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: 22464

Reported Deaths: 942
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin7540565
Ramsey2610103
Stearns198412
Nobles14883
Anoka126259
Dakota118244
Olmsted57510
Washington56230
Kandiyohi4751
Rice4112
Clay40625
Scott3792
Todd2960
Wright2691
Sherburne2192
Mower2161
Carver1852
Benton1692
Steele1480
Martin1265
Blue Earth1221
St. Louis11513
Freeborn970
Pine850
Winona7815
Nicollet747
Carlton730
Cottonwood650
Otter Tail620
Unassigned6110
Goodhue603
Watonwan590
Polk592
Crow Wing571
Itasca537
Chisago501
Dodge460
Chippewa441
Meeker440
Le Sueur431
Morrison400
Douglas390
Jackson390
Becker370
Murray360
Lyon360
Isanti330
McLeod290
Waseca240
Rock210
Swift170
Pennington170
Mille Lacs171
Fillmore171
Wabasha170
Brown142
Faribault130
Beltrami130
Sibley130
Cass122
Norman110
Wilkin113
Kanabec111
Pipestone100
Marshall90
Pope80
Wadena80
Aitkin70
Koochiching70
Yellow Medicine60
Lincoln50
Renville50
Mahnomen51
Red Lake40
Traverse30
Big Stone30
Clearwater30
Redwood30
Grant30
Lac qui Parle30
Houston20
Lake10
Hubbard10
Roseau10
Kittson10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 18342

Reported Deaths: 496
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3876115
Woodbury265831
Black Hawk171343
Linn93876
Marshall87815
Dallas87317
Buena Vista6820
Johnson6058
Muscatine54741
Wapello5384
Crawford4882
Tama40026
Scott34610
Louisa33610
Dubuque33016
Jasper25716
Pottawattamie2277
Sioux2100
Washington1858
Wright1240
Allamakee1194
Plymouth1191
Warren1140
Story961
Poweshiek888
Mahaska888
Bremer676
Henry671
Clinton601
Des Moines581
Boone560
Taylor480
Cedar461
Guthrie443
Clarke400
Benton391
Jones360
Iowa360
Monroe354
Shelby350
Clayton313
Buchanan310
Osceola310
Marion300
Webster291
Hamilton280
Madison261
Fayette260
Monona240
Lee230
Cherokee230
Winneshiek230
Cerro Gordo221
Davis200
Jefferson190
Harrison190
Lyon190
Grundy190
Floyd181
Sac170
Mills160
Hardin150
Butler150
Delaware150
Humboldt140
Ida140
Keokuk140
Hancock140
Appanoose133
Jackson130
Dickinson130
Clay130
Greene130
Howard120
Audubon121
Winnebago110
Cass110
Page100
Van Buren90
Franklin90
Carroll90
Pocahontas90
Chickasaw80
Emmet80
Unassigned80
Kossuth80
Adair70
Adams70
Lucas70
Union60
Montgomery60
Mitchell50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
Calhoun20
Decatur10
Wayne10
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