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Walz calls lawmakers back Monday for 5th special session

Gov. Tim Walz at COVID-19 roundtable discussion on October 7. Gov. Tim Walz at COVID-19 roundtable discussion on October 7. |  Photo: WDIO Livestream

Updated: October 07, 2020 01:06 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota lawmakers will return to the Capitol on Monday for their fifth special session of the year. Gov. Tim Walz announced the special session Wednesday as he declared his intention to extend the peacetime emergency that he declared at the start of the pandemic by another 30 days.

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The governor is required to call lawmakers back each time he extends the emergency powers that he’s used to respond to the pandemic.

Most recent special sessions have been unproductive. Walz says there’s a chance lawmakers could pass a bonding bill Monday, but that the package is likely dead if they don’t. 

“The COVID-19 virus is unpredictable, and as we have seen over the past few weeks, it continues to devastate our communities,”  Governor Walz said in a press release. “It’s imperative that we have the tools necessary to respond to this public health emergency and protect the health and wellbeing of each and every Minnesotan. This emergency is not over.”

“The COVID-19 virus has claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Minnesotans. Each one is a neighbor, a family member, and a friend. Every one was somebody’s somebody.” Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan added. “We must be prepared to respond quickly and efficiently in order to keep Minnesotans safe. And in turn, we need every Minnesotan to take prudent steps to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their neighbors. While we know Minnesotans are feeling fatigued by the pandemic, it’s more important than ever before that we look out for one another to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Governor Walz held a roundtable discussion on Wednesday morning for Minnesotans who have been impacted by the coronavirus. The governor said health officials have learned a lot over the past 6 months, but "The virus dictates when we are going to open up bars and sporting events again."  At the end of the discussion, Gov. Walz took questions regarding a special session and the bonding bill. 

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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