Legislative Update from Senator Ruud

Here is a brief update on news from St. Paul…

The Minnesota Legislature is expected to be called back for Special Session on Monday, June 14… since we were not able pass the budget before regular session ended, the legislature will convene a special session to vote on the agreements to finalize Minnesota’s two-year budget.

Republican leaders this week proposed legislation to end Governor Walz’s emergency powers that have been in effect for 15 months. The legislation would allow the Governor to continue to have oversight over testing and vaccination efforts but would put an end to other outstanding emergency powers and executive orders. Governor Walz ended the state’s mask mandate on May 14 and all additional restrictions were phased out by May 28 (face covering requirements remain in place in schools, child-care settings, medical facilities, prisons, homeless shelters, on airplanes and public transportation.) The emergency is over—COVID cases and hospitalizations are falling. Minnesota if fully reopening!

The fencing that surrounded the Minnesota State Capitol that was in place for over a year and cost taxpayers more than $200,000 has been removed this week—state officials are also working to reopen the Capitol to the public in a few weeks.

Minnesota Legacy Funds Agreement
As chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance Committee, I am pleased to say this week the Minnesota Senate & House Legacy committees published a legacy final agreement for the Legacy Amendment bill.

“This is a comprehensive bill that focuses on Minnesota’s Clean Water, Outdoor Heritage Fund, Parks & Trails, and Arts & Cultural Heritage—the Senate and the House committees were able to come to an agreement that prioritizes maintaining these resources. Our team and committee worked very hard on this bill, and for the first time in history, we passed the bill’s original language off the senate floor with a unanimous bipartisan vote. Though members from the House attempted to insert policy provisions into this bill—I am pleased their members eventually came to the table to negotiate, and the agreement released this week was the result of hard work from both legislative bodies. I am very proud of the work we accomplished to get an agreement that follows the Legacy Amendment in the Constitution.”

In 2008, Minnesotans voted to amend the State Constitution to include the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment (referred to informally as the Legacy Amendment). This amendment allocated three-eighths of one percent of the sales tax to contribute to four funds that aim to protect drinking water sources, re-store and enhance habitats across the state, preserve arts and cultural heritage, support parks and trails, and protect and enhance lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater. 

Additional Information
The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced projects this week that received funding through the Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP)…County State Aid Highway 11 at Tame Fish Lake Road 425 in Aitkin County was awarded $1,000,000. 

Have a great start to your weekend!

If you’re looking to hear more from the Capitol, please like me on Facebook.

As always please feel free to contact my office with any questions you might have. My office can be reached by phone at (651) 296-4913 or at sen.carrie.ruud@senate.mn.

Talk to you soon!
Carrie Ruud