The DFL-controlled House reaffirmed Gov. Tim Walz's pandemic-related emergency powers — by rejecting a move to bring up a resolution aimed at ending them — and also passed more than $30 million in grant assistance for disability service providers before wrapping up a four-hour special session Wednesday afternoon.
Walz last week called lawmakers back together for the third time this summer in order to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency declaration in place since March. Like the special sessions in June and July, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a resolution to end that emergency. But a House motion to take up its own resolution to end the emergency was again unsuccessful.
Both chambers must vote to end a peacetime emergency.
“The pandemic is not done with our country yet,” House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) said during a remote news conference Wednesday morning. “We need to get control of the virus so we can get to a point where we can get things restarted, and rebound, and get some economic growth. But we’re not there yet — and for that reason the governor needs to continue to have this emergency authority to make fast decisions and move resources quickly.”