March 25, 2020 •

Minnesota Lawmakers Scheduled to Convene March 26

Minnesota House Chamber - Chris Gaukel [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

On March 26, Minnesota lawmakers are scheduled to convene to act on legislation to help the state combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Legislators were last in session on March 17, when members passed a $200 million relief package to help health care providers battle the pandemic. That […]

On March 26, Minnesota lawmakers are scheduled to convene to act on legislation to help the state combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legislators were last in session on March 17, when members passed a $200 million relief package to help health care providers battle the pandemic.

That bill was signed by Gov. Tim Walz the same day.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman said the new proposed legislation will provide further relief than the governor is able to deliver via executive order.

Lawmakers had agreed to recess until April 14, with the understanding they would return as needed.

Arrangements are being made to ensure the legislature follows the Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.

Specifically they look to keep members, staff and the public safe, Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said in a joint statement late Tuesday.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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January 3, 2020 •

Minnesota Will Have Special Elections to Fill Two Vacant Seats in House

Former Reps. Loeffler and Zerwas

On February 4, 2020, special elections will be held to fill vacancies in Minnesota House Districts 30A and 60A. Rep. Diane Loeffler, a Democrat from Minneapolis, died in November creating the vacancy in District 60A. Rep. Nick Zerwas, a Republican […]

On February 4, 2020, special elections will be held to fill vacancies in Minnesota House Districts 30A and 60A.

Rep. Diane Loeffler, a Democrat from Minneapolis, died in November creating the vacancy in District 60A.

Rep. Nick Zerwas, a Republican from Elk River, resigned from District 30A on December 6 to focus on spending time with his family.

The special primary for District 30A will be held January 14, while the special primary for District 60A will be held January 21.

The later date for District 60A accommodates college students living in the district who return that day to the University of Minnesota for spring semester.

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May 28, 2019 •

Minnesota Legislature Ends One-Day Special Session After Passing Budget

Minnesota Capitol Building

Minnesota’s one-day special session ended early Saturday morning. The session ended with the legislature passing a $48 billion budget to fund the government for the next two years. The outline of the budget was agreed to during the regular session, […]

Minnesota’s one-day special session ended early Saturday morning.

The session ended with the legislature passing a $48 billion budget to fund the government for the next two years.

The outline of the budget was agreed to during the regular session, which ended on May 20 after reaching the maximum number of days the state’s constitution permitted.

A budget deal needed to be finalized by July 1 to avert a shutdown.

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May 23, 2019 •

Minnesota Adjourns with Plans for Special Session

Minnesota Capitol Building

The Minnesota Legislature adjourned sine die on May 20, the latest possible day the state constitution allowed it to be in regular session. Lawmakers reached a bipartisan budget deal after extensive negotiations. However, Gov. Tim Walz will need to call […]

The Minnesota Legislature adjourned sine die on May 20, the latest possible day the state constitution allowed it to be in regular session.

Lawmakers reached a bipartisan budget deal after extensive negotiations.

However, Gov. Tim Walz will need to call a special session for lawmakers to work out and vote on the details.

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May 20, 2019 •

Minnesota Bill Addresses Digital Political Contributions

Minnesota House Chamber - Chris Gaukel [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

On May 14, a bill was introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives to prohibit political candidates from accepting certain digital currency like bitcoin unless backed by an official legal currency. House File 2884 would prohibit an individual, political committee, […]

On May 14, a bill was introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives to prohibit political candidates from accepting certain digital currency like bitcoin unless backed by an official legal currency.

House File 2884 would prohibit an individual, political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit from soliciting or accepting a contribution or donation of any digital unit of exchange.

This includes but is not limited to bitcoin, that is not backed by a government-issued legal tender.

Under the bill, a person knowingly accepting any prohibited digital unit of exchange would be guilty of a felony.

The legislation also imposes a civil penalty of up to $3,000 for any individual, political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit knowingly soliciting or accepting any digital unit of exchange.

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March 21, 2019 •

Minnesota Legislators Introduce Several Ethics Bills

The Minnesota Legislature recently introduced several ethics-related bills during the 91st legislative session. Senate File 2041 requires public officials to disclose a lobbyist, principal, or other interested person by whom the individual is compensated in excess of $50 in any […]

The Minnesota Legislature recently introduced several ethics-related bills during the 91st legislative session.

Senate File 2041 requires public officials to disclose a lobbyist, principal, or other interested person by whom the individual is compensated in excess of $50 in any month for providing services as an independent contractor or consultant.

Additionally, the bill requires both lobbyists and principals to disclose political contributions. If passed, Senate File 2041 will become effective the day following enactment.

Senate File 2039 seeks to prohibit legislators, constitutional officers, commissioners, deputy commissions, assistant commissioners, or heads of any state department or agency from lobbying for seven years after leaving the aforementioned offices or positions.

House File 2391 seeks to prohibit former legislators and certain legislative employees from lobbying the legislature for two years after leaving legislative office or separation from employment.

Senate File 2035 creates a conflict of interest when a legislator or constitutional officer accepts a contribution of more than $500 from a lobbyist, principal, political committee, or political fund with regard to an action coming before the officer when the contributing individual or association has a greater financial interest of greater consequence to the contributor than the general interest of other residents or taxpayers of the state.

If a conflict arises, the covered official must disclose the conflict.

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January 8, 2019 •

Minnesota Special Election Announced for February 5

Minnesota will hold a special election for Senate District 11 on February 5. Sen. Tony Lourey resigned after being appointed to Gov.-elect Tim Walz’s cabinet. If necessary, a primary will be held on January 22.

Minnesota will hold a special election for Senate District 11 on February 5.

Sen. Tony Lourey resigned after being appointed to Gov.-elect Tim Walz’s cabinet.

If necessary, a primary will be held on January 22.

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May 31, 2018 •

Special Election Called for Minnesota Senate District 13

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach resigned from Senate District 13, ending the controversy of her simultaneously holding both offices. Gov. Mark Dayton has called a special for November 6, 2018. The special primary election, if necessary, will be held on […]

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach resigned from Senate District 13, ending the controversy of her simultaneously holding both offices.

Gov. Mark Dayton has called a special for November 6, 2018. The special primary election, if necessary, will be held on August 14, 2018.

Photo of Lt. Gov. Fischbach by David Oakes on Wikimedia Commons.

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May 21, 2018 •

Minnesota Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

The Minnesota Legislature adjourned sine die on May 20, 2018. The Legislature passed bills relating to misrepresenting service animals, prohibiting local governments from disarming police officers, and funding for the state’s vehicle license and registration system. Tensions between the Republican-controlled […]

The Minnesota Legislature adjourned sine die on May 20, 2018.

The Legislature passed bills relating to misrepresenting service animals, prohibiting local governments from disarming police officers, and funding for the state’s vehicle license and registration system.

Tensions between the Republican-controlled House and Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton were apparent during the final day of the session as Republicans sent a series of bills to Dayton similar to previously vetoed bills.

Dayton has reiterated he will not call a special session for any unfinished business.

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May 10, 2018 •

Minnesota Gov. Signs Campaign Finance Bill into Law

Gov. Mark Dayton signed 14 bills into law on May 8. Of particular interest, Dayton approved Senate File 3306, a bill clarifying campaign finance definitions and making several miscellaneous campaign finance modifications. The bill will be effective June 1, 2018.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed 14 bills into law on May 8.

Of particular interest, Dayton approved Senate File 3306, a bill clarifying campaign finance definitions and making several miscellaneous campaign finance modifications.

The bill will be effective June 1, 2018.

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December 11, 2017 •

Al Franken’s Senate Seat Up for Grabs in November 2018 Special Election

U.S. Sen. Al Franken announced he would step down amid sexual harassment allegations on December 7, 2018. Franken’s resignation allows Gov. Mark Dayton to make a temporary appointment to fill the vacancy until the special election is held. Dayton has […]

U.S. Sen. Al Franken announced he would step down amid sexual harassment allegations on December 7, 2018.

Franken’s resignation allows Gov. Mark Dayton to make a temporary appointment to fill the vacancy until the special election is held.

Dayton has yet to announce an appointment for Franken’s seat.

The special election will be held on November 6, 2018, and the special primary election will be held on August 14, 2018.

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December 11, 2017 •

Special Elections Called for Minnesota House District 23B and Senate District 54

Gov. Mark Dayton has called special elections for House District 23B and Senate District 54. The special elections will be held on February 12, 2018. State Rep. Tony Cornish and state Sen. Dan Schoen both resigned amid sexual harassment allegations. […]

Gov. Mark Dayton has called special elections for House District 23B and Senate District 54. The special elections will be held on February 12, 2018.

State Rep. Tony Cornish and state Sen. Dan Schoen both resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

A special primary, if necessary, will be held on January 29, 2018.

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September 15, 2017 •

Minnesota Supreme Court Orders Mediation for Governor and Legislature

The Minnesota Supreme Court overturned a district court ruling Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item vetoes unconstitutional. In May, Dayton line-item vetoed funding for the House and Senate. In response, the Legislature sued arguing Dayton violated the separation of powers clause of […]

The Minnesota Supreme Court overturned a district court ruling Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item vetoes unconstitutional.

In May, Dayton line-item vetoed funding for the House and Senate. In response, the Legislature sued arguing Dayton violated the separation of powers clause of the state Constitution.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered Dayton and the Legislature to mediate their funding disagreements.

On or before September 30, both Dayton and the Legislature must give the court a status report regarding mediation efforts.

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May 26, 2017 •

Minnesota Special Session Adjourns Sine Die

The first special session of 2017, adjourned sine die around 3:00 a.m., on May 26, 2017. Lawmakers passed a public works package and other pieces of the budget. Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign all of the legislation passed […]

The first special session of 2017, adjourned sine die around 3:00 a.m., on May 26, 2017.

Lawmakers passed a public works package and other pieces of the budget.

Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign all of the legislation passed during the special session.

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