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Week in Review: Feb. 8-12

A sign noting mask usage is required inside the State Office Building. A bill heard this week would make Gov. Walz's executive order requiring face coverings in all indoor public settings law in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Photo by Paul Battaglia

Another week of virtual meetings are in the books and on the record, with many participants likely glad they could stay home and hunker down to avoid a below-zero blast of arctic air.

With the frigid weather, it was good timing that several House committees heard proposals this week meant to address the state’s housing shortage, including a plan to use housing infrastructure bonds to raise $100 million for new dwellings and rehabbing existing structures. There was also a bill discussed to provide $6 million for workforce housing in Greater Minnesota and a trio of bills to provide additional safeguards for renters.

And other legislation considered during the week would provide homeless people with additional help recovering from medical issues and make it easier for homeless youth to obtain identification.

Week in Review: Feb. 8-12

Those were just a few of the issues considered and acted upon over the past few days, and next week shows no signs of slowing down, although the usual Monday morning meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee is cancelled.

But lawmakers are likely in for a long day anyway with HF445 on the Calendar for the Day, when members gather as a full body at 3:30 p.m. The controversial bill would establish a State Aid for Emergencies account meant to reimburse local governments and state agencies for emergency response costs. Amendments are lined up for discussion.

Be sure to check the weekly schedule for updates on the days ahead, and here’s one last look at what you may have missed last week.

Stay up-to-date on House news and updates throughout the week at Session Daily.

 

BONDING        

Three House panels hear governor’s plan for big increase in public housing bonding

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15578

 

CIVIL LAW

House judiciary panel hears bill to mandate parenting education in divorce cases

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15597

 

Judges might be able to lower court costs for low-income people

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15581

 

Bill would ensure ‘absolutely essential’ legal counsel to parents at emergency child protection hearings

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15575

 

CONSUMERS

Commerce panel holds over bill targeted at thefts of catalytic converter

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15583

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

House panel hears bill to fund $3.6 million in Greater MN business development grants

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15592

 

EDUCATION

School boards could get authority to renew expiring referendums

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15602

 

Education policy committee approves comprehensive sex ed proposal

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15595

 

School districts could see 2 percent increase in general education revenue

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15588

 

Teachers unions get more say in class sizes, testing frequency under bill OK'd by education committee

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15574

 

ELECTIONS

Election financing, filing modifications OK'd for Hennepin County

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15598

 

ENERGY

Clean Energy First Act headed to House Floor — for third year in a row

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15605

 

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Federal funds would flow to conservation-minded landowners under bill

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15600

 

Minnesota's turtle harvest could be permanently banned

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15582

 

FAMILY

Committee OKs $4 million toward Greater MN child care needs

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15572

 

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Pilot project considered to increase support for parents with disability

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15599

 

‘Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act’ aims to reduce disparities impacting mothers and babies

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15596

 

Work could shift from paperwork to patients with consistent standards in mental health services

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15591

 

As fight against pandemic continues, lawmakers consider making mask mandate state law

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15585

 

Reforms to child care program are yielding results, committee hears

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15579

 

Health panel considers bills shifting responsibility for anti-tobacco efforts to state agency

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15573

 

HOUSING

Proposal would provide Greater MN $6 million for workforce housing

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15601

 

Homeless youth would have easier time getting ID under approved bill

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15589

 

Committee OKs trio of bills that would add new safeguards for MN renters

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15577

 

Additional services considered to support medical recovery for homeless Minnesotans

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15576

 

LEGACY

Lawmakers ask whether Minnesotans of color served well by Legacy funds

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15590

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Builder or local government — who pays for development-related transportation upgrades? Division OK’s bill to clarify

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15586

 

MILITARY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS

MN VA could gain new position aimed at public outreach

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15593

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

‘We need to have their backs’ – more help for firefighters with cancer, heart disease under Hometown Heroes program

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15608

 

Public safety panel hears bill to train police to deal with people with dementia

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15604

 

Bill creating $35 million fund to reimburse mutual aid costs heads to Floor

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15584

 

STATE GOVERNMENT

House subcommittee hears GOP plan to end peacetime emergency restrictions

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15609

 

Sound the siren, committee approves state fire museum designation

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15607

 

Private or public? Bill would scratch off public disclosure of lottery winners' names

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15606

 

House panel approves bill to add $30 million to disaster assistance contingency account

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15587

 

TAXES

Push for tax transparency gets some pushback

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15594

 

Proposed website would let Minnesotans see their tax dollars at work

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15580

 

TRANSPORTATION

Easing entry into ignition interlock program could make MN roads safer, lawmakers say

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15603

 


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