New opportunities in 2019
Elections are hardly boring. This week's results illustrated that perfectly.
Democrats maintained control of the governor's mansion with a win from retiring southern Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz, and they took control of the Minnesota House of Representatives, flipping a 77-57 Republican advantage to a 75-59 Democratic majority. At least four races, though, likely face a recount. Republicans remain in control of the Minnesota Senate.
The election results also usher in an ever-changing demographic makeup of Minnesota lawmakers, with many representatives losing to first-time candidates. When the 2019 session begins Jan. 8, there will be 39 new members of the Minnesota House and one new member of the Minnesota Senate. Among those include two Somali-Americans and four new Hmong legislators.
Legislators and Walz will need to hit the ground running to develop a new two-year state budget, but they will also need to address unfinished business from 2018. Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed two tax bills in 2018, resulting in a very complex and confusing set of tax laws for Minnesotans.
Legislators will look for guidance as they debate what tax laws to change and which priorities to focus on for the 2019 session. For most of the newly-elected legislators, this will be their first conversation about federal conformity, transportation, health care, education and many other issues. CPAs can serve as trusted advisers; you are in a unique position to bring individual, client and business perspectives to the conversation.
And how about this for a fun fact: With the DFL winning the Minnesota House, our state is now the only one in the nation that doesn't have one party controlling both chambers of the Legislature. This is the first instance since 1914, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.