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Governor calls lawmakers back for summer's third special session

Minnesota lawmakers are scheduled to convene a third special session of the summer beginning at noon Aug. 12. House Photography file photo

After special sessions in June and July, an August one is on the calendar.

Gov. Tim Walz has issued a proclamation calling the Legislature back to St. Paul at noon Aug. 12, and he will extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days to help the state continue to respond to the pandemic.

“As long as the COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat to Minnesotans, it is my duty to work to provide our state with the tools we need to fight this,” Walz said in a statement. “The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and rapidly evolving, and we can't let our guard down.”

This third special session of the summer is expected to be brief, legislative leaders say.

“In August, we will be selling bonds that were previously authorized," House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) said at a Monday news conference. "That means there will be a financial quiet period, which means the August special session will probably be a very quick in and out."

She continued: “If we were to disrupt the state’s financial situation that would make it more difficult to sell our bonds. It might even violate SEC regulations. So I would look for resolution on the bonding and budget issues to be in the September special session or, if we’re not through the quiet period by the time we have our 30-day renewal, in later September. That’s really the do-or-die moment on the bonding bill. … We’ll be going to the mat in September to get that bill across the finish line.”

police reform and accountability package was one of two laws passed in the July gathering. The June special session ended without lawmakers reaching agreement on a quartet of priority bills that included overhauling public safety and police accountability and allocating federal coronavirus funds to local units of government.

It will be the Legislature’s 11th special session since 2010.

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