools, hospitals and child care facilities received over $5 billion in federal emergency funds directly. In addition to the surplus and federal funds, state budget reserves are at robust levels of $1.88 billion. State government spending is projected to be $2.83 billion under current law for FY 2022/23 (6.8% growth over previous budgets).
Even with a large surplus and record federal funding, Governor Walz and the House DFL majority aligned on proposals to enact new permanent tax increases to fund new spending. The proposed tax increases included a new fifth tier for individual income tax, corporate rate increase; surcharge on capital gains; and higher taxes on corporate foreign earnings. The Senate Republicans were opposed to any new tax increases and argued spending needs could be prioritized with current law resources and the additional federal dollars.
The Minnesota Chamber’s approach with policymakers was to “do no harm” to employers and the still-recovering economy. We succeeded in helping to stabilize businesses that had suffered economic disruption and damage, protected employers from onerous mandates, and positioned the economy to not just recover but to grow. The 2022 Legislative Session featured an ever-growing and historic state budget surplus of $9.25 billion, lingering issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Minnesota, and the prospect of a midterm election with redistricting that forced many experienced legislators to retire or face each other in primary elections. With a state budget already set at $51.7 billion representing 9% growth over previous general fund budgets, the Legislature focused on key issues such as replenishing the state’s unemployment insurance debt of $2.7 billion; providing hero pay for frontline workers; returning a portion of the surplus to Minnesota taxpayers; funding nursing homes, mental health initiatives, veterans needs and public safety and other proposals. Despite agreement on a framework for spending the enormous surplus – albeit one week before the deadline for adjournment - conference committees were unable to fully complete their work, with the session ending quietly and on time.
The Minnesota Chamber’s voting record includes votes from both the 2021 and 2022 sessions. These combined voting records allow readers to see the entire scope of the biennium and the key votes for the business community in an election year.
2021-22 interactive legislative scorecard
In addition to the printed copy of the 2021-22 Legislative Voting Record, we've created an interactive scorecard to easily view legislators' votes from the past two sessions.
The program used to create this scorecard does not allow for votes to be added after a legislator has left office, even if the legislator voted on a particular bill or amendment. As such, some votes for Rep. Tony Albright and all votes for Sen. David Tomassoni do not appear. Rep. Albright scored a perfect score of 100 while Sen. Tomassoni scored a 92, only voting against the Chamber's position on SF 2302: Nurse licensure compact. To view the complete votes for each legislator, download the 2021-22 voting record HERE.