MN Government Updates 06.17

Legislative Activity for June 17, 2020

Minnesota House of Representatives

Today, the Minnesota House convened for its floor session at noon. House Republicans put forward a motion to suspend the rules to bring up Senate File 47 for debate and a vote. This bill – passed yesterday by the Senate – provides $841 million in federal aid and reimbursement to counties, cities, and towns to fund expenses related to COVID-19. The motion failed 58-74. Motions to suspend the rules require two-thirds support (90 votes) in the House.

Some of the disagreement around the bill centers on whether the distribution of resources to local units of government should be based on population of the community or based on local COVID-19 needs. Additionally, House Democrats are planning to incorporate some of Governor Walz’s supplemental budget proposals in the legislation, which is set for a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee tomorrow.

The House took up the following bills:

  • Senate File 15, authored in the House by Representative Brad Tabke (DFL-Shakopee), makes a technical change to an effective date allowing certain youth to operate amusement rides and lawn equipment. The bill passed 127-4. It previously passed 67-0 in the Senate. The bill now goes to the governor for his signature.
  • Senate File 45, authored in the House by Representative John Huot (DFL-Rosemount), makes temporary adjustments to gambling control laws in response to COVID-19. The bill passed 131-0. It previously passed 67-0 in the Senate. The bill now goes to the governor for his signature.

The House will return for a floor session tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.

Minnesota Senate

Shortly before 1:30 this morning, the Minnesota Senate adjourned its floor session after several hours of passionate debate over police accountability proposals. The bills passed by the Senate include:

  • Senate File 3, authored by Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), requires reports of use-of-force by law enforcement. The bill passed 35-31.
  • Senate File 49, authored by Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), expands access to information for law enforcement hiring. The bill passed 35-31.
  • Senate File 104, authored by Senator Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove), requires updated policies regarding the use-of-force by peace officers. The bill passed 35-31.
  • Senate File 1, authored by Senator Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove), modifies a past appropriation to the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board and appropriates funding for training for crisis intervention, mental illness crisis, and autism. The bill passed 65-0.
  • Senate File 5, authored by Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), limits the admissibility of statements made during public safety peer support activity and critical incident stress management services. The bill passed 40-25.
  • Senate File 7, authored by Senator Carla Nelson (R-Rochester), appropriates money for Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling program grants. The bill passed 56-10.

The Senate’s next floor session is scheduled for Friday at noon.

Minnesota Department of Health Briefing

This afternoon, officials from the Minnesota Department of Health conducted a press briefing with reporters to update the public on state efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Department of Health

  • Commissioner Malcolm announced an additional 419 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 since yesterday’s report. This brings the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 31,296.
  • The commissioner noted that due to a backlog, these case results are spread from over last Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
  • There have been an additional 12 COVID-19 deaths. This brings the state total to 1,325.
  • Currently, 351 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19 with 181 of those in the ICU.
  • Almost 2,000 people were tested yesterday at the community testing sites in Minneapolis and St. Paul following the civil unrest in both cities. The COVID-19 positivity rate is around 1%. More testing will continue at these sites.

Director Kris Ehresmann, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division

  • Director Ehresmann announced that Mower County has 72 new cases of COVID-19 and now has the second highest incident of cases in the state with 734 cases thus far. These numbers are related to large employers in the area and based on activity in the community.
  • She also announced that the state received a new shipment of 1,960 vials of Remdesivir, which has been distributed to facilities in the state with critical patients.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
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