When does the Legislature meet?

The House and Senate gathered for the first time this year on Tuesday, Feb. 11. The deadline to wrap up work is May 18. They could extend that with a special session.

What has to get done?

Not much. In odd-numbered years lawmakers must create a two-year budget to guide state spending and revenue. In even-numbered years they traditionally pass a long-term public works borrowing bill, called a bonding bill. But they are not obligated to do so. While Democrats and Republicans both have said they want a bonding package, the details often come together in the final days — or hours — of the session.

So what is bonding?

Minnesota sells state-backed bonds to investors to cover state and local public infrastructure projects, from college building improvements to road or stormwater system repairs.

The bonding bill will be one of the most talked about issues at the Capitol this year, where Democrats want a substantially larger bill than Republicans.

What about a supplemental budget?

Lawmakers could pass a measure this year adjusting the two-year state budget they approved last session. Minnesota has a projected $1.3 billion budget surplus, so supplemental budget bills would propose ways to use that money.

Who is up for election in 2020?

The 134 House and 67 Senate seats are all up for election in November, while Gov. Tim Walz has about three years left in his term. Republicans currently have the majority in the Senate, and Democrats control the House.

Jessie Van Berkel