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Session Daily Archive

A compendium of Session Daily articles dating back to 2004

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Homelessness in MN sees slight decrease, but advocates say troubling trends persist

The number of people experiencing homelessness in the state has decreased about 5% since 2014, when the agency launched a plan to end and prevent homelessness, officials said.

New House panel to focus on addiction, mental health services

The House Behavioral Health Policy Division – new this session – will allow lawmakers to focus on bringing improvements and innovation to a system that is key to helping people in need, but that has major gaps.

After spring concerns, budget officials say Legacy balances are healthy

When Minnesota Management and Budget projected last May that state sales tax revenues would likely plummet, there was a big ripple effect for Minnesota’s artists, museums, libraries, zoos, parks, trails, wetlands, forests, prairies, and efforts to keep the state's waters clean.

Industrial education committee hears proposal to address teacher shortages

The goal of the legislation is “to ensure that every high school senior in Minnesota would have the option of graduating not just with a traditional degree, but also with an employable skill set,” Rep. Gene Pelowski said.

With COVID rental assistance funds spent, $400 million more on way from feds

A last-minute push by a state agency and its partners ensured that the state spent down a fund dedicated to helping renters and homeowners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

House panel extends remote marriage license options

HF17 would extend the ability of local registrars to receive and approve of marriage license applications using remote technologies. Tuesday’s unanimous vote in the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee sent the bill to the House Floor.

Students give distance learning model a failing grade

Many school districts have been operating within a distance-learning model since the COVID-19 pandemic began last spring. Nearly a year into the modified instruction, students say it isn’t measuring up.

House panel approves $61 million for environmental projects

An annual bill that approves funding for dozens of water quality, research, environmental protection and environmental education projects has been approved by a House committee after falling victim to a partisan disagreement last summer.

State judiciary has taken ‘unprecedented steps’ to operate safely in pandemic

The Minnesota Judicial Branch has undertaken several initiatives to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, such as transitioning judges and staff to working remotely, holding hearings remotely, and developing new health and safety protocols that have allowed some cases to resume inside modified courtrooms.

Testifiers tell House panel climate isn’t the only thing changing

Nine Minnesotans testified to how they have had to adapt to changes that climate scientists believe are caused by greenhouse gas emissions. How the state addresses those emissions is expected to be an increasingly hot topic in legislative debates this session.

State’s child care industry struggles, officials say, but shows resilience during pandemic

The Minnesota child care industry has fared better than most states in the number of programs and providers that continued operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, the House Early Childhood Finance and Policy Committee heard during its first meeting of the 2021 legislative session.

Procedural vote on emergency powers repeal fails in House

An effort by House Republicans on Monday to force a vote on a resolution to end Gov. Tim Walz's peacetime emergency powers was unsuccessful.

$200m pool of state COVID funds nearly empty, lawmakers hear

When Minnesota’s first COVID-19 case was diagnosed in early March, it wasn’t long before both the federal and state governments started allocating funds to deal with not only the disease but its economic repercussions.

MN legislative leaders address rioting at U.S. Capitol

Legislative leaders started the week responding to last week’s unrest at the U.S. Capitol, calling for cooperation during the 2021 session, and expressing disappointments and concerns with each other.

Week in Review: Jan. 4-8

A look back at what happened in the Minnesota House of Representatives the week of Jan. 4-8, 2021.

House adopts temporary rules, rejects two proposed GOP changes

The House has passed temporary rules governing the upcoming biennium, including a pared-down committee structure and a provision that allows remote operations as necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rules committee adopts temporary rules; more discussion planned next week

The House Rules and Legislative Administration Committee took a step in the direction of establishing permanent rules Wednesday, by approving temporary rules, as amended, and sent them to the House Floor.

Session’s first day brings a different kind of divided House

It was an opening to the Minnesota legislative session unlike any before it. A mere 20 representatives were in the House Chamber Tuesday as the session was called to order a...

Plenty for MN lawmakers to do in 2021, with pandemic response still a top priority

With a looming state budget deficit and increased wants from many, the 2021 legislative session won’t be easy.

Latest budget forecast puts state back in the black

About those looming state budget deficits? Never mind. Minnesota Management and Budget officials released the February 2021 Budget and Economic Forecast Friday, and the...

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