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Session Daily Archive

A compendium of Session Daily articles dating back to 2004


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Governor's emergency powers pose questions that House subcommittee seeks to answer

Month after month throughout much of 2020, Gov. Tim Walz extended the state’s peacetime emergency for another 30 days to quickly help the state “take swift action to protect the health and wellbeing of our communities, families, and businesses” in response to COVID-19.

Lawmakers briefed on Guardian ad Litem program, coronavirus-related challenges

The pandemic has lightened caseloads somewhat due to a slowdown in court cases, and the program is prepared to quickly get more Guardians ad Litem onboard if there is a significant uptick in cases when the pandemic eases.

Progress made in implementing police reform law, testifiers tell lawmakers — but much remains to do

It’s been six months since legislative passage of a police reform package that included banning chokeholds in all but extreme circumstances, outlawing warrior training, and requiring an officer to intervene when another officer is using excessive force.

Pandemic having deep impact on state's transportation systems

Minnesotans traveled less last year by planes, trains, automobiles, and most other forms of transportation as well, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

House rules committee holds over resolution affirming election results, condemning local and national violence

A committee began discussing a resolution Thursday saying, in part, the House and the state support the certified election results and do not support the destructive actions earlier this month by supporters of Donald Trump.

Dry cleaners would have first crack at funding under bill

Minnesota dry cleaners could have an easier time accessing a state fund they contribute to each year to cover environmental cleanup projects.

House climate panel considers quickening push to carbon-free energy

Completely carbon-free by 2040. That’s the goal of the “100% Clean Energy Standard” bill the House Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee contemplated Thursday.

With state's demographics shifting older, permanent council could help focus MN's 'age-friendly' efforts

In a long-anticipated demographic shift, 2020 marked the first year that Minnesotans over the age of 60 outnumbered those under 18, council member Anthony Taylor told the House Human Services Policy and Finance Committee Thursday.

MN schools quickly spent COVID relief funds, committee hears

Minnesota schools have made short work of their first round of federal COVID-19 relief funds through purchases needed to keep buildings sanitized and by providing extra support to students, families and educators.

Greater MN seeking more funding for broadband connections in rural areas

HF14 would add $120 million in the 2022-23 biennium to the state border-to-border broadband account.

Higher education students share personal experiences, common concerns

Nearly two-dozen post-secondary students shared their background, insights, legislative priorities, challenges and success stories with the House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee Wednesday.

Health commissioner: MN on track with vaccination plans, prepping for expansion

Minnesota is still on track to complete vaccinations in skilled nursing facilities – both residents and staff – by early February, the state's health commissioner said.

Proposal aims to help students recover from pandemic-related learning loss

HF4 would assist students and schools adversely affected by COVID-19 through added investments, a modification for general education revenue calculations and temporary policy provisions.

Mental health outreach to farmers expanded during pandemic

A state official on Wednesday briefed the House Agriculture Finance and Policy Committee on the department's efforts to address rural mental health during the pandemic.

Temporary change could alter MN employers’ unemployment tax rates

HF135 would modify the period used to calculate an employer’s unemployment tax rate for calendar year 2021 by skipping the year altogether and temporarily using the employer’s average layoff rates for the past four years.

'You can see people under pressure' — pandemic exacerbates behavioral health problems

Addiction is a “disease of isolation,” and the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly contributed to the isolation of people in need, advocates said Wednesday.

Homelessness result of 'dysfunctional society,' testifiers say

Testifiers urged legislators to fund support services, such as mental health and chemical dependency treatment, and to work to preserve naturally affordable housing.

In fighting discrimination, human rights commissioner cites successes — but warns more work to be done

Tuesday was an opportunity for the Department of Human Rights commissioner to tout the work her agency does fighting discrimination in the state.

COVID-19's impacts on MN health care spending complex – and long-term effects unknown

In the first part of 2020, Minnesota saw a “substantial decrease” in people accessing health care, and overall spending increases tied to COVID-19 were offset by reductions in other services, a state official said.

Lawmakers learn more about prisons’ work to contain coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed “high stress and high expectations” on the Department of Corrections and its responsibility to keep both inmates and staff safe, Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL-St. Paul) told the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee Tuesday.


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