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.

Confirmed Cases: 62993

Reported Deaths: 1731
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin19873842
Ramsey7827270
Dakota4610106
Anoka3841115
Stearns292820
Washington222748
Olmsted179123
Nobles17777
Scott163422
Mower11112
Rice10468
Blue Earth9465
Wright9185
Carver8993
Clay79440
Sherburne75310
Kandiyohi7141
St. Louis62120
Todd4302
Lyon4263
Watonwan3671
Freeborn3611
Nicollet35613
Steele3562
Benton3253
Winona26616
Beltrami2640
Crow Wing25214
Le Sueur2301
McLeod2240
Martin2105
Chisago2091
Goodhue2059
Otter Tail2044
Cottonwood1780
Becker1621
Pipestone1589
Polk1564
Waseca1561
Carlton1470
Itasca14612
Douglas1442
Isanti1370
Unassigned13546
Dodge1310
Pine1290
Murray1251
Chippewa1171
Morrison941
Wabasha930
Brown922
Faribault920
Meeker872
Rock860
Sibley862
Koochiching833
Cass802
Jackson790
Pennington751
Mille Lacs733
Fillmore720
Renville675
Lincoln610
Grant563
Swift561
Roseau530
Yellow Medicine530
Pope480
Houston450
Aitkin411
Norman400
Kanabec372
Redwood370
Hubbard360
Wilkin353
Marshall290
Wadena280
Mahnomen271
Big Stone250
Red Lake240
Lake220
Stevens180
Clearwater140
Traverse130
Lac qui Parle80
Cook50
Lake of the Woods40
Kittson30

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 50230

Reported Deaths: 955
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10612210
Woodbury377052
Black Hawk320066
Linn245689
Johnson213820
Dallas193235
Buena Vista180012
Scott176815
Dubuque173431
Marshall145627
Pottawattamie136729
Story118915
Wapello93435
Muscatine86048
Webster8498
Crawford7393
Cerro Gordo65617
Sioux6533
Warren5861
Tama55729
Jasper48427
Wright4821
Plymouth47912
Clinton4344
Dickinson3844
Louisa37814
Washington30510
Boone2723
Franklin25512
Hamilton2551
Bremer2337
Clarke2063
Clay2021
Carroll2012
Des Moines1992
Emmet1934
Shelby1881
Hardin1860
Marion1830
Floyd1673
Benton1621
Jackson1601
Poweshiek1608
Allamakee1584
Mahaska14217
Henry1404
Guthrie1385
Buchanan1351
Cedar1351
Jones1352
Butler1312
Lee1294
Madison1282
Hancock1242
Humboldt1241
Delaware1231
Lyon1232
Pocahontas1212
Harrison1131
Cherokee1101
Clayton1093
Winneshiek1021
Page1000
Taylor1000
Iowa981
Kossuth970
Mills941
Monona920
Winnebago920
Palo Alto910
Fayette900
Calhoun872
Cass871
Jefferson870
Sac860
Osceola850
Grundy831
Union811
Mitchell800
Monroe758
Lucas734
Worth680
Davis612
Montgomery614
Chickasaw600
Appanoose523
Howard510
Fremont450
Greene420
Keokuk401
Adair380
Van Buren381
Ida330
Audubon291
Decatur270
Ringgold231
Wayne211
Adams170
Unassigned20
Rochester
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