By Rep. Dale Lueck
The House and Senate completed Special Legislative Session No. 3 on Aug. 12. The governor was required by state law to call the Legislature back to continue his emergency authority powers. The Senate voted to curtail the governor’s unilateral authority 36 -31. The DFL majority in the House again refused to allow a debate or vote on modifying the governor’s emergency powers authority.
That blocking action effectively renewed the governor’s ticket for another 30 days of unilateral emergency authority. It is anticipated that in September the governor may yet again call a special session to again extend his emergency power authority under current state law.
The House did act favorably in a bipartisan manner on several other items during the four-hour special session. We were finally able to pass a bill providing some funding relief for our local organizations that provide day services for adults with permanent disabilities. I was pleased to see House File 1 pass 129-1 and it was sent to the governor for his signature.
This was long overdue after several efforts were stymied by the governor’s office in previous special sessions. Further delay in providing assistance could result in these day service facilities having to permanently close their doors. It has taken decades to build up these community-based organizations that service special needs individuals after the state hospitals were closed across the nation and within Minnesota.
The measure does not repair the significant damage already done by the extreme restrictions the governor levied through his emergency powers on these critical facilities, however this is a step forward. The governor’s one-size-fits-all, three-hour-per-day restriction on these individuals’ participation remains an unwarranted roadblock to properly serving area citizens with special needs. There is more work to be do in this area.
I also voted in support of House File 2, which made technical changes to the law enforcement bill passed during the previous special session. The changes included several deadlines for implementing training changes, reorganization of commissions and meeting dates that were unworkable, the bill passed 121-10.
Let me know if you have questions on these or any other issues by reaching out to email@example.com or (218) 927-2495.