August 10, 2020 •

Minnesota Legislature’s Third Special Session Set for August 12

Gov Tim Walz with Ly Gov Peggy Flanagan

Gov Tim Walz, with Lt Gov Peggy Flanagan - by Lorie Shaull

Gov. Tim Walz issued a proclamation on August 7 for a third special session of the Legislature to begin Wednesday, August 12 at 12:00 p.m. The main purpose will be to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency originally declared on March […]

Gov. Tim Walz issued a proclamation on August 7 for a third special session of the Legislature to begin Wednesday, August 12 at 12:00 p.m.

The main purpose will be to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency originally declared on March 13, and ending on August 12.

Minnesota statutes require that if the governor extends a peacetime emergency beyond the original 30 days and the Legislature is not in session, the governor must call a special session for lawmakers to approve the emergency declaration.

Additionally, the Legislature will determine the length of the session.

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July 8, 2020 •

Minnesota Legislature to Hold Another Special Session Beginning July 13

Gov Tim Walz with Ly Gov Peggy Flanagan

Gov Tim Walz, with Lt Gov Peggy Flanagan - by Lorie Shaull

Gov. Tim Walz announced on July 7, he intends to call lawmakers back for an open-ended session beginning July 13. Walz stated the session will coincide with the 30-day extension of the peacetime emergency ending July 12, and added that […]

Gov. Tim Walz announced on July 7, he intends to call lawmakers back for an open-ended session beginning July 13.

Walz stated the session will coincide with the 30-day extension of the peacetime emergency ending July 12, and added that other issues should get top billing.

Walz is obligated by law to call a special session for the Legislature to approve the emergency declaration.

The Senate tried to revoke the governor’s executive power during the first special session ending June 19.

However, the attempt failed because it requires the vote of both chambers.

In the first special session, no deals were reached on legislation both parties said was necessary and everything will be on the agenda again.

The Legislature will determine the length of the session.

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June 11, 2020 •

Gov. Walz Calls Special Session of Minnesota Legislature

Gov Tim Walz with Ly Gov Peggy Flanagan

Gov Tim Walz, with Lt Gov Peggy Flanagan - by Lorie Shaull

Gov. Tim Walz called a special session which will begin June 12. The primary purpose of the session will be to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days, making sure the state can quickly respond to the pandemic. The […]

Gov. Tim Walz called a special session which will begin June 12.

The primary purpose of the session will be to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days, making sure the state can quickly respond to the pandemic.

The House and Senate adjourned sine die on May 18, marking the end of the 2020 legislative session.

However, unfinished business and recent protests have added to the agenda.

Walz is obligated by law to call a special session for the Legislature to approve the emergency declaration.

Although, the length of the session will be determined by the Legislature.

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May 19, 2020 •

Minnesota Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Minnesota House

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

The Minnesota Legislature left much unfinished when it adjourned sine die on May 18 as required by the constitution. Both chambers expect to be back in a special session on June 12 when Gov. Walz’s current declaration of a Peacetime […]

The Minnesota Legislature left much unfinished when it adjourned sine die on May 18 as required by the constitution.

Both chambers expect to be back in a special session on June 12 when Gov. Walz’s current declaration of a Peacetime Emergency ends.

If Walz wants to extend the emergency declaration again, he is obligated by law to call a special session to give both chambers the right to rescind his declaration by a majority vote.

Although Walz calls the session, the legislative branch decides when it ends.

This also takes away the governor’s power to set the agenda for the special session.

Most of the bills passed were in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, a Select Committee on Minnesota’s Pandemic Response and Rebuilding was formed to allow the House to continue conversations about the pandemic after wrapping up its regular legislative session.

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March 25, 2020 •

Minnesota Lawmakers Scheduled to Convene March 26

Minnesota House

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

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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