Gov. Walz calls special legislative session for Friday

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz - AP image

Lawmakers expected to finish $48 million Minnesota budget.

Posted: May 23, 2019 7:10 PM
Updated: May 23, 2019 7:20 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has called lawmakers back for a one-day special session after he and top legislative leaders reached agreement Thursday on the last of their major budget bills.

Walz called for the special session to convene at 10 a.m. Friday so that legislators can complete a $48 billion state government budget for the next two years. Legislative leaders agreed to adjourn the session before 7 a.m. Saturday.

The last piece of the two-year budget fell into place early Thursday when the Democratic governor and leaders of the Senate Republican and House Democratic majorities agreed on a health and human services funding bill, which is one of the biggest parts of the budget. But they didn't nail down the starting date for the special session until Thursday night after hours of back-and-forth consultations in private.

The three leaders also agreed Wednesday night on bills to finance state government and a jobs-and-energy budget bill. That followed accords on several other must-pass bills earlier Wednesday.

However, Republican House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt issued the following statement about the special session:

"The Governor is apparently expecting legislators to vote on thousands of pages of bills that legislators haven't had time to read. One of the bills doesn't even exist yet. At this time, there are no agreements in place with the House Republican caucus regarding tomorrow's special session."

Full details of the health and human services bill still had not been released by Thursday evening, but here are some highlights of the three packages:

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Rep. Tina Liebling, the lead House Democrat on the conference committee, tweeted that a proposal to make emergency insulin supplies more affordable was killed in the final hours of negotiations. Liebling blamed her Senate counterpart on the panel, Republican Michelle Benson. But Benson said Democrats left the proposal out of their documents.

The provision was named after Alec Smith, a 26-year-old uninsured Minneapolis man who died in 2017 of diabetic complications because he was rationing his insulin.

STATE GOVERNMENT

The bill includes authority for Secretary of State Steve Simon to spend all $6.6 million the federal government had awarded the state for beefing up election cybersecurity.

Freeing up that money was expected to be one of the early bipartisan successes of the session, but it wasn't. GOP Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, who chairs a state government and elections committee, refused to fast-track the money for reasons she never made publicly clear. She said in a statement Wednesday night that the Senate's goal was to make sure the money is spent "in an effective and responsible manner."

The bill also includes $20 million for other state government cybersecurity measures. And it includes $1.6 million to help prepare Minnesota for the high-stakes 2020 census, which was less than the $2.5 million the governor sought. The state is on the bubble for losing one of its eight seats in the U.S. House, so it needs to ensure the most complete headcount possible.

Lawmakers agreed to change the state law for a resumption of presidential primaries that will govern the 2020 Super Tuesday contest so that data on the party choices of voters will no longer be open to the public, as it would have been under the 2016 law, but will be provided to the major party chairs.

JOBS AND ENERGY

A Walz-backed proposal to set an ambitious goal for the state of getting 100% of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050 didn't make it into the final bill. But money for stepped-up enforcement to prevent wage theft did.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 486434

Reported Deaths: 6575
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1009131586
Ramsey43165803
Dakota36375392
Anoka33335388
Washington22121258
Stearns18752201
St. Louis14822263
Scott13308107
Wright12538116
Olmsted1181788
Sherburne874172
Carver775640
Clay692387
Rice670791
Blue Earth596635
Kandiyohi579674
Crow Wing521282
Chisago499545
Otter Tail483270
Benton447790
Winona418549
Mower405731
Douglas393368
Nobles387247
Goodhue386269
Polk343763
McLeod340049
Beltrami338651
Morrison324747
Itasca313646
Lyon313644
Becker312542
Isanti306756
Steele301511
Carlton300149
Freeborn282623
Pine282016
Nicollet259241
Todd248330
Brown245537
Le Sueur235720
Mille Lacs227947
Cass220424
Waseca209317
Meeker207434
Martin189928
Wabasha18673
Roseau180317
Hubbard160740
Houston157414
Dodge15294
Renville150340
Redwood147027
Fillmore13768
Chippewa136735
Pennington136316
Cottonwood135020
Wadena131020
Faribault123417
Aitkin119033
Watonwan11758
Sibley117310
Rock115914
Kanabec107519
Pipestone101624
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9488
Jackson93610
Swift87918
Pope8075
Marshall78015
Lake74218
Stevens7418
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68516
Wilkin67411
Koochiching61911
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5092
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned44568
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3075
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 335218

Reported Deaths: 5443
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk51785551
Linn19463313
Scott17080210
Black Hawk14924292
Woodbury13778212
Johnson1312174
Dubuque12416194
Dallas1019092
Pottawattamie9828143
Story959345
Warren511674
Clinton500784
Cerro Gordo498882
Webster494487
Sioux479169
Marshall463072
Des Moines427161
Muscatine424191
Buena Vista412237
Wapello4025108
Jasper386266
Plymouth367478
Lee354252
Marion339869
Jones284654
Henry279637
Bremer268754
Carroll266349
Crawford252235
Boone242830
Benton240354
Washington239047
Mahaska215246
Jackson209738
Dickinson202440
Tama202365
Kossuth198055
Delaware185540
Clay183825
Winneshiek182827
Fayette178635
Page177819
Buchanan176929
Wright173831
Hamilton173742
Cedar171523
Hardin169439
Harrison167169
Clayton159854
Butler158831
Mills147920
Floyd147741
Poweshiek147730
Lyon145541
Cherokee145336
Allamakee142347
Madison141918
Iowa139423
Hancock137630
Grundy132030
Winnebago130231
Calhoun129311
Cass128751
Jefferson128334
Appanoose123147
Louisa122341
Mitchell120440
Chickasaw119615
Union118731
Sac118318
Shelby116433
Emmet115040
Humboldt113525
Franklin109019
Guthrie108928
Palo Alto100921
Howard99021
Montgomery96736
Clarke94720
Keokuk92029
Monroe89428
Adair81028
Ida81032
Pocahontas80919
Davis76323
Monona76327
Greene72910
Lucas71421
Osceola68215
Worth6667
Taylor64112
Decatur5699
Fremont5599
Van Buren53718
Ringgold50520
Audubon4739
Wayne45821
Adams3184
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