With new COVID-19 records for cases, hospitalizations and deaths being set almost daily in Minnesota, the Legislature will get back together at noon on Thursday.
On Monday, Gov. Tim Walz issued a proclamation calling the House and Senate back to St. Paul Nov. 12, 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 pandemic. However, many members are expected to participate remotely.
“This is a dangerous phase of this pandemic. We’re in the midst of a surge in case positivity and hospitalizations,” Walz said in a statement. “Extending the Peacetime Emergency will help ensure we have the tools we need to respond quickly to protect Minnesotans’ health and well-being.”
Earlier Monday, Walz announced a “significant expansion in COVID-19 testing access,” a tool permitted the state’s top elected official through the peacetime emergency declaration. In the first five special sessions of 2020, a resolution to end the governor’s peacetime emergency powers was passed by the Senate, but a concurrent House resolution not come up for a vote.
This will be the sixth special session of 2020 and 14th special session since 2010.
Here’s a recap of this year’s first five special sessions:
Looking ahead, the 2021 session is scheduled to begin Jan. 5. For a preliminary look at who is scheduled to serve in the House during the 2021-22 biennium, check out the Election Directory published by the nonpartisan House Public Information Services Office.