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Northland lawmakers react to start of second special legislative session

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ST. PAUL -- Several Northland lawmakers are sharing their thoughts on Monday's start of the special legislative session.

Legislative leaders have agreed on most details of a public construction package and a tax bill, the Minnesota Senate's top Republican said Monday.

Discussions are continuing on whether a compromise is possible on police accountability in response to the death of George Floyd.

Monday's agenda also included solutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also Monday, Governor Tim Walz signed an Executive Order extending the COVID-19 peacetime emergency that gives the state flexibility in responding to COVID-19, according to the Governor's office.

The state's peacetime emergency status was also a sticking point, with state Republicans hoping to abolish the powers it gives Walz on Monday.

Rep. Sandy Layman (R, Cohasset) issued the following statement:

"We are entering the second special session with a heightened understanding of the need to compromise on our key priorities. I am hopeful that, by the end of the week, we will have compromised and passed measures regarding the Peacetime Executive Powers, a bonding bill, tax reform and police accountability and reform."

Rep. Sandy Layman

Rep. Liz Olson (DFL Duluth), the House Majority Whip, issued the following statement Monday:

“House DFLers are focused on protecting the health and wellbeing of Minnesotans. A great deal of unfinished business remains, including overdue police accountability and criminal justice reforms following the killing of George Floyd, measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and a strong bonding bill, the urgency of which only continues to grow as good-paying jobs are needed. We will only get through this difficult time together, and Minnesotans are counting on us to come together to make our state work better for everyone.”

Rep. Liz Olson

Rep. Jen Schultz (DFL, Duluth), issued the following statement:

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge our state and our communities, and in addition to addressing the pandemic, we must work together to strengthen police accountability and reimagine public safety. Other work remains, including a Jobs and Local Projects bill to invest in critical infrastructure and create jobs. We also must protect older adults and ensure long-term care facilities have the resources they need to ensure residents and staff are safe. House DFLers are committed to the hard work ahead of us to ensure everyone has a path to a brighter future.”

Rep. Jen Schultz

Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL, International Falls) issued the following statement:

“There are a number of items on which we still need to reach bipartisan resolution to ensure that looking forward, our state can work better for everyone. Investing in public infrastructure puts Minnesotans to work, and considering the economic predicament we’re in, we must come together to pass a strong Jobs and Local Projects bill. We will also keep working to address police reform solutions, and I’m hopeful we can reach an agreement that supports the work of law enforcement, while meeting the goals of increased accountability and oversight. I know Minnesotans are counting on us to get this important work done, and I’m committed to working on a bipartisan basis to deliver results.”

Rep. Rob Ecklund
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Ramona Marozas

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