A look at all the people, issues and customs that got forgotten, left behind or disappeared during one of the most unique legislative sessions in Minnesota history.
The problem: Even if the administration prefers to work with the Legislature, lawmakers know the governor can act without legislative authority.
In a televised speech Wednesday, the governor said he is still keeping bars, restaurants, gyms and salons closed, though his administration is developing plans for those businesses to reopen by June 1.
The expiration of Minnesota’s stay-at-home order does not end many restrictions on public gatherings, including a ban on large in-person religious services and eating at restaurants.
Under his state of emergency powers declared in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz could potentially order the state to move to an all vote-by-mail election.
A plan to expand the number of contact tracers tracking coronavirus cases in Minnesota has become a flashpoint in the increasingly partisan debate over Minnesota’s response to the pandemic.
By the late 1950s, populations of House districts ranged from 7,290 residents to 107,246, and Senate districts from 16,878 to 153,455.
The bill requires pharmaceutical companies to report to the state when pricing for certain prescription drugs exceeds increases outlined in the bill. The bill also requires the Minnesota Department of Health to post the information on a public website.
The Minnesota Department of Health also announced Friday another 26 Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 534.
Mask-wearing at the statehouse has become a partisan preference, with DFLers far more likely to wear face coverings than Republicans.
The main provision of the bill expands the voluntary use of no-excuse absentee voting in a year when — due to fears over COVID-19 — the staffing of regular polling is expected to be difficult.
Minnesota’s Department of Health wants to hire as many as 4,000 contact tracers as part of a massive effort to identify and isolate those who have COVID-19 — and those who’ve been in contact with the infected.
The Minnesota Department of Health also said Wednesday there have been 8,579 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, up 728 from Tuesday’s count.
The emergency budget forecast — based on skimpy data and educated guesses on what the fallout from COVID-19 is doing to state finances — was released Tuesday by Minnesota’s office of Management and Budget and projects a $2.42 billion shortfall.
The Minnesota Department of Health also reported another 617 confirmed cases of COVID-19, for a total of 7,851 in the state.
What the end — at least when it comes to this year’s session of the Minnesota Legislature — looks like.
Of the 28 deaths reported Friday, 24 were residents of long-term care. So far, 80 percent of those who have died of COVID-19 in Minnesota were living in long-term care.
A confrontation between Republicans and DFLers at the Minnesota Legislature over contracts for almost 47,000 state workers not only puts a scheduled July 1 raise at risk, it could lead to pay cuts for affected employees.
While most of the limits on public life will remain, the governor said nonessential retail businesses can start offering curbside pickup and delivery services for customers.
Those who run some of Minnesota’s largest job-training nonprofits are urging the state to invest in programs to help those who had already been on the margins of the economy. If it doesn’t, they warn, Minnesota could face even worse joblessness among people who can least afford it.