Special Session set to adjourn today
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June 19, 2020
Special Session

The Legislature has now been in special session for one week. The Senate previously stated that they would only stay in session for one week, which gives the Legislature today to finish business. If the Senate adjourns, special session is effectively over, because both bodies are necessary in order to pass bills.

So far, four bills have been passed and signed into law. They are:

  • HF5: Emergency small business grants and loans
  • HF11: An omnibus health and human services policy bill
  • HF65: Adds a distinguishing feature to the design of enhanced IDs, and establishes fees for replacement license plates.
  • HF37: Provides certain tax exemptions for solid waste management, recyclable materials and source-separated compostable materials and extends appropriations made from the environment and natural resources trust fund.

The nature of this special session is fluid due to a condensed timeline and the relatively large lists of items that both bodies wish to address. Bonding, COVID-19 tax relief, CARES Act funding distribution, education and even police reform are all still up in the air.
Police Legislation

Both bodies have, separately, passed numerous police reform and accountability provisions. It is unclear to what extent the two bodies are communicating with each other in order to come to an agreement on this topic. We have yet to hear which pieces of legislation, if any, the Legislature is working to find a compromise on and move forward to the governor for signature.

Banning chokeholds and neck restraints, mandatory reporting of deadly force incidents to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), and requiring officers to intervene and report other officers for an incident of use of excessive force are a few of the concepts that were passed by the Senate this week.

Last night, the House passed a police reform omnibus bill that included many provisions, a few of which include training about autism, directing the prosecution of police officer-involved deaths to the Minnesota Attorney General, creation of a Use of Force Investigations Unit, and further limiting the use of deadly force by a police officer.
CARES Act Distribution to Local Government

Another major issue to be resolved by the Legislature is how to allocate $841 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to local units of government. Although an agreement had been reached, the agreement fell apart. After the Senate passed the agreement on a 62-4 vote, House leadership amended additional spending provisions. The relief bill is scheduled for debate on the House floor today, but the additional spending items greatly jeopardize final passage and distribution of the relief funds.

Today will be a full day for both the House and Senate as they try to pass the last of their bills prior to the Senate’s adjournment. A more detailed Ewald at the Capitol with the special session results will be sent after adjournment.
Ewald Government Relations Team
David Ewald

Valerie Dosland

Phil Griffin

Troy Olsen

Becca Pryse


Allie Spellman


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