ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) - We now enter the month of October, and Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency powers are tentatively set to expire in less than two weeks.
So far, there have been four special sessions this year, which means if the governor chooses to extend his powers, there will be a fifth.
The sessions come as a result of Walz extending the COVID-19 peacetime emergency, and with it his emergency powers, by 30 days.
Local lawmakers Sen. Nick Frentz (DFL - North Mankato) and Rep. Jeremy Munson (R - Lake Crystal) reflect on what this month could bring.
“My number one thought about the next time I set foot on the Minnesota Senate floor is that I hope we’re voting to approve a bonding bill,” Frentz said, “I think that is the number one thing we can do to help Minnesota. As far as the emergency powers, I’m happy to reach some kind of understanding where the governor gives up some or all of his emergency powers. Having said that, I have not seen a plan from my good friends across the aisle about what that would look like, and I have some concerns about leaving it to the Legislature when there are divided houses between the House and the Senate.”
The Republican-controlled Senate has typically voted to end the governor’s emergency powers, with the DFL-controlled House blocking that vote.
“It’s kind of getting old, but we’re going to be doing the same thing. We’ll be meeting and voting on ending the peacetime emergency,” Munson said, “I don’t see anything changing from the last special session where we get a bipartisan effort. And there’ll be Democrats that join us in the House and Senate to end the peacetime emergency, but not enough Democrats to overrule their governor, so it’s going to be the same thing again. But that’s about all I expect to go through in this special session. I don’t expect any bonding bill or any other legislation to have an agreement.”
The governor has not yet made any indications about what his plans are.