Walz Calls Legislature Back for Fifth Special Session to Extend COVID-19 Emergency

For the fifth time this year, Gov. Tim Walz called the Legislature back for a special session on Oct. 12 in order to extend Minnesota’s emergency powers to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

And once again, the Republican-controlled Senate voted 36-31 to end the governor’s emergency powers, arguing that while the pandemic continues, the state is no longer in an emergency. The DFL-controlled House defeated an effort to end the powers.

Different from earlier special sessions that lasted a single day, both the Senate and House worked to find a deal on a capital improvement bonding bill. Unlike most actions at the Capitol, passage of a bonding bill requires a supermajority. After many false starts and extensive negotiation, the bonding bill passed both bodies by large bipartisan majorities. Walz has said he intends to sign the bill into law.