State and Federal Legislative Update: April 5, 2020

State Legislative Update

Walz delivers State of the State address

Governor Tim Walz delivered his 2020 State of the State address this evening live from the Governor’s residence. Walz said there’s no stopping the storm of COVID-19 form hitting Minnesota, but we’re prepared for it. Walz said hospitals across the state continue to prepare, along with Mayo Clinic, 3M and other businesses. Walz said staying home is the only vaccine we have right now. He said it’s only going to get harder, but that Minnesotans get through “cold long winters” together. Walz said, “While we might be separated physically, we stand united.”

When this is all over, Walz said, “We will do whatever it takes to support Minnesotans and businesses to get back on their feet.” He ended the short address by saying, “The state of our state is strong. The state of our state is resilient. The state of our state is united.” He then thanked Minnesotans, “Thank you. Stay home and stay healthy, Minnesota.”

Minnesota Senate COVID-19 Response Working Group continues to meet

The bipartisan Senate COVID-19 Response Working Group met for the second time on Friday, focusing on the economic impact on state businesses. Testifiers included Dept. of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove, President Neel Kashkari of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, and several small business owners from various sectors.

Commissioner Grove emphasized the large role that the federal government plays into small business relief in the long term. All testifiers brought up the importance of the state government needing to act quickly to support the urgent needs of small businesses. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, acknowledged this urgency and summarized his priorities and next steps including considering delaying income and property taxes for businesses. This would include extending the April 15 income tax deadline to July 15, and enacting a 60 day extension of the May 15 property tax deadline. Gazelka also said legislators should further explore and reconsider regulations on which businesses have been mandated to shut down.

The next meeting of the Senate COVID-19 Response Working Group will be tomorrow, Monday, April 6 at 11:30 a.m. The meeting will be focused on preparing state government budgets for a potential FY2021 General Fund deficit. Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans will provide a State Budget Outlook. State Economist Dr. Laura Kalambokidis will provide a State and National Economic Update, and Erica MacKellar, Program Principal, Fiscal Affairs Program, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL); and Mandy Rafool, Group Director, Fiscal Affairs Program, NCSL will discuss budgeting trends since COVID-19.

The hearing may be viewed livestream on the Minnesota Senate’s Facebook page or HERE.

Walz unveils Data Dashboard, outlines state’s priorities in responding to COVID-19

Governor Tim Walz on Friday unveiled a new State of Minnesota COVID-19 dashboard that tracks the virus in Minnesota and provides the latest available data on available ventilators, ICU beds, personal protective equipment (PPE), and testing. The dashboard will be updated daily and is available at https://mn.gov/covid19/.

“During Minnesota’s Stay Home Order, we’ve worked to collect data, increase the availability of necessary equipment, and develop strategies to address economic and social impacts of COVID-19,” said Governor Walz. “This dashboard will provide Minnesotans with timely, accurate information about the data that informs our decisions on COVID-19 response, recovery, and resources.”

During Minnesota’s Stay Home Order, Minnesota’s priorities have been to collect data about COVID-19; increase the number of ICU beds, ventilators, and PPE needed to care for a surge in patients; and develop strategies to address the economic and social impacts of COVID-19 in Minnesota. Governor Walz has formed work groups to focus on critical response and recovery work, including hospital surge capacity, supplies, testing, and education and child care.

Federal Legislative Update

Senate leaders join House leaders in discussing fourth coronavirus bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that there will be a fourth coronavirus bill and that health care should be a top priority as lawmakers draft the legislation. McConnell said the fourth bill should be more a targeted response to what lawmakers got wrong and what they didn’t do enough. He said at the top of the list is health care. The comments from the GOP Senate leader, who remains in Washington, D.C. during the Senate’s three-week break, are the firmest he has offered yet about the possibility for additional legislation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats have held near-daily conference calls with reporters to outline their ideas for another coronavirus package that would include infrastructure, free coronavirus treatment and other issues that include improved worker protections and expanded family and sick leave.

McConnell acknowledged that he and Pelosi have a “little different point of view” on the timing of the next coronavirus bill, and that he is still “not in favor of rushing” additional legislation. McConnell indicated that Senate Republicans are focused, for now, on implementing the $2.2 trillion package passed by Congress late last week. “Senate Republicans are closely tracking the implementation of our historic CARES Act as the Administration puts it into effect for the American people. We are committed to supporting American workers, families, and small businesses as our nation confronts this historic emergency,” McConnell tweeted.

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Legislative Schedule

Monday, April 6

11:30 a.m.

Senate COVID-19 Response Working Group

Room: Remote

Chair: Senator Paul Gazleka

Agenda:

State Budget Outlook, Commissioner Myron Frans – Minnesota Management and Budget

Sate and National Economic Update, Dr. Laura Kalambokidis, State Economist – Minnesota Management and Budget

National State Budgeting Trends since COVID-19 Threat, Erica MacKellar, Program Principal, Fiscal Affairs Program – National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and Mandy Rafool, Group Director, Fiscal Affairs Program, NCSL

12:45 p.m.

House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Division

Room: Remote

Chair: Rep. Carlos Mariani

Agenda: Informational Hearing on HF XXX (Mariani) Omnibus Intermediate Emergency COVID  Response Bill

This committee hearing may be listened to via live stream via House website: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/live/1

Attachments:HF XXX (Mariani) Intermediate Emergency COVID Response Bill

HRD Summary of HF XXX (Mariani) Intermediate Emergency COVID Response Bill

Tuesday, April 7

9:45 a.m.

House Education Finance

Room: Remote

Chair: Rep. Jim Davnie

Agenda: Informational Hearing on HF 4415 (Davnie) Compensation for hourly employees required for school days cancelled due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) during the 2019-2020 school year. No formal action will be taken during this remote hearing.

HF4415(Davnie): Compensation for hourly employees required for school days cancelled due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) during the 2019-2020 school year.

Attachments:HF4415DE9

9:45 a.m.

House Government Operations

Room: Remote

Chair: Rep. Mike Freiberg

Agenda: Live stream via House website: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/live/2

YouTube: https://youtu.be/S4StGoFeqig

Informational: HFxxxx (Dehn) A bill for an act relating to elections; authorizing the secretary of state to issue emergency orders related to the conduct of an election during certain peacetime emergencies; appropriating money from the Help America Vote Act account; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 204B.

11:00 a.m.

Senate COVID-19 Response Working Group

Room: Remote

Chair: Senator Paul Gazleka

Agenda: The Long-Term Care Imperative

Office of the Ombudsman for Long-Term Care

12:45 p.m.

House Transportation Finance and Policy Division

Room: Remote

Chair: Rep. Frank Hornstein

Agenda: The Transportation Finance & Policy Division is planning to hold a Remote Hearing on Covid-19 Response Legislation

Covid-19 Response Legislation

– Testimony from the Department of Public Safety

– DE Amendment for HF1447 (Tabke) *This is a vehicle bill* DE language will be posted to accompany this bill as soon as it is available

HF1447(Tabke): Twin Cities metropolitan area replacement transit service providers funding provided, and money appropriated.

Wednesday, April 8

8:30 a.m.

House Taxes

Room: Remote

Chair: Rep. Paul Marquart

Agenda: DE Amendment for HF 2693 (Marquart): **This is a vehicle bill** DE language posted below: pertaining to liquor posting; allowing the commissioner discretion in posting certain taxpayers affected by an executive closure order

HF2693(Marquart): Taxation; underpayment penalties modified.

Attachments: DE2 Author’s Amendment

9:45 a.m.

House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division

Room: Remote

Chair: Rep. John Lesch

Agenda:

DE Amendment for HF 1197 (Lesch): **This is a vehicle bill** DE language posted below: pertaining to suspension of statutory deadlines in District and Appellate Courts

HF1197(Lesch): Electronic communication held by a service provided or third party access by a government entity prohibited except under certain procedures, data retention limits provided, remedies provided, and report required.

Attachments: DE1 Author amendment HF 1197

9:45 a.m.

House Subcommittee on Elections

Room: Remote

Chair: Rep. Raymond Dehn

Agenda: Live stream via House website: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/live/2

YouTube: https://youtu.be/S4StGoFeqig

Informational: HFxxxx (Dehn) A bill for an act relating to elections; authorizing the secretary of state to issue emergency orders related to the conduct of an election during certain peacetime emergencies; appropriating money from the Help America Vote Act account; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 204B

2:30 p.m.

House Education Policy

Room: Remote

Chair: Rep. Cheryl Youakim

Agenda:

Overview of the Remote Hearing Process

 Approval of Minutes for March 11, 2020

 House File 4415 (Davnie) – Please see the DE9 attachment

Public Viewing Methods:

This committee hearing may be viewed live via the following methods:

1. Live stream via House website: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/live/1 

2. Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/MNHouseInfo/ 3. YouTube: https://youtu.be/RpbRvaeDjdc

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