Senate Passes Bills for COVID funds, Police Accountability; Adjourns After No Cooperation From House

The Senate adjourned from the special session early this morning. A week of negotiations ultimately broke down over stalemates from the House and the Governor.

“This special session could have ended with great compromise on spending and reform,” said Senator Carrie Ruud (R-Breezy Point). “We worked on a bonding bill, distribution of federal COVID funds, rural broadband expansion, and more, but time and again, agreements were broken, and the trust needed to work across party lines was fractured.”

During the special session, the CARES act bill was agreed upon and passed by the Senate, however, the House halted further progress by dismissing previous agreements and amending millions of dollars of new spending. The Senate’s police accountability bills included many agreed-upon ideas like banning chokeholds and requiring officers to intervene if they see excessive force, but the House added on extreme provisions like felon voting and dismantling police departments. The state’s constitution stipulates a bonding bill must originate in the House, but a bonding bill was not brought up for a vote in the House before the Senate adjourned.

“We are taking a step back for now, hopeful that the House and Governor will be willing to restore the goodwill necessary for a productive special session focused on real compromise for the people of Minnesota,” Senator Ruud concluded.