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Minnesota Legislature

Fourth special session of the year set for Friday

The House Chamber during July's special session. Gov. Tim Walz has called the Legislature back for a fourth special session of 2020 beginning at noon Friday. House Photography file photo

For the fourth straight month, the Legislature will be back in special session.

Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday issued a proclamation calling the House and Senate back to St. Paul at noon, Sept. 11, and noted he intends to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days to help the state continue to quickly and effectively respond to the ongoing pandemic.

“While Minnesota has taken life-saving action, the threat of COVID-19 remains,” Walz said in a statement. “It’s imperative that we have the tools necessary to respond to this rapidly-evolving virus quickly and decisively in order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of each and every Minnesotan.”

Questions abound ahead of the year’s next special session. What will members discuss? Will there be a fourth attempt by House Republicans to take up a resolution aimed at ending the governor’s pandemic-related emergency powers? Will a bonding bill be discussed? A supplemental budget package? Will the Senate vote to not confirm — and thereby fire — more state commissioners?

The quick August gathering saw the House and Senate pass a law to provide economic relief to disability service providers, and the Senate vote along party lines to oust former Labor and Industry Commissioner Nancy Leppink.

A 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.

House DFLers tried unsuccessfully to pass a $1.8 billion capital investment and tax cut package in July after not acting on a bonding bill in June. A $2 billion package was also rejected in May.

It will be the Legislature’s 12th special session since 2010.

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