State legislators came close to passing an omnibus education policy bill during the regular session’s final moments, but it didn’t happen. Now two bills are being considered in the House.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon’s decision to strike deals with two groups suing Minnesota over the state’s witness requirement for absentee ballots drew quick criticism from Republicans, who called the deals an end-run around the Legislature by a DFL secretary of state and friendly plaintiffs.
MDH also said Wednesday there have been 31,296 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of positives is up 414 from Tuesday’s count and is based on 19,573 new tests.
A slate of five bills okayed by the Minnesota Senate includes a ban on most chokeholds and neck restraints as well as reporting requirements for use-of-force data. Gov. Tim Walz and House DFLers say the measures don’t go far enough.
Gov. Tim Walz expressed “concern” about the bipartisan bill, which would distribute $841 million of the state’s allocation from the federal CARES Act to Minnesota cities, counties and townships, based on population.
For years, Minnesota has prohibited both public and private employers from asking job-seekers about their criminal history on initial application forms. Yet it somehow still allows the question to appear on applications for one class of job: appointments to state boards and commissions.
More than a dozen police departments contacted by MinnPost said their officers are not allowed to use neck restraints or chokeholds, with many saying the tactics had been out of use for as long as they could remember.
The main target of the suits is the state law requiring an absentee voter to have another registered voter witness the voting process — and the voter’s ballot signature.
It’s not as though the DFL-controlled House and GOP-controlled Senate can’t or won’t acknowledge each other’s goals. It’s just that it isn’t going to be a top priority for what will be a unique special session of the Minnesota Legislature.
There have now been a total of 27,886 confirmed cases and 1,186 deaths from COVID-19 in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Health had previously not disclosed the number of known cases and deaths at individual facilities, citing patient privacy. But it reversed course Friday after Republican Sen. Karin Housley threatened to subpoena the department for the data.
Walz’s latest order goes further in easing rules aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 than state officials had previously predicted.
Senate Republicans have been pushing a bill that would require legislative approval for the spending of federal CARES Act money. Walz opposes that, since the current process allows him to spend the federal dollars as he wishes, with a requirement only that he notify the Legislature.
In a letter to the agency, state Sen. Karin Housley said the Senate’s Family Care and Aging Committee, which Housley chairs, has tried to learn more from the Minnesota Department of Health about the spread of COVID-19 in the state’s long-term care facilities, to little avail.
A total of 1,115 Minnesotans have now died from COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Thursday. MDH also said Thursday there have been 26,273 total confirmed cases.
A look at what we learned from Ellison’s remarks about the case, and from Gov. Tim Walz, who spoke to reporters after the charges against the officers became public.
MDH also said Wednesday there have been 25,870 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, up 362 from Tuesday’s count.
A group of DFL lawmakers are now calling for the special session to focus on police reform, helping black communities and funding recovery projects for Minneapolis businesses.
Even as coronavirus continues to ravage those living in long-term care facilities in Minnesota, the Department of Health has refused to reveal the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths at each facility.
MDH also said Monday there have been 25,208 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, up 358 from Sunday’s count.