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Legislative Update: March 30

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 30, 2020
Another strange and unsettling week in Minnesota as Governor Walz’s two week “Stay at Home” order officially took effect on Friday, March 27th. We are all adjusting our work and personal lives, and the same is true for the Minnesota Legislature.

On Thursday both the House and Senate held floor sessions to take action on a new COVID-19 response bill. The Legislature took great pains to adhere to social distancing recommendations with the Senate allowing members to vote by proxy and the House spreading members all throughout the House gallery and the Capitol hallways. After fairly limited debate both bodies passed the $330 million package with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill establishes a temporary $200 million COVID-19 Minnesota fund and appropriates additional money to issue drivers’ license and identification cards, award child care grants, provide financial assistance to military veterans or their surviving spouses, distribute additional funding to food banks and food shelves, increase housing support payment rates, and provide services and shelter to the homeless.

After passing the COVID response bill, both the House and Senate adjourned until April 14th, although not before adopting new rules that would allow the Legislature to meet remotely to take up any other emergency measures that may be needed before their scheduled return. At this time it remains the stated goal of the Legislature to remain in recess until April 14th and then come back and finish the session by taking up a bonding bill and potential supplemental budget matters along with whatever additional COVID-19 response measures are needed.

We will continue to track the Legislature during this fluid and uncertain time.

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