We adjourned the special session about 6:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 20th. There has been a lot discussion in the media that nothing got done. Here is my observation.
When the governor allowed the legislature to work out its differences, things went pretty well. When he interjected his agenda and failed to gain bipartisan support, it did not go very well.
Here are the bills we agreed to in the House all with obvious strong bipartisan support.
- HF-5 (129-5) COVID-19 Small Business Assistance $60 million – Signed into law June 18.
- HF-37 (127-7) COVID-19 Extensions for LCCMR projects – Signed into law June 18
- HF-65 (133-1) MN Drivers License & Registration updates – Governor signed June 18
- HF-11 (124-6) Childcare, Foster care Program updates - Governor signed June 18
- SF-15 (127-4) 16-17 year old work allowances - Awaiting Governor’s signature
- SF-45 (131-0) COVID -19 Chartable Gambling Program adjustments - Governor signed June 18
- SF-105 (127-6) COVID-19 HHS Emergency Order Off-ramp – Awaiting Governor’s signature
- HF-33 (117-9) K-12 Education program updates - Awaiting Governor’s signature
- HF-63 (126-0) COVID-19 Updates Unemployment - Awaiting Governor’s signature
- HF-108 (122-2) COVID-19 Grant Flexibility - Awaiting Governor’s signature
- HF-41 (108-8) Child Acre Assistance Program rate increase - Awaiting Governor’s signature
Three bills passed the House which I did not support. All lacked genuine bipartisan support.
- SF-104 (71-59) Police Reform – bill was amended in the House to essentially remove due process for peace officers that are accused of wrongdoing.
- HF-132 (74-53) $300 million in Riot Damage funding – the bill included creation of a 9-member appointed board whose members must exclusively be either a person of color or indigenous to dis-tribute funds to address racial discrimination.
Both bills included some good items, but also included some seriously flawed measures.
- SF-47 (75-55) $841 million federal CARES Act Funding for county, cities & townships – the bill was required because the governor has refused to send the $841 million federal dollars out to local governments, as the federal legislation requires. The bill started out do to exactly that but was then loaded up at the governor’s request with other items that doomed the bill to failure.
Eleven bills made it to the governor’s desk, three did not. The difference in what becomes law and does not is whether a bill has strong bipartisan support, as is expected by the citizens of Minnesota. That’s the rest of the story.